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From onscreen WAG to real-life wife Heléne Ramackers

Celebrity Millner Talks Top Hats at Royal Events! Angela Sarah West CELIA SAWYER

All that Glitters Heléne Ramackers

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From onscreen WAG to real-life wife | By Heléne Ramackers

hen Nicole Williams said ‘I do’ to Larry English, she knew she had evolved from onscreen WAG to a real-life wife. She spoke exclusively to Upscale Living magazine about the best day of her life, her four-legged children and her booming swimwear business. Nicole, tell us a bit about your formative years. You were born in Newfoundland, and finally you are living the good life in Los Angeles. What are your most precious memories of the different places where you lived? My move to Toronto was the biggest move for me, because I was leaving a small town in Newfoundland and moving to a big city. That was when I was signed with NEXT Modeling Agency. From there I moved to New York by myself, away from my family. I had my first apartment in Brooklyn, where I slept on an air mattress and had no furniture for a year. That was a major point in my career and modeling really took off for me. I met Larry in Los Angeles, and still kept my apartment in NYC because I thought I would eventually move back. But we ended up getting serious and bought a house together. Why the move and what were your first impressions of Los Angeles? I had no intention of moving to Los Angeles; I really didn’t like the thought of it. But, I was always traveling there for work. NEXT LA asked me to stay for two months, to book consistent

work. It was during that time that I met Larry. Looking back, I was kind of ‘tricked’ into living here, it was never my intention. How did you and Larry (English) meet and when did you start dating? We met in the winter of 2011 at a mutual friend’s birthday party in LA. We became friends and started hanging out every weekend. Larry would drive in from San Diego; he was playing for the Chargers then. We got a lot closer, and maybe around April 2012 we started getting more serious. I started thinking about giving up my apartment, and then he asked me to live with him. When and how did you realize he was ‘the one’? I realized he was ‘the one’ after the first six months we started dating more seriously. He was my friend first, and I had never dated anybody that I felt like I could hang out with all the time. He knew all my friends, and everyone loved him. It was different than anything I have ever experienced before.

Without stating the obvious – he is really handsome – what attracted you to him? Larry’s athletic build was the first thing I noticed. He was wearing a tight white T-shirt when I saw him. The second thing I noticed was his amazing smile. I love it when a guy smiles and it’s pretty. When and how did he propose? Everyone who watched WAGS saw my proposal on television, which was very special, because now I can always look back at that moment. I was on a girl’s trip in Thailand and he showed up unexpectedly. The engagement was almost called off, because I couldn’t get hold of him during the time he was on the flight. When he landed, he had a lot of mean messages from me. I really let him have it. He ended up forgiving me and surprised me with a beautiful proposal. Congratulations on your wedding last year. You looked like a princess in your Michael Costello dress and Larry looked very dapper in his attire. What made you decide which designer to pick?

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There was no question I was going with Michael. He’s one of my very close friends. I trust him to make me look beautiful. We talked for years abut designing my dress, always joking about when Larry would propose. Talk us through one of the most special days of your life. And don’t leave out any details. Our wedding was all captured on film, so we’ll always get to see exactly how it all happened which is amazing! Larry and I got married in Laguna Beach at the Montage. We said our vows to each other while the sun was setting over the amazing view of the ocean with an orchestra playing Céline Dion. After the ceremony, all the guests had cocktails around a bonfire on the cliffside. Our reception had a beautiful white dance floor with our initials on it. We had a live band playing covers of the hottest songs at the time. We had Avant Garden do our amazing flowers and centerpieces, which were all white flowers to accentuate the dance floor. We had a 7-tier white marble cake from Belladonna Sweets. I had two dress changes, three gowns all done by Michael Costello. Our first dance was to New Edition’s “Can you Stand The Rain”, surrounded by our bridesmaids doing choreography. I tossed my bouquet, we did a garter toss, and then one of my best friends, Christina Milian did a surprise performance to her song “Dip it Low”. Tendaji Lathan was our incredible DJ. The night wasn’t long enough, and I wish I could do it again because it flew by. My friends and family flew in from Canada and all over the world. It was amazing to have all of my loved ones in the same room for this magical evening. And I can’t forget to mention that my dog babies, Jasmine and Ace opened the wedding ceremony. That was very special to me. One year as a married couple. Has there been a shift in your relationship and how do you deal with conflict? Our relationship has shifted a little. Now we don’t bicker about when we’re going to get married; now we bicker about small stuff like leaving a glass on the sink. We laugh about it! We always say, “wow that’s a real married couple argument”. Now we’re more ready to talk about our future, family, and growing. We’re building together now. It looked like a lot of fun to film WAGS. But then there were also challenging times with some of the ladies not getting along. Was that very stressful and how did you resolve issues amongst each other? It was definitely stressful. When they bring in new girls, and you don’t know each other, it’s difficult to be rushed to get to know someone. It was sometimes definitely a bit awkward. Not everyone on the show gets along. If someone doesn’t get along with my best friends, then it’s difficult for me to be around those people. I did my best to be authentic and real and not play things up for TV. Are there some of the ladies who have become long-time friends with you that you share a special bond with? I’ve known Natalie, Olivia, and Sasha before we started the show, but I do have a special bond with Barbie, who I’m still friends with today. 17 Upscale Living Magazine |

