December 2020

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Celebrity

LISA RINNA

Experience The Difference www.upscalelivingmag.com




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CONTENT FEATURED

PROFILE

12 Celebrity Lisa Rinna

31 Elppin, Magnets of Attention 35 A New Chapter for The Langham, as Renowned Hotelier Doris Greif is named Managing Director

AUTOMOBILE 16 2021 Mercedes Maybach S-Class, Back to the Top 18 Hennessey VelociRaptor V8 Bronco When More is Never Enough JET 20 Pegasus Vertical Business Jet The Sky is the Limit TIMEPIECES 25 Men Watches We Love FASHION 26 Safari Essentials, How To Look and Feel Stylish 8 | UPSCALE LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2020

DECOR + ARCHITECTURE 46 Deck The Halls 50 Aamer Architects, Sculpting Spaces of Beauty and Functionality TRAVEL 52 Incomparable Luxury at Tswalu 61 Casa Malca Tulum 64 What’s New! - Casa Di Langa, Italy - Little Kulala, Namibia - Henry’s Townhouse, London - Palazzo Avino, Italy - Morukuru Owners House & River House, Africa - The Mayfair Townhouse, London - Singita Sabora Tented Camp, Tanzania - The Woodward, Switzerland 75 Jashita Hotel Tulum 79 Kefalonia & Her Southern Shores - Part 2 of 3


WHAT’S HOT! 85 Latest Books to Read: - 7 Ways by Jamie Oliver - Africa’s Wild Dogs, A Survival Story by Jocelin Kagan - A Promised Land by Barack Obama - Eye of the Leopard by Dereck and Beverly Joubert - The Art of Whiskey, Spiorad Publishing CULINARY 92 A Christmas to Remember WINE + SPIRITS 100 Oyester Vodka 101 Hanyu Ichiro Full Card Series Whiskey Creates Auction Record

Gracing our December cover is no other than Lisa Rinna, an accomplished actress, reality (real housewife) TV star, talk show host, clothes designer, New York Times best-selling author, mother to two daughters and wife to actor Harry Hamlin.... read more on Page 12.

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PUBLISHER | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF | FOUNDER ALINA LEYVA (CABRAL) PUBLISHER@UPSCALELIVINGMAG.COM | 786-760-9133 MOBILE WWW.UPSCALELIVINGMAG.COM

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EDITOR-In-CHIEF | Alina Rosa Leyva Assistant Editor | Natalie King Editor-at-Large | Raj Gill Beauty + Fashion Editor | Lisa Marie Valentino Travel Editor | HelÉne Ramackers Home + Decor Editor | Sally Ellie Timepiece + Fine Jewelry Editor | Valentina Kenney

Assistant to the Publisher | AC Banlo Marketing Assistant | Michelle Tarkalson Graphic Design | ADesignsolutions Web Development | ADesignsolutions Marketing Research | Louisa Anderson Operations Manager | Julianne Altmore Distribution | Oehler Media Inc Accounts Receivables | Jackie Dana Publisher | publisher@upscalelivingmag.com Sales + Markting Director | Michelle.Farina@upscalelivingmag.com Executive Director | Rich@upscalelivingmag.com Partnership | partnership@upscalelivingmag.com CONTRIBUTORS

Heléne Ramackers, Jarone Ashkenazi, Tim Cotroneo, Barbara Palumbo, Angela Sara West,Tracy Beard, Rebecca Underwood, Adam Jacot De Boinod, Anthony DeMarco, Archana Pandey, Niyoshi Shah, Christopher Kanal, David Danzig, Deve Sanford, Felicity Carter, Jyoti Balani, Fran Miller, Gerard Vallecello, Karen Berlinier, Kevin Pilley, Leslie Royal, Nikita Pawar, Ana Maria, Scott Huntington, Pamela & Gary Baker, Priscilla Pilon.

Copyright 2020 Upscale Living Magazine. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of Upscale Living Magazine and ALP Publishing Inc. The Publisher will be held responsible for any errors found in the magazine. The Publisher accept no liability for the accuracy of statements made by advertisers. Ads in this publication are not intended as an offer where prohibited by state laws. www.upscalelivingmag.com

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FEATURE

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FEATURE

LISA RINNA | BY RAJ GILL

Accomplished actress, reality (real housewife) TV star, talk show host, clothes designer, New York Times best-selling author, mother to two daughters and wife to actor Harry Hamlin….what I want to know is where did Lisa Rinna find the time to add another string to her bow. Lisa launched Rinna Beauty in November - an all inclusive, 100 per cent vegan & paraben-free collection of beauty products - in collaboration with SEL Beauty. Lisa’s lips are her signature, a trend she started long before Hollywood’s biggest stars copied her look. Now, after more than a decade in the making, she is bringing her style public with Rinna Beauty. The brand was launched with Lisa’s Lip ICON kit, featuring different shades of lipstick, gloss and liner.

Y

ou are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful women on the planet, what inspired you to start this beauty line? And more importantly how did you find the time? I think it really started with people asking me what lip color I was wearing and where can I get it. And I thought, well, why am I not making my own so that I can give it to them. It really just came out of that. When you have wanted something for so long, you make sure you find the time. My parents were not well off -- we were very middle class and my mom always made me work for things. So, I never could get anything unless I worked for it. I

learned that at a really young age. I think I had my first job was selling lemonade on the golf course at 11. And then I worked at Lerner’s, which was a clothing store when I was 14 because I wanted to buy clothes and my mom wouldn’t give me any money. She said you have to work for it. So, I think it was instilled in me at a very early age. And then once I got into this business and became an actress, I saw what Suzanne Somers was doing. And I thought, you know what, I think that that’s what I need to morph in to because I knew that as an actor, by the time you’re 40, it’s kind of over. Like, there’s five actresses over 40 that work, right? When I saw Suzanne, I went, “That is the ticket, right there.” She made $100 million dollars by selling products. Suzanne Somers has really been my role model.

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FEATURE

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FEATURE

You mentioned that you have wanted to start this brand for more than a decade, however it was never the right time or the right partner, so why now? And why SEL Beauty? I never gave up. I had many different opportunities to do a beauty line and it never worked out. I’m talking 10-15 years of wanting to do this and it just kept not happening. And I thought, well, maybe I’m not meant to do a beauty line, maybe I should just focus on my clothing line. And then I met Cheryl and her team from SEL Beauty and voila, here we are. But I’ll tell you what, I was told no probably six times. I just didn’t give up. It was something that I just kept saying I know we can do this. Why are you right for this role? It’s me. It comes from being Lisa Rinna for 57 years. It’s taking everything that I’ve ever known and learned in my life, whether I’ve been on camera or off. And I’m starting out with a lip kit because I am the lip pioneer. Starting Rinna Beauty is something that has taken forever but we finally did it. Who is the Rinna Beauty customer? I envision it to be absolutely as the most inclusive beauty line ever. And I’m talking across the board, every single human on the planet could use Rinna Beauty. How about that? Were there any restrictions on creating this brand? What’s great about Rinna Beauty is I don’t have to fit into any mold. I don’t have to have to use certain fabrications or a certain price range. I can do whatever I want, and that’s why I thought, if we can make this as inclusive as possible, then I have no boundaries. There’s nothing holding me back from creating exactly what I love and what works for me. And then of course, the sky is the limit. I see Rinna Beauty as a true lifestyle brand. How involved were you in the process of creating the products? I’ve never been one who just easily puts my name on something. I really think long and hard about it. When I created my clothing line, even though it was for QVC and they had some pretty strict guidelines you have to follow, I still made sure that I made it really authentically to myself. I would never want to create a product line if I didn’t have a lot to do with it. You can’t just put your name on something unless it’s fabulous!

go through a few iterations. And I will say that, when you really want something and you know what you want, the more specific you are, the better. You learn that in acting class. If you’re playing a character, the more specific you are, the better. So, because I’m so specific, I know exactly what I want, which actually makes it easier even though it sometimes makes other people frustrated. It wasn’t the easiest because we were doing all of this right in the middle of COVID. But I just would say, “You know what, guys, we’re close, we’re almost there. I’d like to see two samples and I would want a combination of one and two.” And we finally got there! I held true to that and I’m so thrilled that I did because I can be like, oh my god, this is my favorite lip gloss and my favorite lipstick of all time. I can really own that. People want ease. I want something that looks fabulous, makes me feel fabulous, and is easy. You know, I don’t want any tricks. I just want pure ease. Available at www.rinnabeauty.com

You started out with a lip kit, why a lip kit? I started out as the lip pioneer. And I and I say that with a wink and a nod when I say that I’m the lip pioneer, but literally, when I was 24 years old, I went with my girlfriend and we had our lips done, and it was crazy and nobody was doing it. What can your make up brand do for us that others haven’t managed to do? We launched with a lipstick line and that starts with what I like. What I want in a lipstick, a pencil, lip gloss. There are five million different kinds of lip gloss, right? I’m very specific about what I like. I know exactly the lip gloss and the consistency and the texture. Does it have fragrance, does it not? Does it have a taste, does it not? So, we had to 15 | UPSCALE LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2020


AUTOMOBILES

2021 Mercedes Maybach S-Class Back to the Top | BY SOMNATH CHATTERJEE

T

he world today needs and thrives on diversification but sometimes it is good to get back to doing what you do best. It is your strength and it is what you are most comfortable with. For Mercedes it is the S-Class. It is what they do best and are doing so for so many years. Rivals are there no doubt but Mercedes owns this part of the sector. However the explosion of SUVs and the changing motoring landscape has somewhat attempted to encroach the dominance of the S-Class. However the new generation model has laid rest to those claims with even more technology and even more luxury. However this is not about the S-Class. It is about what happens when you add “Maybach” to the name. Mercedes has just pulled the covers of its newest super luxury flagship and it is an S-Class but over flowing with the most indulgent of materials along with the technological might that Mercedes can conjure up. It is an S-Class with the volume turned up-to 11. Rolls Royce and Bentley, take note...

The new generation Maybach S-Class is based on the LWB S-Class but has an 18 cm longer wheelbase with new rear-doors and with a lot of the design changed to give the Maybach a more elegant appearance. While it may not be bursting with the sheer simplistic elegance of the new Rolls Royce Ghost or the sportiness of the Bentley Spur; the new Maybach is automotive power dressing. It is big and svelte; along with being imposing plus not afraid to hide its intentions. It screams wealth from some angles but is not vulgar while having a stance which reeking of confidence- something which Mercedes does very well. You have a different bonnet with a chromed fin and the MercedesMaybach radiator grille with vertical chrome pinstripes. Customers can also order a special two-tone paint with a dividing line that is applied by hand. It takes one week to finish this paint.

However it somehow pales when compared to the interior as that is where the Maybach truly shines. The new S-Class cabin of five display screens including the massive 12.8-inch OLED central display remains but the cabin is bathed in a sublime collection of materials. There are some traditional Maybach elements added in like the surrounds of the dial instruments are in the brand color rosé gold. There is plenty of wood, metal and leather everywhere while the first class rear seating is where the Maybach owner will most likely spend time plotting the next big business deal. You have a chauffeur package with executive seating (with a champagne cooler in the middle) while there is even a massage function for the calf-rest as part of the Seating Comfort package. You also have neck/shoulder heating in the rear while you have active ambiance lighting and adaptive rear lighting plus and endless array of gadgetry. Oh and you also get automatic seat belt extender and electric closing doors! There is the latest MBUX system of course while a range of rear entertainment options are there. Noise is perhaps the biggest enemy of a luxury car and in the new Maybach you have “Active road noise compensation” i.e. much the same way as noise canceling headphones. There is an Interior Assist also which recognizes “numerous occupant intentions” So basically it will recognize eye-direction, hand gestures and the body language of the occupants. You can cherry pick from a range of 4.0 twin turbo V8s or just go for the range topping 6.0 twin turbo V12. However the Maybach does embrace electrification of some sort with a plugin hybrid on offer now. Do not expect much change from $200,000 when it goes on sale next year. Should Rolls Royce and Bentley be worried? On this evidence, yes!

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AUTOMOBILES

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AUTOMOBILES

Hennessey VelociRaptor V8 Bronco

When More is never enough | BY SOMNATH CHATTERJEE

T

he Ford Bronco has been smeared with the level of hype that is normally reserved for a new Tesla but it is not an EV but the Bronco which is without doubt the star car at the moment. You need to be patient to get one with the waiting list stretching to more than a year with high reservations. Production of the Bronco is rumored to start from early next year, however if you have day-dreamed about a V8 Bronco then it might be a tad disappointing that Ford will never install its 5.0-liter V8 in the Bronco- with the line-up being restricted to twin-turbo V6’s. Or is it? Enter Hennessey Performance Engineering (HPE) and as we have known in the past, their penchant for putting gigantic engines in equally big SUVs and trucks is pretty well known hence it was very much expected that the new Bronco would also get the same treatment. Yes, what you see here is the VelociRaptor V8 Bronco that packs in a slightly ludicrous 750 hp courtesy a supercharged 5.0 liter Ford V8.

hood with scoop, larger wheels and VelociRaptor V8 racing livery graphics. Inside you have a custom Hennessey leather interior including Hennessey embroidered headrests etc. HPE says that production would be limited to a total of 24 units for the 2021 model year and the VelociRaptor V8 Bronco would be available in both 2-door and 4-door configurations. The price is around $225,000 plus vehicle shipping costs. Thus this SUV promises to be rarer than a super car! Now if looked at the price, it is no-doubt expensive and for that money you can get a standard “super-SUV” but we suspect nothing else in the market can match up the charm and the brutish appeal that this beast conjures up in flash.

All that power and torque is harnessed via a Ford 10-speed automatic transmission. As you might guess, the performance figures would put many sports cars to shame with HPE estimating that the added power and performance will significantly reduce the vehicle’s 0-60 mph time to just 4.5 seconds.

“Over the past two years we have built over 70 Gen 2 Ford Raptors for our customers by removing the EcoBoost V6 and replacing it with the same 750 HP supercharged 5.0 V8. I wanted to build the ultimate Ford Bronco for myself and for our customers,” said company founder John Hennessey. “The 2021 Bronco may be one of the most highly desired vehicles since the introduction of the Ford GT. We look forward to taking the new Bronco to the next level and beyond.”

It is however not that easy to just bolt on a big engine as other upgrades have also been done including a beefed up suspension, fuel injector and system upgrade, stainless steel cat-back exhaust, an upgraded off-road suspension system plus huge off-road tires.

Indeed the Bronco is the return of an iconic name-plate and HPE have only increased its appeal and exclusivity. For the money you are getting a supercar for all seasons plus a bona-fide rock-star status that only sweetens the deal. 

Styling wise while the Bronco in itself is not short on visual theatre, HPE has added a custom

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AUTOMOBILES

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JETS

PEGASUS VERTICAL BUSINESS JET THE SKY IS THE LIMIT | BY SOMNATH CHATTERJEE

e

VTOL stands for an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft which promises to alter the conventional aviation yardsticks. Pegasus wants to combine that and disrupt the business jet market. Unlike traditional business jets or helicopters, the Pegasus Vertical Business Jet promises to provide a greener and a far more convenient alternative. Being able to take off and land vertically gives it the flexibility that a business jet/helicopter owner craves for. You can pretty much land anywhere (a rooftop, a yacht, or a helipad) plus not only that as it will have four times the range of a helicopter. Pegasus terms it as the “first aircraft to provide business jet performance coupled with helicopter convenience�. It is also claimed that its performance would be better than helicopters, piston engine planes and any of the tilt-rotor VTOL aircraft currently on market as the range is an impressive 4400km

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from runway take-off (or 2124km in VTOL) with a 45 minutes reserve. The VBJ also has a cruising speed of 609 Kilometers per hour at 35,000 feet. It uses twin double ducted fans and four lift fan units. However for business jet owners the issue of range or weight will come into focus as electric poses those challenges. The VBJ though overcomes that with a pair of turbo-shaft engines and a maximum fuel capacity of 2,040 kg. Compared to conventional business jets, you save a lot of fuel as you take off and land via the fans in the wings. There are four of them which provide the thrust and the whole process is streamlined with a proprietary system in place requires less pilot training than a conventional aircraft. Unlike helicopters, there is a much quieter cabin for the passengers and the pilot also. It will have the ability to accommodate seven passengers with a luxurious cabinalbeit with a futuristic design theme.


JETS

Recently the company has performed a hover test with a prototype to see the complex transitions. The South African based Pegasus Universal Aerospace will continue to test more and already has its South African patents granted plus approved EU and US patents. Pricing and exact launch timing is unclear but the company is hoping for the final VBJ certified for use around 2025 which is quite early. Lead time for ordering is 12-18 months from FAA certification. The key points here are the pricing factor and getting certification as in concept this is indeed more appealing as with less noise than helicopters plus more space along with the ability to land virtually anywhere; the scope for the VBJ is indeed huge with the sky being the limit. eVTOL concept can also revolutionize consumer travel in the future and many big companies are heavily investing in this space with the first consumer air-taxi being a probable reality. However before that the business jet sector is pretty much ripe for a disruptor like Pegasus.ď ľ

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TIMEPIECES

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MEN WATCHES WE LOVE

|4|

|5|

|6|

| 1 | Jaeger-LeCoultre’ Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Moon. | 2 | Rolex First Submariner 1953 | 3 | BlancPain Villeret Extraplate Boutique Edition. | 4 | Vitae Elmington Midnight x Gold 44m. | 5 | Omega - gold Speedmaster. | 6 | IW Big Pilot Watch.

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FASHION

Safari Essentials

How to look and feel stylish | BY HELÉNE RAMACKERS

For many people, going on safari is the ultimate in experiencing what the wild is all about, and a bucket list item for plenty. Looking and feeling stylish on safari is all about what you wear without feeling that you have to ‘blend in’. Upscale Living magazine sourced the most exquisite products that are a must-have on your next safari adventure.

KAREN JACKET D&B EXPLORER COLLECTION In a nod to explorer Karen Blixen and Out Of Africa maven, D&B Explorer Collection’s Karen Jacket is superbly created in linen, with an asymmetrical front zip and two front pockets at the hips that are both off center. Keeping you cool while looking incredibly elegant, the jacket comes in blue mist, wind chime or natural. https://greatplainsconservation. com/safariboutique/product/ karen-jacket/

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FASHION

LEOPARD LAPIS ARDMORE CERAMICS BEVERLY RIDING PANTS D&B EXPLORER COLLECTION These comfortable and fashionable ladies stretch fitted pants with stitching detail on the knees come with slanted front zip pockets. The Jodhpur style with waistband and belt loops ensure that the Beverly Riding Pants is a trendy part of your safari wardrobe and will easily compliment any other color you choose to wear. https://greatplainsconservation.com/safariboutique/product/the-beverly-riding-pants/

This beautiful leopard ceramic amulet was created by Qiniso Mungwe and painted by Zinhle Nene. Set with silver and a carved Lapis flower and 26 diamonds on striking lapis beads, this necklace will not only become a talking point, it will complete any safari ensemble. https://www.ardmore-design.com/collections/ jewelry/products/leopard-lapis

FACE MASKS ARDMORE DESIGN Incredibly stylish and fashionable, these masks will still be worn long after mask-wearing isn’t mandatory anymore. Beautifully designed and made in South Africa, these exquisite masks have graced New York Fashion Week and are a wonderful accessory to any outfit. Proceeds from the sale of every mask will go to the Midlands Food Bank, a community initiative close to Ardmore Studio and infused with hope and possibilities. https://www.ardmore-design.com/collections/face-masks 27 | UPSCALE LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2020


FASHION

SWAROVSKI CL COMPANION NOMAD SWAROVSKI See the world with new eyes through the Swarovski CL Companion Nomad, handcrafted in Austria, these are more than just binoculars. With their stunning optics, outstanding ergonomics and finest vegetable tanned leather armoring, they are a statement of pure elegance that appeals to all the senses. This premium product comes with a leather bag, which makes it a stylish and smart-looking accessory. https://www.swarovskioptik.com/int/en/outdoor/ products/binoculars/cl/cl-companion-nomad

SAFARI HAT THE JOINERY The Joinery’s Future Felt™ Safari Hat is made from recycled plastic bottles, produced in collaboration with Cape Town milliner, Crystal Birch. Keeping you shielded from the African sun, this eye-catching hat is a crucial component of your wardrobe when going on safari and comes in charcoal felt with tan leather trim. www.thejoinery.co.za

THE DANTÉ CAROL BOUWER BAGS Conceptualized and designed with her son in mind, Carol Bouwer is immensely proud of The Danté. “This bag is a tribute to Danté Bouwer,”, says Carol, “a Netherlands South African citizen of the world. It’s a bag for those who love to travel the world and connect with likeminded individuals who are inclusive and adventure driven.” Ensuring the highest standards of design with conservation adherence at all times, Carol Bouwer bags form an integral part of a stylish wardrobe. www.carolbouwerbags.com

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PROFILE

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PROFILE

ELPPIN

MAGNETS OF ATTENTION | BY ISABELLA YAN

W

omen empowerment is a hot topic for Carina Hardy of Elppin, a visual artist and jewelry designer who puts the breast at the forefront of her work. Elppin (“nipple” spelled backward) is breast-inspired jewelry which arouses attention and creates impact. Elppin’s line of subversive jewelry is made from hammered sterling silver and 22k gold plated brass that can be fastened to your shirt or bra using magnets. At only 24 years old, this emerging talent has a defiant vision to shift and dissolve outdated perceptions surrounding breasts. With an eye-shaped nipple motif, Hardy challenges the patriarchal gaze, censorship, concealment and repression. Hardy is based between the tropics of Bali and New York. Every piece is handmade in Bali by local artisans from start to finish. Can you give me some background into your journey before launching Elppin? I grew up in Bali, back when many village women were topless, and volunteered as a doula at the local free natural birth clinic throughout my teens. This experience really shaped how I understand women, mothers and childbirth, and the connection to breasts as a natural life source. Throughout university, I made art inspired by breasts; from plaster casting women’s chests to building enormous inflatable structures in the shape of breasts.

vested in jewelry could be reclaimed for and by women. The whole idea for Elppin really challenges the patriarchal world of jewelry as we know it in it’s adorational adornment of the breast. What is women empowerment to you? What do you want women to feel when they wear your pieces? Empowered women have agency and feel that power, in themselves, in their bodies, their actions, and reflected in the world. I want people wearing Elppin to feel like they are part of a movement that uplifts. Everyone has a story about breasts, so everyone has at least one breast story. I want to help create a space that affirms positive relationships with our bodies so people can share these breast stories. Through sharing, I believe we can continue to deconstruct the myths that make breasts taboo and engage in nuanced conversations to unpack our conditioned ideas about, and relationship to breasts and bodies. That’s why Breast Stories are an integral element of the Elppin project.

How did the idea to start a jewelry line paying tribute to the breast come about?

Like many other spheres, the gems and jewelry industry has largely been seen as a “man’s world,” where women have had to overcome significant barriers in working in this sector. Are you able to shed some light on how you think the gems and jewelry world may readdress this gender imbalance? And in particular with Elppin?

The idea was ignited during a political and artistic awakening at university that really got me thinking about breasts and my desire to subvert patriarchal power structures associated with women’s sexualization.

The gems and jewelry industry has already had to adapt to the market forces of the economically empowered woman, but the industry cannot rely solely on the market to change its systemic workings.

My best friend in Bali has defiantly perky nipples. She dislikes bras but loathes the endless gaze of braless breasts. So we shielded her nipples with a protective evil eye to reflect the gaze and empower her by making Elppin.

Most industries are male dominated. No movement towards gender equality will survive if it pretends it exists in a bubble and acts based on that lie. Changes that occur in any industry are always a part of a larger effort to combat gender inequality, but that doesn’t mean that those in the gems and jewelry industry can’t lead the way! Fighting patriarchy isn’t just negative in the philosophical sense, but positive.

I was inspired to make jewelry that both adorns the breast and armors against the patriarchal gaze by calling attention to a part of the body which is otherwise covered and obscured. I was interested in how the power

We must create ways to include women, not by limiting 31 | UPSCALE LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2020


PROFILE

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PROFILE

men’s access, but by increasing women’s and intersectional access. This is a nice thing to say, but anyone who’s worked on social justice initiatives knows that those who are disenfranchised can’t wait for their guardians to free them, they must free themselves. While technology certainly has many adverse effects, it also has the potential to completely disrupt patriarchal industries by cutting out the various middle MEN. The internet allows consumers to directly access your jewelry company creating a space for women to come forward in a way that the brick and mortar based jewelry industry had previously prevented. Women are buying themselves jewelry, often online. Businesses that do not adapt to the changing world and make way for women to engage in this predominantly male space will be called out and/or simply left behind. To me, this means that now more than ever it’s the time for women designed and owned jewelry brands. Who/what inspires you as a visual artist and jeweler? I studied Art History at university and feel constantly reinvigorated and inspired by: Louise Bourgeois, Ana Mendieta, Sally Hewett, Alexander Calder, pre-Columbian gold jewelry, predynastic bird deity figurines, Woman of Willendorf and Cycladic goddess statues. Each of these artists/artifacts highlight women’s bodies in a way that resonates with me, even through the varied mediums of stone, drawing, embroidery, earth, metal and of course gold. Your work epitomizes the intersection between art and jewelry. Could you tell us more about your installation projects and how this informs your jewelry? Back to the Breast, (2017) is an exploration of the breast at a large scale and in public space. It is a temporary, interactive inflatable exhibit that invites people into a space without hard lines, that is instead soft and fleshy, inside of a breast. It’s made from an experimental custom fabric, organic cotton coated in natural latex, which will biodegrade. I’m planning to compost it back into Mother Earth. This project was pivotal in the development of Elppin. The nipples of the installation were literally censored from the original design by male engineers. Naturally the nipple would become the epicenter of my continuing projects. What’s so wonderful is that the intersection between art and jewelry is constantly changing, drawing from and being inspired dialectically, mutually dancing with and informing each other. For me, the focal point of this intersection is a reverence for beauty that both transcends and fuses these disciplines; this relationship isn’t always smooth, it’s sometimes antagonistic. This is where the magic is, where my passion comes alive.

the spinning nipple pendant, really excites me. I love the treatment of different metals and feel like there is so much to explore with silver and gold first, but am extremely excited to start working with stones, very soon. What is your favorite gemstone? I have to admit that I’ve always been entranced by pebbles, for their uniqueness and imperfectness, especially blue sapphires, spinels and rough yellow diamonds. What has been the most important piece of career advice you’ve been given? It sounds banal, but don’t be afraid to make mistakes. With this in mind, what advice do you have for females starting out in the industry? First bit of advice: work really hard. Do it yourself, but don’t be afraid to make yourself vulnerable. If you don’t know how, ask questions of mentors, other people in business, and craftsmen with age-old knowledge. Chances are someone else has been in a similar position. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but riff on it. The internet is the place to go; how to take photos of jewelry, how does costing work, what about accounting? Check everything, then check again! Making this a habit will make the roller-coaster ride of jewelry (and life), just a tiny bit smoother, or at least then you’ll expect a few more of the potholes along the ride. You don’t know it all and that’s okay. Don’t get too fixated or you’ll miss the way the afternoon light catches on your creations. Back to the Breast project installation view with Bali mountains.

Coming from a family dynasty of jeweler, how does your vision and practice differ from them? Believe me, I never intended to follow my family legacy into jewelry, it’s something that started out as a conceptual design project about the breast and turned into a line of ornamental pieces of armor and adornment. I’ve been deeply influenced by their value of beauty and their commitment to working with Bali’s master craftsmen. Much like the master jewelers that they work with, they are tirelessly devoted to beauty and the majesty of earth’s material, hand crafted by people. What are you working on now? Will you be developing more wearable art pieces using gemstones? We are dreaming up rings, hair barrettes, cuff links and more. I am very tactile, so jewelry objects that have a mechanical moving element, like 33 | UPSCALE LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2020


PROFILE

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PROFILE

A New Chapter for The Langham, London as Renowned Hotelier Doris Greif is named Managing Director

| BY FELICITY CARTER

The Langham, London first opened its doors in 1865 as Europe’s first ‘Grand Hotel’, with its prime, central London location sitting just at the top of Regent Street, along with style in abundance.