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You have the most incredible figure! How do you stay in such great shape and what is your fitness regime? I don’t eat meat or dairy and I try my best to drink a lot of water and stay hydrated. I don’t have a huge appetite. Larry says I hate food, but I can just have a couple meals a day and be fine. Being vegan has helped my health overall and I feel like I have more energy. My skin is clear, and my overall well-being has greatly increased. I do exercise at least three times a week with a little cardio, but mostly weight training. Talk us through your beauty secrets. I always wash my make-up off at the end of the day. I never sleep with my make-up on, it’s not healthy for your skin at all! I like to use organic oils under my eyes for puffiness and fine lines and I like to keep my face out of the sun, which is extremely damaging. You have travelled extensively. What have been your most special destinations and why? Larry and I went to Mykonos and Santorini in Greece. It was absolutely breathtaking. We took a boat and sailed to a natural hot spring. Larry got out and swam all the way to the hot spring because it was the only way you could get there. I stayed on the boat because I was super scared, they said the current was strong and I didn’t want to risk it. I told him one of us had to stay on the boat to call for help if the other got swept away. Larry says the hot spring was amazing though! You were creative from a young age, sewing your own clothing and designing jewelry. You have recently created your own swimwear range, Nia Lynn. What made you decide to go headfirst into something so unique and how involved are you in the whole process? I’m the only one involved in the Nia Lynn Collection, no business partners, it’s all me. I decided to dive headfirst because I’ve always wanted to be a designer and it goes hand-in-hand with modeling. Being around fashion my whole life has inspired me to start my own line. That, and watching

my mom sew since I was young. She was a seamstress and made the most beautiful clothes. Starting my own line has been very successful and I’m having a lot of fun with it. How successful has the swimwear range been? It’s going extremely well. I just launched in December 2017 and I’m almost sold out of the first collection. I’ll be coming out with my new collection this summer, check the Nia Lynn Instagram (@nialynncollection) for updates. Tell us about your four-legged children – they are simply adorable! Two French Bulldogs, Ace and Jasmine. They’re our children. They’re probably the reason I don’t have any human babies yet, because I can’t imagine loving anything more than them, so it’s holding me back! I got Jasmine at six weeks old she just turned five. I rescued Ace when he was four months and he’s four years old now. They’re best friends. I wanted Jasmine to have a friend, so I flew to Chicago to pick him up. Ace and Larry are both from Aurora, Illinois and when I saw that, I just knew he had to be ours! You support PETA and ASPCA. I did a campaign for PETA a few years back and I donate a lot to shelters to get cats and dogs out of kill shelters and into rescue homes. I post a lot of dogs that need homes all over my Instagram stories. I’ve saved a lot of dogs via social media. I recently got a photo of a dog that I helped get a forever home last night. Seeing her happy gave me goosebumps! Any exciting projects coming up? I’m designing my new collection for Nia Lynn Swim. I do have a few other things that I can’t talk about just yet, but you can still expect to see me on TV and there is definitely a lot more to come. I update everything on my Instagram ( 21 Upscale Living Magazine |

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Celebrity Milliner

LOUIS MARIETTE Talks Top Hats at Royal Events! | By Angela Sara West

The Beckhams were there, the Clooneys, too… and the bride was being called “the most powerful woman in fashion”… As Royal wedding hype reached fever pitch across the globe, Angela Sara West chatted with celebrity milliner and designer extraordinaire, Louis Mariette, who commented on the Royal wedding for NBC, about breaking fashion boundaries, splurging on Swarovski, and what’s hot in hats and headpieces for the wedding and racing season.


amed for his fabulous fascinators, bespoke hats, and sensational bejewelled headpieces, he’s known for creating the most expensive hat ever made and designs for famous faces, including Joan Collins, Kate Moss and Lady Gaga. As the official milliner of countless quintessentially English events, he’s not only adorned celebrities and supermodels with his decadent designs for opulent occasions on the social calendar, but also co-hosted the BBC’s coverage of 300 years of Royal Ascot. He’s lent his creative credentials and flamboyant fashion wisdom to Britain’s Next Top Model, too, in his role as a judge on Living TV’s hit model making show. Based at his atelier in Hertfordshire, England, the iconic milliner has been breaking boundaries with his fabulous designs for over a decade. The self-taught milliner is much in demand by brides, celebrities and leading brands, including Air Partner Learjets, the Platinum Guild, Swarovski, Boucheron, Links and Rolls Royce. Specialising in “magical, fantastical and exuberant” bespoke creations, Louis is a firm favourite with the fashion press, offering a ready-to-wear and bridal collection of hair accessories and hats which capture his playful and creative, yet elegant, spirit. Whether for a wedding, a high-society party, or simply an everyday accessory, Louis’ extraordinary haute couture creations inspire an instant sense of excitement, with headpieces that are simply out-of-this-world.

His alluring bejewelled collection comprises a showstopping array of handmade statement pieces adorned with exquisite crystals inspired by nature, incorporating beautiful floral and wildlife designs, while his ready-to-wear iconic hats exude the glamourous beauty of the past, uniquely designed to inspire a woman’s inner elegance. Style, elegance, glamour… Welcome to the wonderful world of Louis Mariette! EXOTIC INSPIRATION

Louis’ passion for fashion and design began at an early age. Born in Malawi, he grew up in Botswana and Swaziland, and his exotic Southern African childhood has hugely influenced his work. With nature as his playground, Louis enjoyed exploring the flora and fauna, collecting semi-precious stones, seedpods, cactus flowers and beads and trimmings from local tribes. The delightful palette of colours and textures presented by in Africa’s wildlife is brought to life through the exotic elegance of his incredible designs. “My childhood in Africa consisted of a myriad of dazzling insects, birdlife, exotic flora and fauna. Unbeknown to me, this was the catalyst of an overactive mind and plays a pivotal role in my designs today. I love the freedom to express!” Louis’ love of travel takes him all over the world, where he sources hand-embroidered fabrics, antique embellishments, porcupine quills, feathers, hand31 Upscale Living Magazine |

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F A S H I O N dipped painted resin flowers and semi-precious stones. He draws inspiration from unique destinations. “I have been exceptionally privileged as I have been to some unusual locations. I was once in the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. I was invited to some rare festivals very rarely witnessed by Westerners. The headwear and costumes were stunning, with unusual techniques used, such as braiding wool into handwoven fabrics. It was very fascinating and intriguing.”

elegance and calmness of the Designer Wedding Show in Battersea in London.” Louis has many style icons. “What draws my passion are ladies who have made the most of their public status by helping, or raising awareness of, issues. Queen Rania of Jordan… Angelina Jolie… Lily Cole…”


“There are many ladies I would adore to design for. I love the positive energy of Kylie Minogue, the talented actress Kristin Scott Thomas, the statuesque Nicole Kidman, Thandie Newton and the avant-garde Tilda Swinton.”

Louis’ illustrious career kicked off in hotel management before he began a party and wedding planning business. His first show as a designer, commissioned by renowned stylist Michael Dye, was in Milan. The rest, as they say, is hat history…

His favourite creation? “Probably the Princess Neptune hat encrusted with scallop shells. This was submerged underwater and photographed by Zena Holloway at the giant water tank at Pinewood Studios where a Bond scene was filmed!”

Louis’ talent, charisma and infectious joie de vivre has since captured the imaginations of top stylists and creative directors, with his designs gracing the pages of fashion shoots and adorning the windows of Harrods and Swarovski. His exceptional pieces have been exhibited at The New York Public Library, decorated the models on former London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s official visit to India, and made appearances at countless high-society events, while designer collaborations have seen him working with Manish Arora, Qasimi and Nichole de Carle.


Louis is globally-renowned for creating the world’s most expensive hat. Commissioned by Harrods, the stunning £1.5m Chapeau d’Amour is made from rare platinum and studded with diamonds. “It was made out of love, an aspiration to challenge myself and creative expression. It got attention, so I guess it was an important role for my millinery.” How does it feel to have become a go-to brand? “I never view myself in such a way. When you have a business, it is like a cherished tree you want to see grow, and with this came a few unexpected opportunities and fantastic life experiences. This included being invited to No. 10 Downing Street, when the Blairs and Camerons were in office.” With a discerning eye for detail which is second-to-none, Louis’ designs are the epitome of elegance and perfection. How does it feel to have worked alongside some of the world’s most prestigious names? “If your brands can complement each other then it makes sense to collaborate. I once stitched a Boucheron jewellery collection into a headpiece. I was assigned an elegant room to work in, complete with a bodyguard. I never was too sure if it was to keep intruders out or to keep me in!!!” His favourite fashion shows and designers? “The first time I saw an Arkadius show with all the drama was wonderful, and I love the refined 32 Upscale Living Magazine |

In-demand milliner Louis is a supermodel’s dream. He has designed for numerous famous fashion faces, creating bespoke masterpieces for Kate Moss, Jerry Hall and Jodie Kidd. “Jodie was so easy-going. I did chuckle to myself as throughout the shoot she was dripping in hundreds of thousands of couture dresses, jewellery and accessories. However, the highlight of her day was when a delivery arrived consisting of a new pair of her polo boots. Once a horse lover, forever one!” Talking of horses for courses, as the official milliner for The Investec Epsom Derby in 2011, Louis fashioned a beautiful hat for British supermodel, Erin O’Conner, who was the face of the archetypal English racing event. His custommade creation for the occasion was based on the lilac-breasted roller bird, one of his favourites in Botswana. Now busy creating hats for the wedding and equestrian season, which high-society events is he most looking forward to? “Year after year, I design for the Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot – more details soon! Cartier is always a lovely event, relaxed and sophisticated and unpretentious. I have never done Henley… time to get a boater on head and Pimm’s in hand!” Fresh off TV screens, where he commented on the Royal wedding for NBC’s Megyn Kelly Today programme, Louis was bursting at the seams with excitement during THE event of the year. “The Royal wedding was millinery eye candy!!! I am a great believer of the Royals and what they do for charities and the rich history that we have in this country. Of course, the millinery industry they support is fantastic.” “Meghan was the luckiest lady in the world as Her Majesty generously opened her private

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collection of tiara jewellery to adorn her for the big day, lending her Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau tiara. Imagine the history every piece has… It was a great day for Britain and America and, of course, a special day the world could watch. I wish them both well - they are the perfect match!” OFF TO THE RACES! WEAVING THE WHIMSICAL MARIETTE MAGIC…

Currently working his marvellous Mariette magic on his amazing annual Ascot hat, what does Louis think the Queen will wear at this year’s racing event? “Her Majesty favours hats with a high crown and small brim, which are very much appreciated by press photographers as you can see her wonderful features. Much time goes into customising and coordinating the colour palette of the hat and outfit. It’s always refreshing to see her and such a highlight as she always gets her ensemble spot-on perfect!!!” BRIDE-TO-BE? LOUIS’ TIPS FOR A TOP HEADPIECE!

With the wedding season in full swing, what should brides-to-be and their guests be looking to wear headpiece and hat-wise on THEIR big day? “When it comes to brides, my bejewelled headpieces in frosted crystals are the elegant understated way to look graceful walking down the aisle. Either with or without a veil, and the headpiece perfectly coiffured with a hair design, it is a memorable piece to own. My choice of millinery are cocktail hats with unique decorative embellishments. The main reason being that ladies spend a lot of time, passion and money on their hair. Therefore, the synergy of hat and hair is a ‘bon marriage’.” HOT HATS… AND HOW TO WEAR THEM!