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fter an extensive transformation in 2009 this elegant hotel not only offers spacious and luxurious guestrooms and suites, but also impeccable service. And excitingly, renowned hotelier Doris Greif has been brought into the fold to see the hotel, as she has been named The Langham, London’s Managing Director and Regional Vice President of Operations Europe & Middle East for Langham Hospitality Group. “We are thrilled that Doris is joining the company to lead our flagship hotel in London and to continue its success. She has a formidable reputation in achieving service excellence, innovation, and development and I am confident that she will take the hotel and The Langham brand to new heights.” Bob van den Oord, Chief Operating Officer, Langham Hospitality Group. Undoubtedly, The Langham, London is known for striking that enviable balance between modern sophistication and timeless glamour, being globally recognized for its exceptional intuitive service (nothing is too much trouble for the attentive staff), and contemporary art collections throughout the space. Then there’s the award-winning culinary expertise in the form of chic bars and restaurants including the infamous Palm Court, Artesian Bar, Roux at The Landau restaurant, and The Wigmore, all overseen by the icon himself, Michel Roux Jr. If that wasn’t enough you can pick up some insider knowledge thanks to Sauce by The Langham, the first expert-led cookery school that can be found in a central-London luxury hotel. For those who want to unwind the Chuan Spa Body + Soul provides a little haven away from the hustle and bustle of the city and is London’s first luxury hotel spa to incorporate the ancient principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine into its signature treatments and ambiance. Wellness is complete with a huge swimming pool and a state of the art gym.

to The Langham, where she has previously overseen the rebranding of Jumeirah Beach Club Resort & Spa, repositioned Jumeirah Emirates Towers as the number one corporate hotel in the UAE and Middle East. Now, in the next chapter of her career, and The Langham’s, she will lead the team to uphold the hotels reputation and position as one of the very best hotels in London. In tandem, she will also support the group to grow the Langham brand with new acquisitions and developments throughout Europe and the Middle East. Tell us about your experience and previous roles, and your journey to The Langham? The the most significant portion of my career has been in the Middle East where I spent 19 years in senior leadership roles for Jumeirah. My last role for the group as Senior Vice President Operations – MEASA, based in Dubai. With Jumeirah, I was fortunate enough to be responsible for a number of exciting projects for the brand including rebranding the Jumeirah Beach Club Resort & Spa, repositioning Jumeirah Emirates Towers as the number one corporate hotel in the UAE and Middle East and open Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, winning the World Travel Awards ‘World’s Leading New Hotel’ award; all achievements I am very proud of. I was born in Germany and actually arrived in London from Munich having spent some precious time with my family before taking up this position with Langham Hospitality Group. You’ve moved from Dubai to London, how does the hotel landscape differ between the two regions? London is definitely a bucket list must! There are many similarities between Dubai and London, both are multicultural, highly competitive and have an incredible food and beverage scene. The major difference is the weather, I have had to switch sandals for wellington boots! What’s been your career highlight, or proudest achievement to date? Is there anything to tick off the career bucket list?

Welcoming Doris Greif as Managing Director and Regional Vice President of Operations Europe & Middle East for Langham Hospitality Group, she succeeds Bob van den Oord who was promoted to Chief Operations Officer (COO) based at the corporate office in Hong Kong.

In August 2000 I was appointed as the first female GM in the Middle East at Jumeirah Beach Club, Dubai. This is definitely one of my proudest achievements and gave me the inspiration to mentor other young female colleagues, to assist with their success in the industry, as my career continued to develop.

Known within the hospitality field, Greif brings 19 years of experience

Opening the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi in 2011 will 35 | UPSCALE LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2020


PROFILE

always be a very fond memory. After years of planning, getting to open the hotel with 382 guestrooms and suites, 199 fully serviced residences and 12 restaurants, bars and lounges was a huge achievement. With one of the largest conference centers in Abu Dhabi, this property had a major impact on the hotel industry in the Middle East and continues to do so today. What is it about the hospitality industry that you love? It’s a people business, the contact I have with guests and colleagues alike (all socially distanced now – of course!) make this industry and my role particularly special. Every day is different and as someone who loves being amongst people and dislikes routine, this is the dream job. The hotel industry itself is also amongst the most competitive and challenging, new hotels pop up constantly with exciting, innovative concepts and you can’t 36 | UPSCALE LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2020

relax for a minute, you have to constantly evolve or else you’re quickly left behind! What do your new roles as Managing Director and Regional Vice President of Operations Europe & Middle East entail? My main priority will be to lead the team at this iconic property through what is the most challenging period in my lifetime. The Langham, London has weathered many tough times, from Spanish Flu to World Wars and now more than ever, our colleagues need strong leadership and direction to believe that much better times will come again. I will also focus on quality and service to make sure that the hotel remains one of the very best in the city whilst simultaneously supporting the group to grow the brand with new acquisitions and developments in Europe and the Middle East.


PROFILE

Can you tell us about The Langham London and it’s USP? The Langham, London was Europe’s first ‘Grand Hotel’ and turned 155 this summer. When we opened we became well known for our innovative approach, being the first hotel with hydraulic lifts, air conditioning and electric lights. This continues to be reflected in what we do today, with our cookery school, Sauce by The Langham which opened in 2019, our bar Artesian being top 50 in the world and being awarded the most sustainable hotel in Europe 2019/20. Who is The Langham customer? What I love most about The Langham, London is that our clientele is incredibly diverse. From those looking for a weekend getaway in the UK, to our American guests visiting for summer holidays in London, we have people visiting from all corners of the globe. How will you ensure the consistency of brand across regions? 37 | UPSCALE LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2020


PROFILE

We are fortunate that Langham Hospitality Group encompasses a family of 22 distinctive hotels under The Langham Hotels and Resorts and Cordis Hotels brands. Our Head Office is based in Hong Kong and works collaboratively with all regions to implement brand standards and operating guidelines that give great consideration for local and regional differences. This approach helps to ensure consistency across the brand but very much keeps the guest experience at the heart of everything, appreciating that what works well in one geographical area will not always transfer quite as well to another. What’s in store for the future of The Langham and how do you envision the brand growing? Langham Hospitality Group has more than 30 projects currently either confirmed or in a developed stage of negotiation from Asia, Europe and North America to the Middle East. The Group actually takes its name from this very hotel, The Langham here in London which was widely recognized as Europe’s first Grand Hotel when it first opened in 1865 and it’s values represented sophisticated and gracious hospitality, a philosophy that reflects elegance in design, innovation in hospitality, sincere service and captivation of the senses across all properties today.

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Currently, the group has an impressive global footprint in prime locations. Historical properties range from here in London to The Langham, Boston dating back to 1922 when it was the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and the legendary The Huntington Hotel from 1911, now The Langham, Pasadena. Fifth Avenue’s The Langham, New York and the Mies van der Rohe-designed The Langham, Chicago complete the USA portfolio. In September, marking our expansion into Europe, we opened The Langham, Nymphenburg Residence, Munich a one key, three story exclusive private residence located within the stately 490-acre imperial estate of Nymphenburg Palace, just a 15-minute drive from the Munich city center. Drawing on the brand’s distinctive British heritage from the opening of the flagship hotel in London in 1865, The Langham continues the legacy in delivering exceptional experiences in London, New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hefei, Haikou, Ningbo, Haining and Xiamen. Address: The Langham, London, 1C Portland Pl, Marylebone, London W1B 1JA Telephone: 020 7636 1000 Website: www.langhamhotels.com


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DECOR

DECK THE HALLS

| BY HELÉNE RAMACKERS

Looking for inspiration to decorate your home and Christmas tree? Upscale Living magazine has rounded up the most eye-catching festive décor from hotels around the world. 43 | UPSCALE LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2020


DECOR

CAMERON HIGHLANDS RESORT, MALAYSIA Cameron Highlands was named after William Cameron, a British Government surveyor who discovered it in 1885 on a mapping expedition but failed to mark his discovery. It was not until 1925 that Sir George Maxwell recorded Cameron’s discovery and developed it as a hill station attracting British colonials and expatriates, including British planters who realized the potential of its fertile mountain slopes for growing tea. Promising splendor, romance and nostalgia, the interiors hark back to its grand colonial heritage with tall French doors,

timber-beamed ceilings and plantation shutters combined with the colors and textures of Jim Thompson’s famed Asian silks. This is mirrored in the friendly service, where traditional English charm merges seamlessly with discreet Asian hospitality. Today, tea plantations, strawberry farms, and glowing evening sunsets serve as the backdrop for the luxurious Cameron Highlands Resort, a haven for travelers who adore romance, seclusion, and nostalgia from a grand colonial

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past. The boutique hotel rests on the largest hill retreat in Malaysia and is surrounded by lush greenery, providing amazing views of the rolling hills. Each year during the holidays, the property decorates to the nines, hosting a special Christmas tree lighting complete with festive decorations throughout the property. https://www.cameronhighlandsresort.com/ index.html


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D’ANGLETERRE, DENMARK Established in 1755, the 5-star hotel d’Angleterre is an icon and a historic landmark in Copenhagen and Denmark and it is rated as one of the best hotels in Copenhagen and indeed Northern Europe. Celebrated for its elegance, luxury and style, hotel d’Angleterre embodies the perfect balance between the stately Victorian architecture of the historic building and the graceful simplicity of contemporary Nordic design. The end result is a uniquely elegant combination of rich materials, surfaces, shapes and tones.

The d’Angleterre has lit up Copenhagen’s central Kongens Nytorv (King’s Square) since its opening (where Hans Christian Andersen himself celebrated Christmas in 1865), with a lavish Christmas being a centuries-old tradition. Typically, the facade of the d’Angleterre is illuminated with thousands of lights and festooned with elaborate themed decorations. And the hotel’s grand lobby, drawing room and public spaces are all decked out for the holidays by the hotel’s resident Creative Director Alan Evensen, and guests are treated to the d’An-

gleterre’s signature take on traditional Danish glogg (a festive mix of spices, white port, white rum, apple juice and sugar, all topped off with champagne). https://www.dangleterre.com/

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DECOR

HOTEL ADLON KEMPINSKI, GERMANY A living legend in the very heart of Berlin, the Hotel Adlon Kempinski proudly offers an extensive range of five-star services to ensure your visit to Berlin is a trip to remember, from incredible city tours to luxury limousine and concierge services, they will go the extra mile to meet every one of your expectations. Guests can choose to stay in one of the many elegant guest rooms, or pick from 13 different suite types, all with beautiful views of Berlin.

Germany’s contemporary-cool capital happens to be one of Europe’s most festive locations during the holiday season, with plenty of Christmas markets, events and holiday cheer. For travelers looking to immerse themselves in Berlin’s magical holiday atmosphere, the iconic Hotel Adlon Kempinski, located opposite the Brandenburg Gate, is the perfect home base. Offering a legendary history, opulent furnishings and décor, as well as impeccable service, the hotel boasts a magnificent spa and

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a wellness area that is a perfect place to relax after a day of sightseeing. The iconic hotel offers festive holiday decorations and trees throughout the hotel (including a tree in the Presidential Suite), and a special holiday menu including dishes such as duck bolognese and baked apple tiramisu. https://www.kempinski.com/en/berlin/hotel-adlon/


DECOR

LOIRE VALLEY CHATEAUX, FRANCE December in the Loire Valley is a magical time of year, as the iconic chateaux dotted around the region are all lit up with incredible Christmas decorations, with grandiose decor on display both outside and inside these historic castles. Typically, the region celebrates “Christmas in the Land of Chateaux” from early December to January, with décor on display for visitors to see throughout this festive period. While this year’s celebrations will be different, visitors can look forward to visiting these majestic chateaux next year. Typically, Chateau de Chenonceau

(the iconic chateau built overwater), features dazzling Christmas trees and grandiose floral displays, thanks to its onsite floral workshop. Château Royal d’Amboise is gearing up to decorate for a white Christmas, with snow and snowmen adorning the chateau and on display in the rooms. At the iconic Chateau de Chambord, guests can experience the crackling fires, ornate decor, a massive decorated Christmas tree that stands tall through the famous double helix staircase,

and hundreds of illuminated Christmas trees lining the gardens. Chateau de Cheverny’s Christmas decorations take over the gardens and each room of the chateau, with lights illuminated on the façade of the château at night. They intend to decorate the chateau with the theme of “sweets,” for which giant desserts would be on display, from macaron towers to gingerbread houses. https://www.loirevalley-france.co.uk/loire-chateaux

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DECOR

ROYAL CHAMPAGNE HOTEL & SPA, FRANCE The fireplaces are lit, the trees are beautifully decorated, and the smell of gingerbread has begun to fill the air. Opened in the summer of 2018, the award-winning Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa is the Champagne region’s first contemporary-designed five-star hotel, set in the hills above the area’s most famous towns, Épernay and Reims, of Dom Pérignon fame. A less obvious (and all the more charming) place to spend the holidays, Christmas at the hotel equals family time by roaring fireplaces, 150

illuminated fir trees and a mouth- watering repertoire of dining experiences that are sure to delight. Staying for two nights or more, guests will check-in to a luxurious Champagne-inspired Junior Suite with vineyard views and be greeted with some of the region’s finest bubbles to start their festive break in style. Catering to all traditions, guests can enjoy delicious authentic Christmas meals and the sweet grand finale this

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year being a fragrant, fruity dessert inspired by the rich bounty of the region from award-winning Chef Patissier, Cédric Servela: a stunning gourmet yule log designed to look like a shower of shooting stars falling onto the Champagne vineyards that surround the hotel. www.royalchampagne.com


DECOR

THE LANESBOROUGH, LONDON Home to 93 luxurious suites and bedrooms, Michel-starred Céleste restaurant, the vibrant Library Bar and Garden Room and magnificent Lanesborough Club & Spa, The Lanesborough is the quintessence of graceful London living. Located on the doorstep of Hyde Park and a short walk from Harrods, Harvey Nichols and London’s most exclusive shopping district; Sloane Street and Knightsbridge, this grand luxury mansion underwent an inspired renovation by the late famed interior designer Alberto Pinto.

Filling Londoners with Christmas hope and cheer, The Lanesborough once again delighted guests and onlookers with the unveiling of its beautiful festive display at its grand entrance. Created in partnership with London-based florist Dickinson & Doris, the festive installation features a majestic wreath above the entrance, complete with little crowns to match the hotel’s crest, while two twinkling Christmas trees stand guard either side of the hotel’s iconic doors. This softly sparkling Christmas décor is full of merriment, transforming the hotel into

an enchanted mansion each year. With plenty of seasonal celebrations in store to see out 2020 in style, The Lanesborough offers a variety of festive-filled experiences, like Festive Shop & Stay, Christmas in Residence, New Year’s Eve in Residence and their delightful Festive Dining. https://www.oetkercollection.com/hotels/ the-lanesborough/

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ARCHITECTURE

AAMER ARCHITECTS

Sculpting Spaces of Beauty + Functionality | BY ANA MARIA

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f you’re used to traditional architectural forms, you might first find designs by Aamer Architects too unconventional. But if you consider them from the perspective of context and respect for nature, you may discover the true harmony of these unexpected curves and architectural gymnastics. The firm’s works show that creative freedom and revision of typical guidelines can generate aesthetically appealing and functional building projects. The dedicated team of professionals has been demonstrating its commitment to excellence for more than 25 years, and this year Aamer confirmed its high status by becoming the winner of Luxury Lifestyle Awards in the category of The Best Luxury Architect and Interior Design Studio in Singapore. Aamer Architects is headed by acknowledged architect Aamer Taher, born in 1962 in Singapore. His professional career started in 1987 when he graduated from the National University of Singapore. In 1990 Mr. Taher completed a Master of Architecture degree at the Architectural Association in London and, after two years of practice, returned to Singapore. Here he established Aamer Architects, a small architectural firm aiming to reconcile beauty and functionality in design. Following the founder’s views, the firm considers design as a combination of factors including site, climate, culture, structure, services, and aesthetic. Backed by high-quality service and management support, these factors have to result in an unconventional architectural project and complete client satisfaction. Aamer Taher’s recognizable tropical architecture addresses light, shade, landscape with sculptural forms reflecting the Master’s subtle artistry. The cutting-edge boutique design firm Aamer Architects has received various awards in architecture and design many times throughout its existence and has also won the trust of numerous clients. The experts of Luxury Lifestyle Awards

strongly support this recognition, as each project of Mr. Taher and his team has its own unique and extremely remarkable features. For example, the first project by Aamer Architects, Telok Kurau House, features a captivating variety of shapes bursting with vivid yellow elements (representing children living in the house), and tendency towards freeing up the semi-detached house by separating the building block from the party wall. Another Aamer Taher’s work is Queen Astrid Park featuring eye-catching dark-stained panels with a chevron pattern on the façade and on the walls within the house, idyllic pool area, and greenery filling the space. The award-winning project of tropical house Branksome Road 60 designed to fit into a narrow bungalow plot and become a perfect family home. The skylights and courtyards allow the natural light and ventilation to penetrate the whole area of the house. Among the main materials are raw concrete and bamboo, forming dramatic lines and serving the functions of security and sunshade; the walls and ceilings in the basement are made of tropical hardwood and create good acoustics. Besides creating designs for luxury private homes, Aamer Architects has taken part in the development of architectural projects for villas, a school in the Maldives, 40-story development featuring office and residential units, and – one of the recent works – St John’s Home for Elderly Persons, a new comfortable Home with intimate spaces and conducive environments with lush greeneries. Every design project by Aamer Architects is unique due to the uniqueness of every setting and client’s requirements. But still, there is something constant in all works of Aamer Taher and his team. It is the desire to create beautiful and functional buildings and trying new ways and forms to fulfill it.

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About Luxury Lifestyle Awards Luxury Lifestyle Awards is a global award selecting, recognizing, celebrating, and promoting the best luxury goods and services all over the world. The goal of the company is to connect people with the best of luxury. LLA has evaluated more than 10 000 various goods and services in 400 categories from 60 countries and analyzed the results to give you a TOP list of the best of the best in the world. Such world-renowned brands as Chanel, Dom Perignon, and Ferrari were proudly named winners. The victory brings companies status and recognition, global promotion, and exposure to an entirely new market of customers. For more information, please visit: https:// luxurylifestyleawards.com/ Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LuxuryLifestyleAwards/ Join us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/luxurylifestyleawards/


ARCHITECTURE

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TRAVEL

Incomparable Luxury at

TSWALU | BY HELÉNE RAMACKERS PHOTOS BY TSWALU AND BY HELÉNE RAMACKERS

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TRAVEL

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TRAVEL

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TRAVEL

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familiar feeling washes over me as Fireblade Aviation’s Pilatus PC-12 makes it descent into the vast landscape that is home to one of the most exceptional lodges in South Africa. My daughter gazes out the window and a silent gasp escapes her throat when the contrasting panoramas come into view. This is Tswalu in the southern Kalahari, where incomparable luxury awaits you around every corner. Following an extensive 5-month refurbishment of The Motse by Johannesburg-based company Savile Row in 2019, the opportunity presented itself to witness first-hand what has changed since my visit in 2018. As is customary, a warm welcome is bestowed upon guests when collected at the airstrip by their guide and tracker. Guests can expect a total private experience when it comes to their safaris and we are greeted by field guide Kerry Lee Roberg and tracker Siphiwe Mandleni, better known as Sim, who drive us to The Motse. The entry to The Motse has received a wonderful facelift, with a new entrance door and a leadwood covered walkway. Stepping into the foyer, guests are handed cool refresher towels, or warm ones in winter. The inviting sofas in the lounge area are covered in earthy tones with smidgens of color. We are ushered through to the deck for lunch where the watering hole is a hive of activity. Meals at Tswalu are exquisitely prepared with the greatest of care by a team of chefs, overseen by Executive Chef Marnus Scholly. With his background as a chef working at luxury bush lodges and upmarket restaurants, Marnus was appointed by Michelin star chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen to head up the highly anticipated Klein JAN, scheduled to open in the first half of 2021. Part farmhouse part architectural masterpiece, diners are in for an absolute treat when it comes to the cuisine being served. “We will be focusing on specific areas of produce, working closely with local farmers,” says Marnus. “Understanding the challenges of the Kalahari region, our offerings will be tailored to the guests’ needs while delivering a world class experience. Not only will it be a taste sensation with dishes from Jan Hendrik’s childhood, the visual experience in this special and remote part of the Kalahari is sure to take any diner’s breath away.” You will never have dinner in the same place if the weather plays along. During the summer months, the most amazing electric storm might put a spanner in the works, but the experience of being caught in the rain is something you will remember with fondness for a long time. We were treated to a dune dinner with the most magnificent sunset when the lighting started showing off in the distance. Thunder soon followed, joined by the most sublime blessing of rain. What a joyous occasion to be part of the life-giving downpour that is so essential here. 55 | UPSCALE LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2020


TRAVEL

I’m excited to see the room renovations as I can only imagine it will be extraordinary. The redesign of the legaes (suites) are phenomenal. In the outside area, the new sala roof with leadwood support columns positioned behind the drypack stone screen wall ensures the ultimate in privacy. The pigmented screed floor is in perfect contrast with the red Kalahari earth. Inside our suite, my eyes are immediately drawn to the intricate sketch on the roof of the canopy over the bed. It is a map, depicting the entire Tswalu property, so instead of counting sheep if you cannot sleep, you can familiarize yourself with the different areas of interest in the reserve. Most pieces are custom-made by Savile Row, and these include the lights next to the bed, that have an antiqued brass finish pipe, danish cord binding, hardwood ‘y’ shape light arm end, finished off with a cast opal resin shade. The bathroom has a deep soaking tub, a separate toilet cubicle and the most striking wall in the shower, made to look like the scales of a pangolin. Double vanities contain stylish basins and the fragrant Vastness products are ideal for cleansing purposes. The lights in the bathroom are 56 | UPSCALE LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2020

reminiscent of weaver nests. On those balmy summer nights, the option is to shower outside by stepping out of your bathroom into your suite’s little garden with the twinkling stars as your only illumination and the encircling walls guaranteeing your privacy. “The new spaces resonate with Tswalu’s vision to provide an exciting and inspirational experience to the high-end global luxury travel market”, explains Tswalu spokesman Russel Binks. “We have created a camp that echoes the vision in every aspect of its offering. Our aim was to ensure that The Motse meets the highest standards in comfort, service, aesthetics and design, and I believe we have achieved this.” Adds Adrian Davidson of Savile Row architects and designers: “The one word that encapsulates the approach to the project is empathy; empathy to place, empathy to the guest experience, empathy to the environment. Our challenge was, how do we retain what guests love about The Motse and build on that to make the experience all the more exceptional? We were clear that the end result had to evoke a mood of intimacy, quiet and authenticity; a home from home atmosphere, raw yet refined, precise but handmade, rough yet polished – a life-enriching experiential outcome.”


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What would a visit to Tswalu be without going on a game drive? Part of the experience are early morning and late afternoon game drives and we thoroughly enjoy what is on offer. On our first evening, we go in search of cheetah cubs and what a wonderful surprise to find them in a state of relaxation despite the fact that mom had left the three of them all alone. We stay with them for a good two hours until after sunset when they start getting active. At eight weeks old, they still sport the adorable mantle that acts as camouflage to ward off any danger. On our second morning, we are intent on finding the rumored lion cubs of the southern pride, which Kerry Lee has heard about but hasn’t had the opportunity to see. After rain the previous night, we are confident that the ‘blank canvas’ would yield their footprints, making things easier for Sim. Being a master tracker, he walks a good few miles and eventually finds a lioness. We hear what can only be cub sounds but mom has hidden them inside a dense bush. After waiting a while, we get our first glimpse – three tiny 8-week old cubs nursing from mom. What an incredible sight and what makes it even more special is that they are the youngest cubs that Kerry Lee has ever seen.

A fundamental aspect at Tswalu is their conservation program, which is an ambitious long-term work-in progress, informed by scientific research and supported by a low-impact, high-value model of eco-tourism. Key conservation goals include the restoration of the natural environment, the reintroduction and protection of biological diversity, and maintenance of the Kalahari’s characteristic ecological processes. Guests choosing to stay at Tswalu greatly contribute to the sustainability of the commitment to preserve the southern Kalahari’s biodiversity for future generations. It is impossible not to appreciate all that is on offer at Tswalu. With a variety of activities suited to everyone, you will never be bored. The perfect antidote from the hustle and bustle for weary families, Tswalu is the ideal place to recharge while being esconded in this paradisiacal part of South Africa. Views expressed are the author’s own. Thank you to Gabi Sappok from Imagine PR for arranging our stay and to everyone at Tswalu for their incredible hospitality.

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SPECTACULAR VIEWS AT MEXICO‘S

Casa Malca Tulum | BY MICHELLE FARINA

L

ocated in the middle of the ecological reserve of the Riviera Maya sits a property like no other. The Mayans believed that Tulum was the center of the universe. Pablo Escobar, formerly known for the series “Narcos” was the original owner. Casa Malca was one of the many mansions of the notorious Colombian drug trafficker and today the hotel is considered one of most exclusive hotels in Tulum. Casa Malca overlooks the idyllic beaches of the state of Quintana Roo in the Yucatan a few kilometers away from the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.

fascinating locations on the property. The grounds are filled with a luscious dense rainforest jungle with meandering paths to the rooms and common areas connecting the guests with the pool, beach, bars and restaurants . Everywhere you turn is a feast for the eyes, dotted with picture perfect locations throughout the property. From the beach beds to the hammocks, swinging couches and extravagant chairs, makes it challenging to decide where to relax. There are spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea and Casa Malcas beautifully kept gardens from all guest rooms.

Ten years later the property was purchased by art collector Lio Malca, one of the most influential gallery owners in New York. The property has since then expanded and offers 42 suites and a panoramic terrace to observe the jungle and ocean. The main house and guest rooms were built by local craftsmen and artisans using locally sourced materials. Upon entering the great wooden walls that enclose Casa Malca you are instantly transported to a magical wonderland with a picture perfect view of the ocean. Dramatic white lace curtains made of vintage Mexican wedding dresses showcase the entrance. The decor has an eclectic mix of industrial pieces, persian rugs and rustic contemporary furniture that create a bohemian charm.

The rooms are adorned with floor to ceiling windows, blackout drapes, couches for relaxing, double bathrooms and showers, electric curtains, and wireless charging docks for your phone. Luxurious robes are provided for your comfort along with opulent amenities. The key to your room has a secret kaleidoscope to look through, providing you another askew glimpse of the property. Proprietor Lio Malca has created an environment in the jungle that delights all of your senses. Lio Malca’s vast personal collection of contemporary art consisting of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Marco Brambilla, George Condo, Keith Haring and many more. You can view the art in the luxurious rooms as well as throughout the hotel.