What’s hot in hats and headpieces? “Headbands are the rage. Especially when made with semi-precious stones within intricate jewellery creations. They are popular because you can accessorise them with both couture outfits and casualwear for both day and eveningwear. Hats don’t follow trends as much as main fashion. Milliners tend to create from a mood and feeling that they are expressing at the moment. Each creation is unique, I love that aspect.” HIS TOP TIPS FOR WEARING A HAT?

· Don’t be a shrinking violet; a hat is the most prominent accessory so let it be an extension of your personality. · If you visit a hat department, staff are there to assist and they know their job. Take their advice on the creation that is framing your look well, the angle that flatters, along with complimenting colours. Take your time until you feel the design is for you and try on as many as possible.

F A S H I O N · Most ladies think hats don’t suit them. Totally not true. When you put on “the” one, you will know instantly that it belongs to you! SPARKLING SWAROVSKI & ELEGANT EMBELLISHMENTS

The highly-acclaimed hat-maker relishes pushing the boundaries of his craft, describing his style as “Romantic, elegant, escapist and avant-garde.” Unusual embellishments are his favourite materials to work with. “Semiprecious stones, objects that I have personally sourced around the world… they are my love and exploring for them is such a thrill. I once found giant snail shells from a palm forest on Bird Island that I used on a headpiece that Alec Wek wore.” His ubiquitous use of Swarovski crystals adds high-spirited sparkle to his showstopping pieces. “Swarovski crystals are objects of infinite beauty and clarity, delivering a kaleidoscope of colours that bring my Louis Mariette bejewelled headpieces to life. The light reflects and illuminates these intricatelycut crystals, making them perfect for the most cutting-edge catwalk.” NEXT TOP MODEL TALES…

This impressive hat-maker to the stars has featured in numerous high-end publications, including Vogue, Vanity Fair and Tatler, and has also starred as a TV judge on Britain’s Next Top Model, alongside model-turnedTV presenter, Lisa Snowdon, and former supermodel, Huggy Ragnersson. “Being a judge on Britain’s Next Top Model was so exciting and fun! I always tried to motivate the girls to stay on top of their dream and reach their goals by staying positive, no matter what! It was an emotional rollercoaster of fabulousness, outrageousness, gorgeousness, tantrums, divas, catfights and amazing fashion. If I could bottle all this up, I would have a hit perfume! It was a magical experience that I cherish and I am grateful to have had such an amazing opportunity.” He says the show was a journey of learning about the magnificent energy and positive enthusiasm the girls had for making a career for themselves. “It was full of joy, laughter and tears every day, as you saw girls getting closer to their dreams. What I wasn’t expecting was the emotion I would feel when the evictions arrived. I guess they all knew the deal, but it still came as a blow.” “What also gave me my creative adrenaline was meeting the huge talent out there from designers, photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists… you name it. As well as being flown to Argentina, one of my highlights was when they recreated the underwater shoot. I was both excited but terribly nervous watching

each girl submerge into the water, being given only one shot to get it right. You need nerves of steel, and trust me, it is so much harder than it looks!” Louis also featured on Channel 5 TV’s How The Other Half Live, where Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford explored the lifestyles of the superrich and showcased Louis’ much-loved Chapeau d’Amour. “Firstly, being elevated high up in the Shard in the Shangri-La hotel Penthouse is a treat. Being trapped in a penthouse with Ruth Holmes is like having your feet tickled! She is outrageously fun and a true professional.” MAGICAL MARIETTE JEWELLERY

Along with spectacular headwear, Louis designs unique jewellery. “I begin the process myself by hand drawing a very technical design. As the creation is produced by my team, they have to know each crystal style, colour shade and colour of plating. The pieces are made and I give the final okay on design before it goes to plating. The only opportunity to adjust, it is a crucial stage as the items are in their “raw” state before crystals and plating are applied. After this, there is a quality

control check, stress testing and the crystals are meticulously polished.” NEW YORK HIGHLIGHTS

With several exciting projects in the pipeline, what has been the highlight of this inspiring milliner’s amazing career so far? “Being awarded “Best Accessories” by the Tanzanite Foundation. They flew all the winners in the selected categories to New York to an awards ceremony at the incredible New York Public Library. It was a spectacular unveiling, consisting of thousands of violet candles (matching the Tanzanite stone) festooned down the entrance steps and tribal dancers with copious amounts of bubbly and frivolities…. a joyous New York evening experience.” Hats off to him! FACTBOX Watch this space for Louis’ amazing hat for Royal Ascot!

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The Perfect Touch for any outfit | By Jyoti Balani

A beautiful scarf worn with some thought can add color and style to even the most boring and staid outfits. Scarves have since many years been an integral part of the fashion scene all over the world and can never go out of style owing to the fact that a scarf is an incredibly functional accessory. A classic go to item to add a refined elegant detail to your everyday look, these days a lot of prominent fashion houses create scarves in various sizes, colors and shapes which cater to various preferences. A scarf can be at best described as a stylish and sophisticated wardrobe piece that every woman should have to dress up or dress down any look. Used in multiple ways such as to accessorize an accessory when it is tied onto a handbag to instantly update your look or a fashionable and everlasting head cover or even an original top to wear for warm summer parties, given a little thought and some imagination a scarf can take your style several notches higher. ORIGIN AND EVOLUTION Legend has it that the scarf originated in Rome, and its purpose was cleanliness and not to make a fashion statement. Scarves were used as a solution for perspiration in warm weather in the olden days and were worn either around the neck or on the belt. Used to depict iconic, quirky images from a city to a region or even postcard themes; there is no end to a designer’s imagination when it comes to cre34 Upscale Living Magazine |

ating a new scarf design. Popular fashion houses manufactured scarves as fashion accessories since the 1800s. Usually made using silk and with flamboyant patterns, there was a time when scarves were made in affordable fabrics such as rayon making it easier for women of all social strata to buy these beautiful creations. In fact, the fabric used, the patterns created and the style of scarves worn by fashionistas were an indication of the current economic