Casa Malca is popular with the instagram crowd and bloggers come from all over to post pictures of the many

Highly attentive staff pampers your every whim. There are three restaurants, providing delicious options for everyone. 61 | UPSCALE LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2020


TRAVEL The staff is happy to serve you poolside or by the beach, so you never have to leave the beautiful scenery that surrounds you. There is a sushi restaurant providing great nigiri and rolls. Order from The Grill restaurant where everything is roasted over flaming fire. They flame grill everything from lobster to whole fish. All of the drinks we tried were delicious and inventive. Having your waiter deliver a signature drink pool or beach side in crystal glasses adds to the elegance that Casa Malca evokes. Breakfast is included and a treat in itself from mexican huevos rancheros to pancakes. You can sit in the eclectic restaurant or on the patio overlooking the ocean. The coffee was unforgettable. Another worthy mention would be the ribeye burger from Philosophy. The pool area is one of the many spots for memorable photos and the underground pool is a secret to be discovered. Shhhh. If you are looking for luxury property that delights your sensations in the heart of Tulum, Casa Malca is the place to be.ď ľ

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WHAT’S NEW “Bringing you the finest places around the world is what we love to do here at Upscale Living magazine. In keeping with this tradition, we are focusing on introducing you to new kids on the block or accommodation establishments with a re-looked lease on life. Grab your travel diary as you want to get to these places as soon as possible!”

| BY HELÉNE RAMACKERS

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CASA DI LANGA PIEDMONT, ITALY

Casa Di Langa, a new sustainable luxury hotel will open in Spring 2021 in the heart of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Overlooking more than a hundred acres of working vineyards and rolling hills, the 39-room 5-star hotel combines traditional Piedmontese design with sustainable practices thoughtfully threaded throughout the guest experience. Ingrained in every aspect of Casa di Langa is a deep respect for the natural world and its sustainable future. From a commitment to carbon neutrality to the use of 100% recycled water for irrigation, thermodynamic heating throughout, zero single-use plastic, PV cells and solar panels, the Casa di Langa staff is dedicated to creating a luxurious experience that cares for both their guests and the environment. This deep passion for sustainable practices can be seen in

every aspect of the design, construction and operation of the resort. “From our first visit to Piedmont, my wife and I were struck by the grandeur of the landscape, the unforgettable food and wine, and, most of all, the generosity of the people,” shares Kyle Krause, Chairman and CEO of the Krause Group. He adds, “For Casa di Langa, our goal has always been to create an eco-friendly space that reflects that warm spirit of the region in a way that is both elegant and accessible. With this hotel, I’m proud to have the opportunity to share the Piedmont we love so much with our friends and guests from all over the world.” Casa di Langa is inspired by traditional regional architecture and surrounded by Piedmont’s breathtaking views. The two Milan-based design teams GaS Studio overseeing the architecture and Parisotto + Formenton

Architetti (P+F) heading up the interior design, bring extensive experience in luxury residential, designer retail and high level hospitality projects. The design duo have created a property with refined Italian simplicity where the soft, muted colors of Casa di Langa’s natural environment are reflected in the property’s rich textiles and locally sourced materials. Using a sustainable approach to architecture and design, they draw inspiration from the hazelnut orchard, vegetable garden and the views of the vineyards to integrate these natural elements in their design. Installed throughout the property and grounds, the collection at Casa di Langa is an engaging selection of world-class fine art highlighting notable Italian and American artists. https://www.casadilanga.com/

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LITTLE KULALA

SOSSUSVLEI, NAMIBIA As a firm favorite of both Wilderness Safaris guests and travel partners alike, Little Kulala is situated in one of the best locations in the exclusive 27 000-hectare Kulala Wilderness Reserve – the only lodge in a private reserve with direct access to Sossusvlei’s magnificent red dunes. “It is this location, combined with the camp’s notable architecture and elegant accommodation, that our guests have come to love”, notes Alexandra Margull, Wilderness Safaris Namibia MD. “The new camp has a clean, modern and fresh twist, with even more space and comfort from which to explore its starkly beautiful surrounds. Little Kulala is all about celebrating the Namib, the oldest desert in the world, and not only bringing it alive, but showcasing its importance for our planet. Many of the camp’s new features focus on illustrating 66 | UPSCALE LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2020

the natural beauty the desert, not only reinterpreting the desert experience, but telling the remarkable story of a desert habitat restored. The rebuild focused on embracing the overall purpose of the area, with interiors reflecting the environment, in colors, textures and composition. It also gave us the opportunity to adapt and enhance the guest experience to celebrate the Namib’s geology, wildlife, natural beauty, space, amazing night skies, and other special features”, she adds. While maintaining the same light footprint, Little Kulala features an all-new 100% solar energy system. Its 11 desert suites have been expanded to offer better airflow, featuring a spacious deck, sala and plunge pool. Each room’s private rooftop area can now be utilized for sundowners, “African tapas” and other rooftop dinners, or stargazing. The room’s shaded sala has a roll-out bed for siestas

during the day or for sleep-outs under the stars. New walkways make it easier for guests to move between their rooms and the main area, built as close to the ground as possible without intruding on the dune environment. The cozy outdoor fire pit in front of camp is the perfect storytelling platform, with guides on standby to lead engaging conversations about the area’s geology and rehabilitation successes, and the classic sunken wine cellar offers a private dining option for those who desire a more intimate affair. The upstairs lounge area, complete with a photo hub and other interesting objects, offers a relaxing area for guests to learn more about the Namib Sand Sea and other interesting facts about its fascinating geology, fauna and flora. www.wilderness-safaris.com


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HENRY’S TOWNHOUSE MARYLEBONE, LONDON

A charming and sophisticated property has opened its doors in Marylebone. Henry’s Townhouse, Henry Austen’s former home is a new high-end, curious and charming 7-bedroom hotel, or exclusive use property, just minutes from Hyde Park and was once owned by Jane Austen’s brother Henry. It is widely thought that Jane’s visits to Henry in London were of great value, for it was through his support that her work was published. Henry’s has been a design collaboration between owners Jane and Steven Collins and the award-winning Russel Sage Studio, assisted Feix&Merlin Architects. This has culminated in an intelligent and glamorous re-imaging of the Regency period, taking inspiration from Henry and Eliza’s reported life at the house and as part of wider London society. The building itself comprises seven elegant and elaborately designed bedrooms, each with

its own unique narrative to tell. Much like novels on a shelf, they invite the guest to open them up, step in and become immersed in a rich visual story. The townhouse boasts an array of meticulously chosen color palettes, abundant fabrics and beautiful furnishings providing the most sumptuous luxurious feeling throughout. A huge amount of time and effort has been spent procuring unique antiques and original pieces from around the world. “We are thrilled to see our project and years of hard work finally come to life as a beautiful and captivating small hotel. Henry’s Townhouse will have a sense of occasion and will be sophisticated, yet fun, appealing to those looking for a lovely base to stay in the heart of the West End, as well as those wanting to hire the house exclusively for family and friends for a special occasion.” says Steven Collins, Owner of Henry’s.

Just as much attention has been placed in the common areas of the Townhouse, including a bespoke Pantry Kitchen with sharing table for breakfast, private dining and parties. This space cleverly converts into a fully equipped meeting room. Henry’s also boasts a small yet lavish carriage like cocktail ‘snug’, outside terrace for evening aperitifs and Jane Austen’s Reading Room perfect for afternoon drinks or some quiet relaxation. The property can either be taken on a room by room basis as a hotel or in its entirety as an exclusive home making it ideal for families, groups of friends or corporates looking for luxury, privacy and a central location. https://henrystownhouse.co.uk/

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PALAZZO AVINO RAVELLO, ITALY

Palazzo Avino has unveiled a new capsule Collection of suites and rooms designed by Cristina Celestino. Overlooking the Amalfi coastline, the dramatic hotel in Ravello is perched on the hills; a dream hotel inside a building from the 12th century with Celestino’s interiors involving some of the facility’s most important rooms and suites. The new collection includes the Belvedere suite featuring a terrace facing the sea and a private swimming pool. “The idea came by thinking about the essence of Palazzo Avino and its bond with Ravello and the Amalfi Coast” – Cristina Celestino says. “Perched on the steep cobblestone alleys, the hotel is like a pink mirage amidst terraces of olive and citrus trees. Hard to reach, it is a destination that proves to be even more extraordinary than expected, thanks to the breathtaking view of the sea and the horizon, glimpsed through the 68 | UPSCALE LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2020

lancet windows in the facades of the Palazzo. The concept takes its cue from the wonders of the Italian gardens of Ravello, and the odyssey of forgotten legends of the Tyrrhenian Sea.” The tools of the architect are custom furnishings and the use of color, texture and surfaces, on the boundary between earth and sea, classicism and orientalism, indoors and outdoors. The key element – since this is a hotel – is the bed: placed against a slightly concave wall that encloses it like a shell, it has a textile headboard that forms soft curves, with a cantilevered arrangement. The bed is lit by custom lamps resembling precious pearls on brass seashells. The furnishings are in wood, applied in all its guises – from canaletto walnut to colored briar. They are custom made, in a natural dialogue with the hotel’s fine antiques. The tops are in handmade ceramic glazed with a

craquelé effect in tones of ivory; other furnishings have been treated with a special paint for a mother-of pearl effect, creating iridescent surfaces. The sumptuous luxury is never ostentatious, always at the service of the welcoming spaces. The rainbow onyx used for the facings in the bathrooms of the suites leaves room for the geometric lines of white, pink and variegated terracotta of Giardino all’Italiana – a natural, tactile material, Mediterranean par excellence. The fabrics have been carefully selected: the patterns and graphics of the curtains coexist with the solid colors of natural, precious fibers. The carpets – custom designed and knotted by hand – feature monochrome geometries and oversized floral motifs. https://www.palazzoavino.com


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MORUKURU OWNERS HOUSE AND RIVER HOUSE MADIKWE, SOUTH AFRICA

Inspired by the growing need of guests to connect with loved ones, in a private exclusive environment, where they would feel like home away from home, the owners of Morukuru Family created a unique offering of three private villas in the magnificent, malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa. Fox Browne Creative was briefed to give Owners House and River House a refreshed and updated look. The existing houses were still in immaculate condition so no structural change to the existing buildings was needed. In Morukuru Owners House, mustard accents and pattern feature prominently in the choice of fabrics. A custommade mustard leather and bead chandelier, over the dining table makes a strong contrast against the existing stone fireplace and natural texture of the thatch roof.

Artefacts that were saved and re-purposed from the original house add a layer of warmth and reflect the owner’s love of African art. All original paintings were kept as a nod to the previous design, creating a sense of continuity, The outdoor deck was expanded including a comfortable built in firepit seat under an ancient Morukuru tree. This connects guests to the Marico River and encourages al fresco evenings around the fire. In the bedrooms the custom-made, hand woven, headboards are inspired by the traditional basket weave of the Tswana culture in the region. Their use of geometric pattern in all their design is carried through in the bold texture on the stained-glass panels in the new cabinetry. Hand blown glass bedside lamps were sourced from a young local artist.

reference the texture and pattern of the wild dog coats, while strong black steel accents give the bathroom a lighter more contemporary feel.

Bathrooms were given a complete overhaul for a lighter fresher look. Mottled marble vanities

https://morukuru.com/

At Morukuru River House, the color palette is inspired by the olive green of the ancient Morukuru trees and riverine forest. Green accents feature throughout the 3 bedroomed house. The same geometric patterns, inspired by the Tswana basket weave are referenced in the stained-glass cabinetry. The Artwork is a mix of new organic pieces and the owner’s original collection. The outdoor veranda at River House was enlarged with a new bigger pool to create spacious outdoor living for families with more comfortable outdoor furniture.

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THE MAYFAIR TOWNHOUSE MAYFAIR, LONDON

From the people who brought you the renowned Cliveden House and Chewton Glen, comes The Mayfair Townhouse, a high-end neighborhood hotel overlooking London’s Green Park. Curious, engaging, witty – The Mayfair Townhouse delivers the unexpected and redefines what it means to be a London hotel. Part of Iconic Luxury Hotels, this is the fifth hotel in the portfolio, with a promise to offer a new unexpected personality from what the brand is traditionally known for and bringing a fresh lifestyle product into one of London’s most distinguished neighborhoods. The Mayfair Townhouse is the characteristic ‘new kid on the block’ – a product that has never been experienced in Mayfair. A carefully stylish, imaginative home for the modern traveler - the essence of the new Townhouse invites discerning travelers who appreciate an intuitive, 70 | UPSCALE LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2020

perceptive level of service and a guest who above all, has a refined palette for curiosity. Without the traditions of a regular hotel, there is no room at the Townhouse that has not been thoughtfully curated. The hotel bridges the gap between ritzy high-end lavish hotels and the corporate enterprise properties that currently stand in Mayfair. When you walk through the doors of this new Townhouse, expect the unexpected. Moments of surprise await around every corner of the fifteen connected Georgian buildings that line Half Moon Street, which was once the setting for Oscar Wilde’s most famous play, The Importance of Being Earnest. Built from 1730, Half Moon Street was a colorful haunt for bachelors, bohemians and artistic types in Victorian London. During this time many of Half Moon Street’s townhouses were split into residential apartments

for the elite to live before marriage. Iconic fictional characters, Oscar Wilde’s Algernon Moncreiff and Bertie Wooster in P. G. Wodehouse’s comedies resided here. Moments of this history and culture are immersed throughout The Mayfair Townhouse’s discreet address, and quickly become the central pillars of design and personality of the eclectic house. Capturing this playful spirit to create a new era of the Dandy, Goddard Littlefair has helmed an authentic, quick-witted design of the Townhouse whilst reviving the interiors, bringing the Georgian spirit and blending it with a contemporary rhythm. The fox, the hotel’s mischievous motif, is woven throughout the hotel, from the art collection showcasing a series of fox images, to intricate design elements throughout the property. https://www.themayfairtownhouse.com/


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SINGITA SABORA TENTED CAMP GRUMETI GAME RESERVE, TANZANIA

Set in a 350,000-acre concession in the Serengeti in northern Tanzania, Singita Sabora Tented Camp has captivated guests for more than a decade with its inimitable location. The new lodge’s extensive redesign is a modern interpretation of luxury tented safaris, while retaining the quintessential elements of a romantic experience under canvas. The new forward-thinking camp features sophisticated details such as hand-stitched leather finishes, as well as durable canvas and campaign furniture, and it echoes the unmistakable spirit of classic East African adventures combined with intuitive simplicity. Added comforts have been incorporated, such as private meditation decks and secluded outdoor salas with shaded daybeds, the new camp is now set even closer to the ground. Guests can spend languid afternoons reading on their decks, idly watch game passing by, and immerse themselves in

Sabora’s unrivalled setting. With not much separating them for the bush, every sight, sound and smell is amplified, maximizing the trill of this tented experience. Singita’s design partners, Cécile & Boyd and GAPP Architects, collaborated for the creation of the new architecture and décor of the lodge, which echoes the earthy color palette of the bush. Featuring muted taupe, tan and beige, the elegant aesthetic also includes touches of brown leather and thick beige stitching. Mesh, canvas and weave finishes throughout provide a rich combination of textures and layers of sophisticated comfort. The exquisite craftmanship of the custom-designed tents is extended to every chosen piece, while the placement of the camp has been subtly reorganized to make the most of its sweeping surrounds, and each tented suite enjoys breathtaking views of one of the two nearby waterholes. The nine self-contained suites

feature a seamless combination of in-and outdoor living spaces, which include private areas in which to rest, relax and immerse oneself in wellness activities like outdoor yoga and soothing guided rituals and treatments. The tents also offer private fitness areas and lifestyle units such as a beautifully curated pantry and dining area. Resting lightly above the ground, the tents have minimal impact on the landscape and with the use of sustainable materials, natural light, cross ventilation, energy-efficient lighting and solar power, the off-the-grid design wholly embraces the One Planet Living sustainability framework adopted by Singita Sabora’s location at eye level with grazing herds of wildlife rewrites the script on sustainable experiences in the wilderness. https://singita.com/lodge/singita-sabora-tented-camp/

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THE WOODWARD

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND Oetker Collection is proud to announce that Spring 2021 will see the addition of The Woodward, a new hotel in the heart of Geneva, to its exclusive portfolio of masterpiece hotels. Owned by Bastion Holdings, the hotel sits directly on the shores of Lake Geneva, offering panoramic views of Mont Blanc. Originally built in 1901 by French architect François Durel in a post-Haussmann style, the hotel is located on Quai Wilson and is currently being completely transformed and carefully reimagined by world-renowned architect Pierre-Yves Rochon. Beyond The Woodward’s historic façade, guests will find classic-meets-contemporary interiors, providing a stylish city sanctuary with spectacular lake and mountain views. Each of the 26 suites has been carefully curated to possess its own distinct character and individual 72 | UPSCALE LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2020

design details, with signature flourishes including marble fireplaces and bookcases. 21 of the suites also have a full lake view. The jewels in the crown are the Presidential Suite, designed in elegant ivory tones and offering panoramic lake views from every room with a private dining room and loggia, and the Royal Suite, reached by private lift and designed to resemble a chic Parisian apartment. World-class dining experiences will be driven by L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Le Jardinier, both recipients of Michelin stars at their New York outposts which are owned and operated by Bastion Group. After 7 years as Executive Chef of L’Atelier in Taipei (1*), Chef Olivier Jean will be at the helm of the kitchens at The Woodward. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon will feature the legendary chef ’s open kitchen concept, creating a

theatrical dining experience for just 36 guests seated around the counter, as well as two dining rooms that can be privatised. Le Jardinier by Michelin-starred chef Alain Verzeroli - a play on the French word for ‘gardener’ - will be the restaurant’s first foray into Europe following the success of its outposts in New York and Miami. In keeping with Oetker Collection’s commitment to wellbeing, the hotel’s 1,200m2 spa will include a Wellness Institute by Maison Guerlain and a 21-metre indoor swimming pool - the longest in Geneva. There will be a state-of-the-art gym, two saunas, two steam rooms, two Swedish baths and a Jacuzzi. Guests will be able to enjoy exclusive treatments by Guerlain across six wellness suites, including one for couples and a corner dedicated to men. https://www.oetkercollection. com/hotels/the-woodward/



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JASHITA Hotel Tulum | BY MICHELLE FARINA

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have had the great opportunity to stay at many luxury hotels throughout my career. Jashita Hotel is by far one of the finest properties I have had the pleasure to experience. This level of luxury and sophistication is outstanding. Jashita Hotel sits on a beautiful private beach front surrounded by unspoiled nature. Jashita Tulum Resort in Mayan Riviera is a ten minute drive from Tulum Town and a short excursion for some of the World’s most archeological sites such as Coba and Chichen Itza. The surrounding area has an abundance of incredible cenotes to visit remarkably close to the property including Dos Ojos. Upon check in, you are whisked to an incredible room with your own dipping pool and ocean views. Wine, chocolates, linen robes and starched linen sheets are just a few of the amenities provided for the guest. I can not express enough how wonderful sleeping in a white curtained four poster bed with Italian linen sheets made getting in bed quite easy and getting out of bed extremely hard. All bathrooms include rain showers with floor-to-ceiling glass doors, bidets and lovely amenities like plush towels with tassels. Free wireless internet access and ipod docking station is also provided. At the entrance to the common area is a huge buddha. The room itself evokes serenity with sitting areas and lamps that cast beautiful patterns across the room. The gift shop offers linen robes, hats, jewelry and other unique items to take home. There are two outdoor rooftop lounges, with 360 degree views for sunrise and sunset. One of the rooftops has an infinity pool with comfortable bean bag style lounges, and a cocktail bar overlooking the beautiful bay and rainforest, which offers the most amazing views. A swimming pool for Adults only and a pool dedicated to children make for a very relaxing encounter. The 1001 pool bar terrace has spectacular views, and the seats at the bar are swings bringing back childhood memories. The staff were close enough but not too close to take care of any request you may have. They remembered how you like your coffee and were happy to recommend dishes that delight. Enjoy a spa treatment while listening to the waves gently lapping the shore surrounded by sea and Jungle. We chose a few different spa treatments. The Maya Ancestral Massage was unlike any massage I have ever experienced.

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Start with a Mayan Purification followed by a massage using native oils. The attendant will offer sparkling wine or organic juice if you so desire. Continue with a soak in a tub made of a thousand-year-old mahogany tree. The yoga studio is located on top of Caoba spa suspended above the beach with even better views of the Soliman Bay. The bay’s shallow waters allow you to swim, snorkel and paddle board as far as the eye can see. Jashita offers paddleboards, canoes, and snorkeling gear free of charge. You can request for the concierge to book diving and fishing trips to enjoy the surrounding reef. The bay is one of the last few protected coral reefs in Tulum. Pandano offers an eclectic mix of Italian and Mexican flavors. The pasta is handmade on sight for your viewing. Other menu items included lobster on the grill, ribeye steak and an array of fresh carpaccios and all were pleasing to the palate. Breakfast can be served in your room or at Pandano and is included with your stay. We chose to have breakfast at Pandano each morning to enjoy the view, the birds and serenity it provided. The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating with a delightful open air terrace and white flowing curtains in tropical garden setting so close to the water you can hear the lightly lapping waves. Enjoy your meal and pop a bottle of champagne under a star filled sky or enjoy an after dinner aperitif. Jashita hotel is off the beaten path away from the crowds and provides a serene escape for your senses and soul. I highly recommend this peaceful property to anyone with desire for a romantic luxury getaway.

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KEFALONIA & HER SOUTHERN SHORES (PART 2 OF 3)

| BY ADAM JACOT DE BOINOD

Certainly this island is very much at ease with its providence. Local life presides over the touristic giving it a

languid timeless vibe. The men, in true Mediterranean tradition, sit about in their cafĂŠs, garrulous and gesticular, putting the world to rights. One shepherd complete with his crook and sheepdogs was herding his flock of two hundred at sundown with the sound of their bells chiming in the breeze. A pure and perfect setting of pastoral harmony. I hired a car from Rentcarkefalonia (www.rentcarkefalonia. gr/en) run by the charming Apostolis. Their greatest asset was my being able to get away instantly from airport inte-

PHOTOS BY EMMA BALL

Within two weeks I was back! This time to the southern half, beneath her mountainous ridge, her bays of golden sand and her view of the neighboring island of Zante. The water is family-friendly as it slopes gradually to its depths under a smooth flooring of sand. The vivid colors of the blue sky, the CĂŠzanne-style white rocks and brown earth all protrude in sharp, pronounced definition.

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riors and queues and literally a minute’s walk away down a lane with trees and I was already experiencing the warmth and nature that was to set the tone for my journey ahead. Within twenty minutes I had come to where I was to stay at Villa Rosa (www.villa-rosa. com.gr), a select and classy set of self-catering holiday homes. The interior is super-clean and fresh and decorated with rattan and wicker baskets throughout and other creative and welcoming touches. Outside are balconies at every angle from which to catch the sun or look out to the beautiful sea beyond. Set in a spaciously landscaped garden with a lush lawn that’s indulgently spongy underfoot are fruit trees, palm trees and flowers. From my hammock I could enjoy the coastline that’s visible as far as Lourdas beach where row upon row of unfurling waves crashed into separate bays. I found watching these waves as mesmeric as the differing colors of the water that changed from Egyptian blue to mazarine, from turquoise to teal. Villa Rosa comes with the dramatic backdrop of Ainos Mountain that rises to an impressive height of 5000 feet and has, as a spinal chord, a ridge comparable to Cape Town’s Camps Bay that at night is lit up magically as it seemingly reflects the stars above. In front the villa looks out over the shimmering Ionian Sea and beyond, forty miles away, to the neighboring island of Zante (Zakinthos). I walked down a steepish road from the villa in blissful silence to Denis Seaside Restaurant (www.deniskefalonia.gr). It’s the most romantic of strolls under a canopy of bright stars as I began my descent to hear and then see the waves lapping the shoreline. The décor at the restaurant is an expression of the natural in all her simplicity. There are white wooden trellis panels, lights made out of driftwood, a carpet of pristine white pebbles, a roof made out of bamboo and even a rock that’s lit up at night to celebrate nature. I was able to continue my walk’s enjoyment of all the elements, entertained as I was by nature’s diversity of sights, sounds, smells and tastes. With no electronic artifice, it all felt extremely nourishing. Another evening I went along the strollable strand at Lourdas beach. To dispel any thoughts of mosquitos I always recommend the natural Canelle Spray (www.cinnamonhill.com) that is very effective and has a cinnamon aroma far preferable to that of the citronella variety. I embarked on an enchanting climb up its own private path to experience the culinary secrets of Lorraine’s Magic Hill (www.lorrainesmagichilllourdas.com). The food from her Magic Hill comes either from the sea or the restaurant’s organic gardens and its allotment. Lorraine delivers the spongiest of fresh bread and there’s no doubting the difference in taste of her homemade feta cheese made from goat rather than sheep milk. Another delight was her ‘melitzanosalata’ comprising roasted aubergines dip, made with goat’s yogurt, garlic, parsley and herbs and served with pita bread. I went for early evening drives when the light is at its photogenic best through villages as delightful as Kaligata and Spartia with the vivid colors of their walls and houses and the striking facades of their churches. By dusk a canopy of stars consistently would come out with confident clarity. The moon, once even orange in color, shone with glistening effect upon the waves that were calm and agitated in equal measure. The Greek Mediterranean diet is very organic. The local restaurants offered simple and authentic classic dishes: many of them coaxed out of grannies and aunts whose idea of a recipe was a pinch of this and a sprinkle of that. And here back up the top of Lourdata is a strip of restaurants and other touristic attractions where the versatility of the locals is highly admirable as I met Marinos, very evidently the local fix-it man, owning not just his Captain Zorbas restaurant, with its wonderful upstairs veranda, but a couple of villas, a rent-a-car firm and even offering donkey rides.

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Along this strip is the restaurant La Mer (www. spyridoula.com/index.php/la-mer-restaurant). I chose from a range of salads that included Greek, rocket, summer and Caesar. This went perfectly with my honey roast pork, tempted though I was by the recommended pesto-baked salmon. For dessert what better I thought sometimes than the sheer simplicity of two scoops of dark chocolate-pitted ice cream. Tucked away at the end of the road from the other restaurants on the strip is Chefalonia. The setting is at a perfect height to enjoy a panoramic view down upon Lourdas beach and across to what can often be in Kefalonia a spectacular sunset. Here I enjoyed a delicious vegetable moussaka and a traditional Corfu recipe of Beef Sofrito. I must go back, whenever but soon! 

FACTBOX Adam had support from Stansted Express (www. stanstedexpress.com) and reached Gatwick Airport via Southern Railway (www.southernrailway.com) as well as from Holiday Extras, the market leader in UK airport parking, hotels, lounges and transfers, who aim to find you a hotel and parking package that’s cheaper than the cheapest airport parking on its own (on two week breaks). To book the Hilton at London Gatwick Airport, visit HolidayExtras.com or call 0800 316 5678. Prices at Villa Rosa Apartments (www.villa-rosa. com.gr) per night starting from E60 (low season) and E220 (high season)

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WHAT’S HOT!

WHAT‘S HOT | BY HELÉNE RAMACKERS

Each month, the team at Upscale Living magazine will bring you the latest in What’s Hot! – from the newest trends in watches, to shiny new jewelry, magnificent make-up, tantalizing toys for young and old, or the most extraordinary books you have to add to your collection.

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WHAT’S HOT!

7 WAYS Jamie Oliver Father of five and Naked Chef television personality Jamie Oliver brings readers 7 Ways to use every day of the week, with more than 120 new, exciting and tasty recipes. Looking at the most popular ingredients people buy without giving it too much thought – chicken breasts, ground beef, eggs, potatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, etc. He turns all these staples into tasty and nutritious meals with your favorite supermarket ingredients. It’s not about reinventing the wheel; in fact, ‘I don’t have time’ and ‘I’m Bored … I Don’t Know What to Cook … I’m Stuck in a Rut’ are all dispelled with 10-minute recipes in total slow-cook or one-pan beauties with minimal prep, or looking to make something

classic, comforting, light, hearty or slap-youaround-the-face exciting, 7 Ways has got you covered. Says Jamie “For the first time, I’ve looked at the real data around what we’re putting into our shopping baskets, week in, week out, and have built this book around 18 hero ingredients that just keep appearing. We know that everyone cooks the same small repertoire of recipes, so I want to help you expand on that and arm you with some new favorites. 7 Ways is the most reader focused cookbook I’ve ever written.” The recipes will include no more than 8 ingredients, with at least 70% of the recipes being everyday options from both an ease and nutritional point of view, showcasing every-

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thing from fakeaways, traybakes to family and freezer favorites, readers will definitely find inspiration to whip things up in the kitchen. Spanning a 20-year television and publishing career, Jamie Oliver is a global phenomenon in food and campaigning, inspiring millions of people to enjoy cooking from scratch and eating fresh, delicious food. Leading the charge on a global food revolution, aiming to reduce childhood obesity and improve everyone’s health and happiness through food, Jamie offers plenty of meal solutions in 7 Ways. https://www.penguinrandomhouse. co.za/book/7-ways-easy-ideas-every-dayweek/9780241431153


WHAT’S HOT!