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and social conditions. During the World War II, colors of scarves were muted and reflected the mood of the society; the purpose was also to conserve resources during that period so we don’t see a lot of luxurious material used to create scarves. Whereas in the sixties scarves were brightly colored and floral patterned. Scarves have evolved with time and these days scarves are available in a wide price range making it easy for women to sport a scarf

F A S H I O N and add that much needed oomph factor to an outfit. Scarves are a like a canvas where an artist creates a unique design which is then converted into a wearable piece of art, at times scarves are used to recreate the works of masters. Whatever it is, like in any other industry, originality and creativity determines the popularity of a brand when it comes to scarves. Knitted scarves such as lace knit scarves, ruffle knit scarves, chunky knit scarves are great to provide warmth in the winters while skinny scarves can add a feminine touch to your outfit during the summers. Skinny scarves are perfect during the summers and can be sported with casual tee shirts, skirts and short dresses. Even though skinny scarves are more ornamental than useful, these light and trendy scarves can be used to create a fashion statement in the summers. Loose wrap knitted scarves and mini neckerchiefs make great options for both casual outings and romantic dates. Fur scarves add a luxurious look to any outfit and can be used to up the ante when you want to stand out in a crowd. Created in various colors these days, fur scarves can be used as a wraparound for the neck or even tucked inside a belt to create a new look. BRANDS THAT CREATE SOME OF THE BEST SCARVES Brands such as Hermès have created some of the most exclusive scarves and thus have carved a niche for themselves in the fashion industry. It is believed that Hermès sells a scarf every twenty five seconds such is the popularity of the brand. The company was established in 1837 and is known for its individualistic style and unique creations. Most of the scarves created by Hermès have paintings by renowned artists and find favour with many a celebrity all over the world. This season Hermès has released interesting designs such as the Rosace de Janos Ber created by Designer Janos Ber. Born in Budapest in 1937, Janos Ber moved to Paris at the age of 20. His meeting with Simon Hantaï and his discovery of the American postwar school of painting marked a turning point in his art, as did the paintings and writing of Matisse. Here he tells the story of a certain Rosace, which has become a silk scarf: “The brush leaves a trail on a square of paper, traces of color that follow in quick succession, converge, diverge, never forgetting the void that separates them, which are only there to bring the white to life with a breath, a heartbeat. It’s simple, too simple perhaps. The scissors slice, cut into two, gliding from one corner to the other reminding us of something, a flower, a rose… almost there, it’s a rose window!” The Jaguar Quetzal created by Designer Alice Shirley also has an interesting story behind it’s creation. The “jaguar warriors” of the pre-Columbian Aztec civilization inspired Alice Shirley to dream up this big

cat and its superb headdress, which is loosely inspired by the famous Penacho conserved in the Museum of Ethnology, Vienna. Made of feathers and semi-precious stones, this enormous headdress owes its beauty to the brilliance of more than 400 quetzal feathers. The quetzal is a tropical bird that lives in Central and South America, whose Aztec name means “long green feathers”. The designer, who is passionate about the animal world, gives us a tender portrait: a sleeping jaguar “dreaming of freedom”. Established in London in 2005, JANE CARR creates luxury printed and cashmere scarves in directional color palettes. Founder and Creative Director Jane Carr graduated from the prestigious Central Saint Martin’s Fashion MA. Since it’s debut, emphasis has been placed on unique, vibrant design and the finest craftsmanship, with printed scarves made by hand in Como, Italy. The JANE CARR world is inspired by global travel, contemporary art and popular culture, imbued with a subtle humour and playfulness. Alongside seasonal print collections, JANE CARR presents an edit of indulgent cashmere wraps. Timeless wardrobe staples and luxury travel must-haves, each cashmere piece is expertly hand-loomed by artisans from Kathmandu in Nepal. The Spring Summer 18 collection features the Print Collection consisting of The Gitane, Fauve and Lydia prints with their blocks of pure color, hand-drawn florals, bold strokes and abstract paisley motifs. The Love Square is an ode to the artist and his travels, whilst The Camouflage Neckerchief and Strawberry Foulard are vividly colorblocked eye candy. About the Strawberry Foulard, Jane Carr-Founder and Creative Director, says “This graphic take on the classic foulard is an ode to the Pop Art movement and Andy Warhol. Capturing the zeitgeist, it is both fun-spirited and effortless to style. As is true for all our silk scarves, it is impeccably hand-finished in historic mills in Como, Italy. The new Summer 18 collection is inspired by the artists and art movements that continue to shape my attitude towards color and design.”

perfect for a business meeting whereas the colorful ones are perfect for a fun outing. Beach gown scarves are used to protect the neck and shoulders from the sun. At times, beach scarves are also wrapped around the head to protect from the sun and can make for a unique look. Smaller scarves or neckerchiefs are ideal accessories for the hair whether to tie up the hair in a pony tail or to use as a headband. Polka dotted scarves, scarves with stripes, floral scarves and those with animal or geometric prints are perfect for a casual outing. Whereas scarves depicting an artist’s painting or an iconic theme or ones that prophesize a philosophy are ideal for more formal occasions. Whether it is summer, winter or monsoons, these days there are scarves created by well known brands for all seasons. Select a gorgeous scarf to take your ensemble to the next level in your future outings!