AFRICA’S WILD DOGS - A SURVIVAL STORY Jocelin Kagan This beautiful 224-page book honors one of the most fascinating predators in Southern Africa. In Africa’s Wild Dogs – A Survival Story, professional photographer Jocelin Kagan highlights the plight of these misunderstood animals with her stunning photographs and enlightening narrative. 2010 marked Jocelin’s first ever sighting of a wild dog, and she remembers it was ‘love at first sight’. Over the past five years, she has spent time in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Botswana and South Africa to capture these magnificent creatures from her vantage point of lying in the dirt, racing across the bushveld and spending many predawn hours searching for the dogs.

“Curious, inquisitive, painterly-patterned in rich black, white and tan, a young pup steps closer and closer,” she recalls in the chapter entitled Iconic Nomads of the Bush. “Satisfied he is safe, he sits, sphinx-like and watches me. At five months, this African wild dog pup projects a tangible sense of self-assurance despite his youth.”

her photography, Jocelin hopes to raise awareness for conserving the declining numbers of African Wild Dogs – there is estimated to be only 6,600 left in the wild. Doing her part by starting the Africa’s Wild Dog Survival Fund, a registered South African Public Benefit Organization established as a fundraising platform, she supports the organizations working directly with the dogs, consisting of a team drawn together by their love of African Wild Dogs and a passion to do whatever to contribute to growing their numbers and ensuring they survive.

“His huge ears turn like satellite dishes searching for a signal as he looks deep into my eyes. His own dark eyes seem to ask ‘Who are you?’ Reluctant to disturb my new friend, and even more so to fracture the fragility of our newly-formed bond, I lie flat in the dirt, https://kagan.co.za/product/africas-wild-dogscamera poised, and press the trigger.” Through by-jocelin-kagan/

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WHAT’S HOT!

A PROMISED LAND Barack Obama “As I recount in my book, A Promised Land, my mother, Ann Dunham, was strong, smart, and marched to her own beat. For her, the world offered endless opportunities for moral instruction. My sister Maya and I got early lessons about the struggle for civil rights, the impact of poverty on people around the world, and the importance of respecting other cultures and considering other points of view.” “My mother believed that power came not from putting people down but rather through lifting them up. And she was always certain that in the face of injustice and humanity’s more primal impulses, logic and progress would always prevail. ‘The world is complicated, Bar,’ she used to say. ‘That’s why it’s inter-

esting.’” recalls former US President Barack Obama. In one of the most anticipated books of 2020, Barack Obama takes readers through his journey of becoming the 44th President of the United States of America with candor and humor, with insights into the importance of family, music and an inside look into the White House.

“While serving as President, I made sure to have dinner with Michelle, Sasha, and Malia every evening by 6:30. We’d eat some good meals and catch up on our days. That was one of the best parts of living above the store, as I sometimes called it. Seeing them grow up into the intelligent, strong, and compassionate young women they’ve become has been the greatest joy of my life. I’m reminded constantly that there’s no place in the world I’d rather be than with Miche and our girls––and it’s why I’ve dedicated my memoir to them.”

“The fact that my own father was largely absent from my childhood helped shape my ideas about the kind of father I intended to be. When Malia was born, I made a promise to myself that my kids would know me, that https://www.penguinrandomhouse.co.za/ they’d grow up feeling my love keenly and book/promised-land/9780241491515 consistently, knowing that I’d always put them first.”

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WHAT’S HOT!

EYE OF THE LEOPARD Dereck and Beverly Joubert The most exquisite photographic book Eye of the Leopard takes readers through the journey capturing the life of a special leopard named Legadema. Photographed and captured by National Geographic filmmakers and Great Plains founders Dereck and Beverly Joubert, Eye of the Leopard will tug at your heartstrings. You will instantly fall in love with the story of the remarkable life of Legadema, grabbing the attention of Beverly when she sneakily climbs into the game drive vehicle as a young cub, with the couple following her battle for survival and subsequent challenges with motherhood. “Legadema had two cubs on the 18th of January 2008”, Beverly recalls. “We saw them

the next day. A few days later she came out of the den and led the cubs to the side of the car and stepped back. Why she did that, I have no idea. The cubs sniffed up at us with halfclosed grey eyes and bobbing heads and tried to find their mother again.” "Just then it started to rain and she grabbed up one cub and ran to cover. The other tried to follow, so she dropped the first and picked up the second, but as she did, the first walked back to her, so she dropped number two and picked up the first and dropped it into the den and found the second in time to meet the first on its way back out. She turned and looked at us for an instant. It was chaos and the sort of thing a new mother with two cubs

had to cope with. She looked as though she might cope quite well actually.” Not only are the Jouberts brilliant authors and photographers, they are award-winning filmmakers, and have spent over 40 years exploring Africa in the name of research and wildlife conservation. With more than 25 films produced for National Geographic, 11 books, many magazine articles for National Geographic Magazine, lots of scientific papers, they are also the founders of the Big Cats Initiative, Art For Rangers and their charity Great Plains Foundation. https://greatplainsconservation.com/safariboutique/product/eye-of-the-leopard-coffeetable-book/

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WHAT’S HOT!

THE ART IN WHISKY Spiorad Publishing Celebrating and illuminating one of the world’s most iconic spirits through the eyes of internationally acclaimed and award-winning photographer, Jon Purcell, The Art in Whisky provides a captivating and unique photographic interpretation of the fascinating world of whisky. Taking readers on a visual journey that percolates through the entire crafting process - from grain to bottle to glass - The Art in Whisky explores the very best of both old and new world whisky. From Bushmills Ireland to Bowmore in Scotland, and further afield to Kavalan and Nikka in Taiwan and Japan, aficionados will enjoy exclusive access to the world’s most famous and unexplored dis-

tilleries and discover the stories, true craftsmanship and zeal of the artisans behind the enigmatic spirit. The Black Edition is strictly limited to 1,000 hand-numbered copies worldwide. The 14” x 14” 256-page book includes more than 350 timeless and inimitable photographs that capture the ‘art’ in creating whisky. The cooperation and excitement from each distillery allowed Purcell to explore places very few people ever see, and has revealed elements of the whisky journey that many never knew existed. “One of the most spectacular shoots occurred not in a distillery, but in Jerez, Spain, photographing the creation of sherry casks that would eventually be used to age whisky”

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said Purcell. “It was a real fire and brimstone moment as barrels blazed around me, but the moment that will stay with me forever is when I stepped into a traditional dunnage warehouse for the first time and breathed in the heady aroma of the ‘Angel’s Share’. It was as close to a religious experience as I have ever come!” Displayed in a bespoke, handcrafted, black leather clamshell case with suede interior, The Art in Whisky is precisely printed onto the highest quality vellum uncoated paper, offering a suite of luxurious finishes. The unique binding technique allows every page to lay completely flat for an unfettered, incomparable viewing experience. www.artinwhisky.com


ARCHITEC TUR AL PL ANNING J . A r m a n d o L e y va 2 5 3.6 5 3.6 8 1 5


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A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER

| BY HELÉNE RAMACKERS

It’s been a challenging year for everyone, with lots of uncertainty around the globe. One thing remains unchanged in many households – Christmas is a time we want to spend with our loved ones. At Upscale Living magazine, we have sourced a complete menu for you to make at home, ensuring that this will be a Christmas to remember.

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GAMBA CARABINERO HOTEL BAYERISCHER HOF, MUNICH Hotel Bayerischer Hof is an institution which exudes the grandeur of a renowned city hotel. Purchased by the Volkhardt family from King Ludwig I over 100 years ago, the hotel is one of the oldest in the city, now featuring modern designs from acclaimed architect Andree Putman and Axel Vervoordt. The hotel’s rooftop terrace is an oasis in itself, offering panoramic views of the city and the distant Bavarian Alps, along with its Blue Spa and rooftop pool with retractable roof, bar, lounge, and restaurant. The Hotel is famous for its many design collaborations in particular its ongoing partnership with the Axel Vervoordt, one of the world’s most emulated tastemakers. The hotel also has six bars, including Falk’s Bar in the famed ‘Mirror Hall’, the only room in the hotel to have survived the Second World War unscathed. Their three Michelin starred restaurant Atelier is one of the most popular in the city and is frequented by hotel guests and local residents who flock to enjoy the exquisite cuisine by head chef Jan Hartwig. INGREDIENTS 4 Gambas Salt water Bamboo basket (min. 25cm diameter) 4 skewers 1 slice of galangal 1 stick of roughly cut lemon grass 3 Kaffir lime leaves METHOD -Peel the prawns down to the last tail segment and remove the intestines. - Soak in the salt water for 7 minutes and then rinse briefly under running water. - Dab them dry and place them on the skewers. - Bring a pot with some water, galangal, lemon grass and lime leaves to the boil and insert the bamboo basket. Place the prawns in the basket, close it with the lid and remove it from the cooker. -Steam the prawns for 3-4 minutes until they’re glassy.

SWEET PEPPER PINEAPPLE SALAD INGREDIENTS 1 tablespoon green pepper (cut into cubes) 1 tablespoon pineapple (cut into cubes) 1 teaspoon sliced coriander stems 1 teaspoon fine rings of young spring leek 1 teaspoon Wasabi Sesame 1 teaspoon puffed rice balls Chives coriander cress

CARROT MOUSSELINE INGREDIENTS 150g peeled carrots 500ml freshly squeezed carrot juice Salt Cayenne 2 tablespoons lime oil Some butter Finely grated ginger METHOD - Coarsely chop the carrot and sauté in the butter. - Cook it in the carrot juice until the juice is almost completely cooked. - Purée it with the lime oil and grated ginger in a Thermomix. - Flavor with salt and cayenne.

LEMONGRASS STOCK INGREDIENTS 50ml poultry stock 50ml fish stock 50ml crustacean stock Juice of one lime

1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce Green tabasco 4 sprigs of coriander 5 sprigs of Thai basil 10g green Thai pepper 20g pineapple 1 quartered tomato 5 sticks of roughly cut lemon grass 5 Kaffir lime leaves some xanthan gum to bind METHOD - Bring all the ingredients to the boil and leave it to stand for 30 minutes. Strain and bind it lightly with xanthan gum. - Flavor it again with lime juice, fish sauce and green tabasco. - The brew should be spicy-sour. SERVING SUGGESTION Place the prawns in the middle of a deep plate and sprinkle the carrot mousseline parallel to it. Decorate with flowers and pour on the stock. https://www.bayerischerhof.de/de/index. html

METHOD - Mix all the ingredients and spread them on the steamed prawns. 93 | UPSCALE LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2020


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CREAMY PUMPKIN SOUP INFUSED WITH LEMON GRASS FREGATE ISLAND, SEYCHELLES Located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Fregate Island Private in the Seychelles offers visitors total seclusion with only 17 villas sprinkled throughout the nature-rich island. In addition to enjoying the island’s tortoise sanctuary, beaches, and water activities, guests are able to dine anywhere on the island- including the island’s highest point. Fregate Island Private’s Pumpkin Soup Infused with Lemon Grass is a popular recipe amongst guests and a perfect way to stay warm this holiday season. Fusing together the cozy flavors of fall and the freshest ingredients, this simple recipe can easily be made at home. SERVES 4 PEOPLE INGREDIENTS One small 2-3lb pumpkin (peacock pumpkin or any similar pumpkin you like) 2 large onions ¼ cup cream 7 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons salt 1 tablespoon pepper ¾ cup of chopped lemon grass 6 cups chicken stock 4 tablespoons of chives METHOD - Peel and wash the pumpkin. Cut it into 2 cm cubes and reserve. - Peel and wash the onion and cut it into slices - Wash and dry the lemon grass - Heat a pan (8 inches diameter recommended) - Add butter and let it melt - Add pumpkin, onion, lemon grass and chicken stock - Let it cook on mid heat for 20 – 25 minutes and stir every now and then - Remove the lemon grass after 25 minutes and blend the soup - Once you have a creamy soup, bring it to boil, add the cream, salt and pepper – season to taste. - Serve the soup in your favourite bowl, garnish with the chopped chive and add some dry crisp-croutons if you like. https://www.fregate.com/

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SEA & MOUNTAINS HOTEL HASSLER ROMA, ROME A signature dish served at Hotel Hassler Roma, the iconic five-star hotel located atop the Spanish Steps. Guests can enjoy this dish at the Michelin-Starred panoramic Imàgo restaurant, with Chef Andrea Antonini at the helm. SERVES 4 INGREDIENTS 400 gr cardoncelli mushrooms 300 g gobbetti shrimp 100 g butter parsley to taste Porto wine to taste Brandy to taste Paprika to taste Pepper to taste Oregano to taste Lemon to taste 1 spoon of Lemon juice 1 lemon peel seasonal herbs METHOD - Cut the mushrooms into julienne strips - Clean the prawns - Sear prawns - Put the mushrooms (cleaned, washed and cut into julienne strips) in a pan with water, just enough to soften them - Add the bisque* - Add the aromatic butter* - Finish with a spoon of lemon juice and lemon peel - Serve in a soup plate, then put the prawns on top and garnish with herbs BISQUE ​ ETHOD M Toast the remaining cardoncelli mushrooms together with the prawns’ tortoise shells and heads; Simmer with brandy, add ice and let it simmer for 3 hours. Filter and reduce. AROMATIC BUTTER INGREDIENTS Add the below to a standing mixer and blend together: 100 g butter parsley to taste Porto wine to taste Brandy to taste Paprika to taste Pepper to taste Oregano to taste Lemon to taste https://www.hotelhasslerroma.com/ 95 | UPSCALE LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2020


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SMOKED WATERMELON (VEGAN) VEDA AT OVOLO CENTRAL, HONG KONG At Ovolo Central, a leading designer hotel in Hong Kong, Chef Hetty McKinnon crafts an all-vegetarian menu (the first ever at a hotel restaurant in Hong Kong) at VEDA, incorporating ingredients from local culinary traditions as well as tastes from around the world to create vegetable-focused comfort food. And now, with the entire Ovolo Hotels collection in Hong Kong and Australia going completely vegetarian for the next year, VEDA is leading the way with such satisfying classics as “Smoked Watermelon,” a perfect vegan addition (and stand-in for the traditional Christmas ham) to the holiday table. SERVES 2 | TIME: 75 minutes INGREDIENTS Watermelon 500g Seedless watermelon 2pc Cinnamon stick, cracked 4pc Green cardamom, crushed 2pc Star anise 10-12pc Cloves GLAZE 90g Balsamic vinegar 30g Maple syrup 60g Water 15g Tamarind paste Salt to taste Black pepper, ground to taste METHOD - Preheat oven to 200°C / 392oF. - Peel and score the watermelon in a crosshatch pattern. - In a small cast iron pan or oven safe roasting pan, place the cinnamon, cardamom, and star anise at the base of the pan. - Insert 1pc of clove at each cross hatch-ed point on the melon. - Place the watermelon on top of the spices in the pan and set aside. - In a bowl, mix together the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, tamarind paste, water, and salt & pepper. - Pour the balsamic glaze over the watermelon. The glaze is thin initially but will thicken as the watermelon cooks. - Place the watermelon in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Use a spoon to baste the watermelon every 10-15 minutes. - As the watermelon cooks, the glaze will thicken and begin to stick to the surface of the melon. - After the watermelon is baked, the appearance should resemble a baked ham in color – caramelized and brown. - Serve as is or smoke at the table using a smoke gun. https://ovolohotels.com/ovolo/central/veda/

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CHRISTMAS CAKE HECKFIELD PLACE, ENGLAND For wintertime cheer at its finest, the bucolic English countryside cannot be beat, with its snowglobe-style scenery, quintessentially British atmosphere and Heckfield Place, the Georgian manor house-turned-luxury hotel in Hampshire located on 438 acres of land. Renowned chef Skye Gyngell, the Culinary Director at Heckfield Place, has created the below recipes, ideal for any Christmas table across the world: INGREDIENTS 1 cup Plain flour ½ teaspoon salt ½ tsp ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg 1 ½ cup sultanas ½ cup prunes pitted and chopped 1 cup seeded raisins 1 cup amerena cherries, half chopped 1 cup blanched almonds blitzed 1 cup candied peel ¼ zest lemon ½ zest orange 3/4 cups muscovado sugar 4 eggs ¾ cup butter, melted ⅓ cup brandy METHOD - The day before, mix together sultanas, raisins and cognac; allow to soak overnight. The next day, drain the cognac from the fruit and set the juice aside. Place fruit in a mixer, add almonds, candied peel, zest of lemon and orange and the muscovado sugar. In a second bowl, combine cherries and prunes. -Mix sugar and fruit very well; then add cherries and prunes. Next, sift the dry ingredients into another bowl, and add the butter, eggs and cognac. Now add the batter to the fruit mixture and mix very well. - Butter your cake tins and fill them with the cake mix. - Bake for 1 to 2 hours, until the cake is firm to touch and dry when tested with a toothpick in the middle - Cool the cake. https://www.heckfieldplace.com/

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VEGAN PUMPKIN PIE ZARAFA CAMP, BOTSWANA A delicious vegan pie is the ideal healthy option for the holiday season from Great Plains Executive Chef Kenalemang (Kenny) Modise based at Zarafa Camp, Botswana. The founders of Great Plains are big believers in healthy eating - even at their camps in the most remote parts of Africa. Great Plains camps now serve high-end vegan cuisine and the company has a Great Plains Plant-Based Cookbook in the works, which will be published in mid-2021. Kenny’s Vegan Pumpkin Pie will be enjoyed by guests staying at Great Plains Kenya and Botswana properties this holiday season. VEGAN PIE CRUST INGREDIENTS 125g refrigerated vegetable shortening or extra virgin coconut oil 375ml white bread flour ½ teaspoon salt 15ml castor sugar 15ml iced water METHOD - First, add the flour, sugar and salt to the food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. - Add the cold cubed vegetable shortening or pieces of solidified coconut oil. Pulse, until the texture resembles that of breadcrumbs. - With the food processor running, add a few tablespoons of ice water, until the pastry begins to clump together. - Transfer to a lightly floured surface, and work the dough into a ball, don’t use your hands too long or it will warm up the fat. - Roll out the pastry to about 3mm diameter. -Transfer the dough onto a greased pie plate by wrapping the dough around the rolling pin and carefully placing it on the plate. - Push the dough into the edges of the pie plate gently. - Trim off any excess, and replace any broken areas. - Let the dough rest for 30 minutes in the fridge and blind bake for 20-25 minutes at 200oC / 392oF. PUMPKIN FILLING INGREDIENTS 1 cup roast pumpkin puree 1 cup coconut cream 1 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon ginger ½ teaspoon nutmeg ¼ teaspoon cloves ½ teaspoon salt 3 tablespoon cornstarch

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METHOD - Add the pumpkin puree, coconut cream, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt and cornstarch to a blender and blend until very smooth. - Pour the mixture into a pie plate lined with a piecrust. Spread the mixture evenly with a spatula. - Cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil to avoid over browning. - Bake for 1 hour at 150oC / 300oF. - Let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, then cover and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours. COCONUT CARAMEL INGREDIENTS 1 cup coconut cream ½ cup white cane sugar ½ teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 teaspoon vanilla extract METHOD - Caramelize the sugar in a shallow saucepan taking care to fold in the edges to avoid burning. -Mix together the coconut cream, cornstarch and salt and whisk into the caramelized sugar away from heat.

-Return to heat for 30 seconds and whisk in the vanilla extract. Set aside to cool to room temperature. To finish the pie, top with roasted almond and pour the caramel over. Let the pie sit and set overnight. www.greatplainsconservation.com


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IRISH COFFEE ROME CAVALIERI, A WALDORF ASTORIA HOTEL, ROME This winter time favorite is offered by Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel at its Tiepolo Lounge & Terrace as part of its special festive menu. Ideal as a sweet aperitif after a winter’s day, or as a warm dessert cocktail, the Tiepolo Bar Irish Coffee offers the inviting aroma of coffee, warmth of whiskey, and perfect flavor pairing of sugar and whipped cream. INGREDIENTS 1.35 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey 3 oz Coffee 1 oz Whipped cream 3 Coffee beans METHOD - Prepare and pour 3 oz coffee over 2 spoons of sugar - Mix to dissolve sugar - Add 1.35 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey and gently mix - Add 1 oz whipped cream - Garnish with 3 coffee beans

NAUGHTY HOT CHOCOLATE HOTEL RANGA, ICELAND A Christmas Eve tradition in Iceland is curling up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate. While the Yule Lads (instead of Santa) will deem whether you’ve been naughty or nice, you can decide how you want your hot cocoa at Hotel Ranga after a day of arctic adventures. Using the cream instead of just milk makes the consistency of the hot chocolate thicker, because you’ll need that extra layer for an evening of stargazing or awaiting the Northern Lights. INGREDIENTS 1 oz Stroh Hot Chocolate A La Hotel Rangá (recipe below) Lightly whipped cream Chocolate flakes Hot chocolate A La Hotel Rangá INGREDIENTS 1 c milk 1 c cream 2 c dark chocolate ½ c sugar METHOD Boil milk and cream in a pot until it starts boiling. Set aside. Add 300 gr dark chocolate and 100 gr sugar. Mix in with the milk until all the chocolate is melted. Add a shot of Stroh to make it naughty, or don’t to make it nice. Serve with whipped cream and sprinkle chocolate flakes on top. https://www.hotelranga.is/ 99 | UPSCALE LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2020


WINE + SPIRITS

OYESTER VODKA | BY KEVIN PILLEY

D

efinitely more than a hint of the shoreline and an unmistakable piquant salinity. A suggestion of brine, ozone and provocative in a subtle fishmongery way. The latest niche, small batch spirits are made with seafood.

“We infuse distillates of botanical such as vervain, lemon balm and allspice. On top of that we add a distillate made of freshly shucked oysters, filtered briny seawater and a tincture of organic potatoes.”

Seaweed is a familiar botanical for gins but now other sea life are getting involved and infused.

Another avant-garde niche luxury vodka is “L’Orbe”, the first vodka naturally infused with caviar. Using Polish vodka , Polish Baeri caviar pearls and Dankowski Diamond rye, an encapsulation process created and patented by Pernod Ricard. This protect the caviar in a sphere, letting it diffuse its aromas into the vodka without a negative impact on the integrity of either.

Tasting notes are easy when you try “Original Dutch Oyester44 Maritime Vodka” for the first time. It’s the after-effects you want to know about and how long they will linger. Everyone knows the reputation of oyster so is the first oyster essence vodka an in-your-face aphrodisiac as well as the perfect accompaniment to seafood? Dutch foodie Chris Liebau’s ambition was to make the perfect vodka seafood pairing. From Yerseke in Zeeland, Holland’s most westerly and least populated region, his pioneering small batch hand-crafted botanical maritime “Oyester44” has already won awards on both sides of the Pond. It is made in the seafront distillery on Bruinisse harbor. “The letters Ye are used to identify the fishing boats of Yerseke. It’s bottle at 44%ABV. The region has 1000 square mile seawater and has a tradition of Imperial oyster cultivation going back to Dhooge family business founded in 1906. “Oyeste44” celebrates and embraces the terror and heritage of where I was born and grew up.” A graduate in Applied Science from Amsterdam University, Liebau is the ex- commercial director of Christenoff Bieren and was US marketing and export manager for United Dutch Beers.

The “unique tasting experience” project began in 2012 involving master chefs like Chef K, Kei Kobayashi, bartenders Alessandro Palazzi and Alex Kratena, master distillers, designers, scientists and product experts. They set out to discover methods of infusing and combining sensations that previously only existed in molecular cuisine. Rare ingredients are captured inside a sphere: the “orb”. without any chemical stabilization, flavoring or additives – preserving the natural integrity of the rarest ingredients. The £115 L’orbe Vodka x Caviar delivers a buttery, nutty as well as oceanic experience. But has a sweetness and light creaminess, making for a sweet-savory balance. It presentation box proudly declares “Impossible Pairings Made Possible.” It took eighteen months, sixteen fights, fourteen failed batches, twelve design ideas, ten supply failures, eight missed launch dates, six packing blunders, four days in lock-down and two serious explosions to make Dr SQUID gin (£49), made in Cornwall at 40% from real squid ink.

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It has been a three year labor of love for four men who met in London and moved down to Cornwall. They almost gave up on several occasions. But they kept on believing. With a passion. In themselves and their Provenance. And the idea. A gin that poured black but turned pink when mixed with tonic. “Squid ink is such a powerful ingredient that only a minimal amount is needed both for the distilling and color or infusion of the gin,” says Shaun Bebbington, who was born in Durban, South Africa and ran the Lukin bar in Fitzrovia, London. The founders of “The Pocketful of Stones” distillery met there and came up with their first gin,” Caspyn”. After many tastings and experimental pairings, distillery tours and far to much drinking. “Vanilla was added to the base of the recipe to give a well -rounded mouth-feel and perceived sweetness, coupled with sea buckthorn for a tart, fresh fruit finish,” adds Budapest-born, Balaz Schieber who worked as a chef in the Lukin. And has now swapped his ladle for a hydrometer. Paul Motely worked in the hospitality sector. Northerner Mike Culiffe runs his own marketing agency. The Pocketful of Stones portfolio comprises Damson Gin, Morveren absinthe and Old Tom Marmalade as well as the gin in a copper flask. The one they call, “The One From The Deep”. www.oyester44.com L’orbe is available through www.fortnumandmason.com £115 and 135€ through La Maison du Whisky) www.pocketfulofstones.co.uk


WINE + SPIRITS

Hanyu Ichiro Full Card Series Whiskey creates Auction Record | BY SOMNATH CHATTERJEE

U

ltra-rare whiskey has now become one of the sought after collectable categories with the recent Hanyu Ichiro Full Card Series breaking new ground with the complete set being sold for an astonishing US $1.5m. Record breaking prices though are not new to the Hanyu Ichiro Full Card Series whisky collection as back in 2019, the series sold for $917,000 at a Bonham’s auction in Hong Kong. So what is so special about this whiskey? Well, the set has 54 single cask whiskies which were distilled at Hanyu between 1985 and 2000. The distillery closed that year but each label had a different full pack with a playing card. Around 4 sets are believe to exist which explains the astronomical high prices of the latest set being sold. As said earlier this collection comprises of 54 bottles and each representing a playing card amongst the deck of cards. This distillery was first founded in 1941 by Isouji Akuto- a sake brewer. However with the

distillery being closed in 2000, Ichiro Akuto, the grandson of Isouji, found the remaining stock and made the Ichiro’s Malt Card Series with the remaining collection of Hanyu distillery stock. There was another series with 58 bottles, which is slightly more than a full pay card deck. Infact you will note it is four more and that is due to the four single casks which were bottled in around 2005, has a second bottling with a longer maturing time. Amongst all of the bottles in this series, the Joker card series is the most coveted by collectors. It is also the last card in the series with a coloured and monochrome version with their own unique tasting. There is also “Ace of clubs”, “King of hearts”, “Queen of diamonds”, “jack of spades”, “10 of clubs”, “Nine of diamonds”, “eight of diamonds” and so on. The latest set, which has sold for the huge price, comes from a Japanese whiskey bar owner. The collection with 54 bottles was treasured and kept by the owner. What is also interesting is

that the Hanyu distillery once again may restart production in next year. This is not the only one though as also at the Bonham’s Fine & Rare Wine and Whisky Sale in Hong Kong, a bottle of Yamazaki 55 yearold whiskey sold for HK$6,200,000. Japanese whisky in recent years has exploded in its popularity and that is due to massive demand and increasing popularity outside Japan plus old aged stocks slowly dwindling have only increased their rarity. They are now hot property amongst collectors while their distinctive taste makes them different from any other whisky out there. Japanese whisky is also matured using the rare Mizunara oak from the Hokkaido forests. Hanyu distillery in Chichibu while being closed due to hard times in 2000 is now amongst the most coveted and going the way they are, expect even higher prices in the future. Let us drink to that!

101 | UPSCALE LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2020