THE PERFECT STATEMENT ACCESSORY The fact that a scarf is so versatile and can be used in various ways to dress up adds to its popularity with men and women alike. A scarf can be used to tie up your hair, accessorize your hand bag, worn around the waist as a creative belt, on your wrist as a wristband, knotted into a French bow around the neck, as a causal drape around the neck, as a headscarf instead of a headband or even used to tie around an ankle instead of an anklet. Whether it is a colorful or a white scarf, both can be used to accentuate your style given a little thought. A white scarf is 35 Upscale Living Magazine |

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Roda Network by Rodolfo Dordoni Monumental Original Fiber Art Karel Appel Rug

Karpa Collection Amazonia exclusive dining table

A Royal Louis XVI Giltwood Fau with Chaise 36 Upscale Living Magazine |

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Pagoda Red Underglase Fish Amidst Fronds Basin


Flusso Collection by Castro Lighting

Franz T. Sartori, Wall Mirror, Glass and Gilded Brass, Italy, circa 1960

Hellman Chang Tao Dining Chair

D’après Germain Pilon (1528-1590) Bustes de François II (1544-1560) et de Charles IX (1550-1574)

Cabinet from Ming Dynasty China 18th Century Black Burgundy Lacquer Patina

Edgar Levy figures with Telephones c.1936 - $135,000 37 Upscale Living Magazine |

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CELIA SAWYER “All That Glitters” | By Heléne Ramackers Photos COURTESY OF CELIA SAWYER

With a career spanning over two decades, Celia Sawyer’s signature style is stylish, glittering interiors. Being in demand as a luxury interior designer has made her the success story she is and continues to be. TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. I am Celia Sawyer, I have an interior design business in Mayfair London, and live between London and Sandbanks, which is a peninsula on the beach on the South coast of England in Dorset. I also have a house on the beach in the west coast of Barbados which is lovely to visit all year round. I have two children, aged 19 and 16 who keep me busy when I am not working on lovely interior projects. I started my business over twenty years ago, and now design homes, yachts, private aviation and commercial interiors worldwide. DID YOU HAVE AN INFLUENCE IN YOUR YOUTH THAT SHAPED YOUR CAREER PATH? I did very well in art at school and thoroughly enjoyed it, so my creative foundation started there. I was also quite observant and I remember when I was young, I used to love going to look at show homes and it fascinated me as to how they got the interiors to look so nice. That was probably the start of my future endeavours. WHEN AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME AN INTERIOR DESIGNER? It was purely by accident. I bought a flat in London in 1990, added another floor when I could afford to. I had bought the roof space when I first purchased the flat and then designed and furnished it. Estate

agents and others came to view the property and they were so amazed, they asked me to do others and it really started from there. Since then I have never looked back. You started your design firm Celia Sawyer Luxury Interiors in 1997 and more than two decades later, you are still going strong. What and who inspires you? I have always worked hard and my standards of service are very high, my staff know that about me. I believe that service accounts for almost all successful businesses. I am now lucky enough to stay in great hotels around the world, and I often write reviews as the service will make or break my stay. I listen to my clients’ dreams and ambitions and then make them into a reality, and that is why they come back for more. Most of my clients have been with me for years or are recommendations. WHAT ARE / HAVE BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN YOUR CAREER? To be really honest, every project is a big challenge as it is peoples’ homes and lives you are working with, so it needs to be right every time and no project is more important than another, so it is not project based in that way. Another big challenge in many businesses is to be able to re-invent yourself regularly, and that is something I have certainly had to work on.

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THE FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB? The first part of the design, which is the creative bit is my favorite as well as the end result, so that I see what I have created and how it comes alive. It is a relatively organic process at the end, so it becomes very exciting and a tad nail biting too. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING AN INTERIOR DESIGNER? Being able to create beautiful things for people and hugely improve their lifestyles and seeing the joy on their faces at what has been created for them. AND THE WORST? When the suppliers you have commissioned let you down. This sadly happens often; you are dealing with the trades and ever so often you get a company who have made you promises that just couldn’t ever really deliver. If this happens, unless there is a very very good reason, I never work with them again.

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YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE HOME – ONE IN LONDON, ONE IN DORSET ON THE SANDBANKS PENINSULA AND A BEACHFRONT HOME IN THE CARIBBEAN. MAY I MAKE THE ASSUMPTION THAT EACH HOME INCORPORATES ITS OWN STYLE? WHAT ARE YOUR DIFFERENT DECORATING STYLES AND DO YOU HAVE FAVORITE ROOM(S) IN EACH HOME? The home in Dorset on the Sandbanks Peninsula is not decorated as a beach house, purely because although it has a beach outside, we are living in the UK and most of the year the home needs to feel warm and inviting for our dark long nights. The design is simple yet warm; I have a lot of interesting artifacts and art in this house, as it is where I spend most of my time. My living room is my favorite room as it looks out on the view, but I also have my art pieces that I can enjoy whilst being in the house. I think it is very important to be able to look around a room and always find something interesting to look at from every angle. Barbados is outdoor living, so my main focus is the turquoise sea outside. I have a cold tub in the garden, and it is very contemporary, clean and fresh - it is a proper beach house. My favorite place is outside in my cold tub.


“I listen to my clients’ dreams and ambitions and then make them into a reality, and that is why they come back for more"

WHAT KEY PIECES IN YOUR HOME CAN YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT? Great lighting is my main love. I indulge in purchasing some incredible lights, and I have them in my main home. You can’t beat fantastic lighting; they are like wearing a simple dress and adding the diamond earrings to it. DO YOU HAVE DIFFERENT TASTE IN INTERIOR DESIGN OF YOUR PARTNER / HUSBAND AND HOW DO YOU NEGOTIATE / SOLVE THAT AMICABLY? My husband likes my style, which is great as if he didn’t, we could have problems. I have never created anything he hasn’t liked ... yet! TALK US THROUGH A TIMELESS INTERIOR DESIGN STYLE. Timeless interiors are about not getting too into what’s fashionable right now. It is more about creating an interior that is classical and contemporary, not trying to have the trendy color schemes and styles that are in this year. I always tell clients to keep a simple palate and add the fashionable

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I N T E R I O R S accessories if they want to keep in vogue, as you can easily change these relatively easily in the future, but you will still keep your timeless interior. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO ACCESSORIZE? It is of the utmost importance and people tend to not fully understand this part of the process. It is key to making the house feel warm, personalizing it, and creating layers of interest. People underestimate how important this part of design is and it is a real speciality of mine, so much so that I have designed my own candle and diffuser range. TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR CANDLE AND DIFFUSER RANGE? I have designed a simple range based on what you smell and how those smells make you feel, so it is about feeling good too. A house filled with the right smells can make you feel immediately comfortable, or be mood provoking, and I have a very sensitive sense of smell. The candle perfumes were created by me and I worked very closely with a British company called Sandy Bay to make the whole range come to life. When designing homes, yachts or hospitality, smell is paramount to first impressions and feelings of well-being. My design for Harrods is a special market and is very different to the candles I propose to get across the market of stylish homes. The candles for the Harrods buyer is very high end, and something somewhat “out there” in terms of design, so I am working with an artisan called John Harte to help me create the right casing to encapsulate the candles and give enough “wow” to make it really stand out with gold and jewels of course. HOW DOES ONE KEEP THINGS MODERN / TIMELESS WITHOUT HAVING TO BREAK THE BANK? Well, this is where someone like myself comes in. It’s about knowing the tricks really, such as where to look and what to look for, items that make impact and knowing how to mix things, such as cheaper items with more expensive ones to make aesthetics work well. DO YOU BELIEVE IN REPURPOSING DATED PIECES OR SHOULD ONE JUST SHOP FOR NEW ONES? Of course, recycling if possible is always important to do. It’s amazing how you can transform something that is old into something unique which looks like a new piece. YOU HAVE DONE SOME EXQUISITE INTERIORS, AND WE WOULD LIKE TO FOCUS ON THE AVIATION INTERIORS YOU HAVE TRANSFORMED. EXPLAIN THE ETHOS BEHIND IT? Private aviation is a very personal thing. When you are in the realms of the private aircraft world, anything is possible. This is because clients have to have vast amounts of wealth just to be in that position to have their own aircraft. What is great about designing aircraft for clients is that they are prepared to push the boundaries a little more than in their homes. It is a bit like an addition to their personality, perhaps a little bit of showing how they really would like to be perceived in a creative way. I find it a very rewarding process and something that I would certainly like to do more of. HAVE THERE BEEN PROJECTS THAT YOU HAVE DECLINED? IF YES, WHY? Yes, but not many. Some time ago, a lady asked me to design her house by the sea, however, she spent our whole meeting telling me 42 Upscale Living Magazine |

she knew exactly what she wanted and where to get it all from, and didn’t really listen to my ideas so I decided to politely decline the project! DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS. Attentive, innovative and organized. YOU TRAVEL FOR BUSINESS, AND HOPEFULLY PLEASURE TOO. WHICH HAVE BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO TRAVEL TO THAT HAVE LEFT A LASTING IMPRESSION? Gosh I love so many places for so many different reasons. I love the Caribbean as the vibe is so good, Sicily as the food is so amazing, France and Italy for the scenery, South Africa for its wine region and New York for it’s amazing architecture … to be honest, there are so many places I love visiting, and all the contrasts give me design ideas to work with as nature is my biggest influence. WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN? Go out and eat, dance and have good wine (not often enough)!

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IF YOU HADN’T BECOME AN INTERIOR DESIGNER, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE BECOME? That’s a good question, I didn’t do well at school, so I would have only been able to either go back and re-do exams or start something of my own. One subject I have always been interested in is criminal law, but I am happy with what has come my way. ANY EXCITING PLANS ON THE HORIZON? Yes, I am working on some TV shows, I already have had my own show on BBC1 and have an ongoing show on Channel 4 and now on Netflix USA which is called Four Rooms, where I get the chance to buy interesting memorabilia for my clients. I am in talks for some new shows, so hopefully they will come off as it is nice to diversify sometimes. I am also developing some candles which I am hoping to get into Harrods, but truthfully, I am always excited; there is constantly something else around the corner.  43 Upscale Living Magazine |

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Fronted by the fourth-longest running river in Africa, Thorntree River Lodge is the epitome of luxury with a safari twist whilst the ebb and flow of the mighty Zambezi will leave you breathless.


’m standing, facing a precipice, looking down at the most incredible magnificence that could ever be imagined. I try counting the goose bumps on my arms, but they have become insurmountable, spreading over my entire body. Having stood here a few

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times before, the emotion evoked that is gripping me this time around is that of utter joy and wonder. The water of the Victoria Falls is tumbling down the rockface like a gushing mass of whirlpooling liquid, cascading into the air, forming clouds of mistiness and a

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complete shower immersion should you venture down into the rainforest. Suddenly, the sun makes an appearance and the subsequent presence of a rainbow bears testament to this splendor that is one of the World’s Seven Natural Wonders.

T R A V E L Another sublime experience is staying at the newly renovated Thorntree River Lodge. The only African Bush Camps property in Zambia, it will surely leave an indelible mark on the expectations you can harbor at a safari camp. My journey to get to Thorntree River Lodge starts in Zimbabwe, where I cross the border into Zambia and with the expert assistance of Thorntree River Lodge activities manager, Quintino Mbineji, I am well on my way to my destination for the next two nights. I am met by the very friendly Justina Shanungu, who is my hostess for the duration of my stay. Arriving just in time for lunch, I am famished. My table is set up with a view of the Zambezi and on the menu today is the most deli-

cious butternut soup, butternut salad, vegetable lasagna, chicken breast with sweetcorn and vanilla cake with ice cream, skillfully prepared by sous chef Monte Daka. My suite looks like something straight out of an architectural magazine – a tented structure with sliding glass doors, providing unobstructed views of the Zambezi and mesh screens to keep any unwanted critters on the outside where they belong. My bed is luxuriously draped in white linen and the wooden finishes complete the glamorous look seamlessly. The huge black and white artwork forms a focal point that offsets the charcoal interior walls to perfection. Ample in size, my suite comes complete

with a seating area, a raised wooden outside deck with loungers, a private pool and a bathroom with an exquisite deep tub, an inside & outside shower, double vanities and a dressing room. No effort was spared in creating a masterful, contemporary dwelling where time stands still and the only rush you will feel is that of the river’s downstream surging. Time to embark on my river cruise, which has me heading down to the floating timber and steel jetty, where Quintino is waiting to show the prolific birdlife inhabiting the riverine area. Our first encounter is of a wire tailed swallow sitting on a branch and as we move closer to get a better look (and a nice photograph), it stays put. Quintino points towards the low-flung branches

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of a tree, but I cannot see what he is trying to show me. All of a sudden, my glance meets that of the most imposing African Fish Eagle, waiting to swoop low to catch its next meal fresh out of the river.

wearing the appropriate shoes (do not wear flip flops as you could slip), I decide to rather take in the beauty of the Falls from my excellent vantage point while remaining dry.

Back at the jetty, I am welcomed by staff members who guide me up the lantern-lit wooden staircase to the dining area. Dinner is served in the dining room and tonight’s menu is a veritable feast – salad for starters, beef fillet with fondant potatoes & seasonal vegetables for main course and the most delicious melt-in-your mouth chocolate cheesecake with mini meringues and chocolate ice cream for dessert. Before heading to my suite, I pop in at the library to check my e-mails and make contact with my family through the Wi-Fi connection.

Another exciting activity is on the cards today and I need my shoes dry for this amazing experience – tracking rhinos on foot. Securely protected by armed guards, it is the most heartwarming encounter to see them peacefully grazing in their rightful environment, safe from harm and poaching. Making our way back to camp through the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, we spot a wood sandpiper, a little egret, some black herons, spar winged geese, a few white face whistling ducks, impalas, wildebeest, zebra with their young and a lone rogue elephant disappearing into the overgrown shrubbery.

It is time for sleep and after an invigorating shower with the complimentary Healing Earth products, the caressing feeling of the luxurious linen sends me straight to dreamland. Refreshed after a great night’s sleep, I know today is going to be spectacular as it’s Falls day. After a hearty breakfast of croissants, bacon and eggs, Quintino is ready for us to depart. Named after Queen Victoria of Britain, the intrepid explorer David Livingstone paid homage to the ruler of the monarchy by naming the world’s largest sheet of falling water Victoria Falls. It is a sight to behold at any time of the year, but when the rainy season starts, the mass of water that rumbles down the rockface at a rate of 500 million liters per minute produces an overpowering thunderous sound. No wonder they call it ‘The Smoke That Thunders’. I am asked by Quintino whether I would like to walk down to the rainforest where I will get soaked from head to toe, but since I’m not 50 Upscale Living Magazine |

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At Thorntree River Lodge, it would be remiss not to wax lyrical about the incredible lodge that was completely demolished and rebuilt within a year. The interiors are the handiwork of Fox Browne Creative in Johannesburg, South Africa. With a brief of creating a new Zambezi experience for African Bush Camps guests, they set to work to present the classic river cabins in a new way, inspired by the old explorer boats plying African rivers and lakes. The river itself came as a huge source of inspiration and was also the dictating factor for the moody blue palette. Wanting to layer interesting textures, Zambian artefacts, bespoke and vintage furniture, Fox Browne has given Thorntree River Lodge guests the ultimate feeling of being at home. With extreme weather conditions of very cold winters and really hot summers, the design had to run according to these climatic changes, allowing the rooms to open up completely in summer to let in the cool breeze whilst closing up in total-


ity during winter to allow a cocoon-like space for guests to almost hibernate. Tenthouse Structures in Cape Town, South Africa secured the structural brilliance at Thorntree River Lodge, creating cutting-edge design and sustainable building solutions for this project. Incorporating a unique portrait layout for the contemporary glass-fronted accommodation units, THS architect, Michael KornmĂźller (project co-designer) beckons nature inside whilst presenting unlimited views of the river from within. Providing flat-pack, lightweight rigid wall systems, pre-fabricated bathroom pods and compact fabric elements, they have addressed the unique impact constraints imposed by the sensitive World Heritage Site and river location. Structural, insulated paneling provides superior thermal comfort in both hot and cold conditions. Tasteful security sliding mesh screens, necessitated by the active wildlife around the camp,

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ensure guest safety. Sleek floor-to-apex glazed facades are finished with handcrafted sailcloth canopies, adding a light and ephemeral quality to the modern design at Thorntree River Lodge. The great trek to go home starts early, to ensure that I have enough time to cross the Zambian and Zimbabwean borders in time for my direct Airlink flight from Victoria Falls Airport back to Cape Town International Airport. Since it is a Sunday morning, not too many people are queuing to make their way into Zimbabwe. At Victoria Falls International Airport, I check in at the Airlink counter where a friendly staff member hands me my boarding pass. The Embraer 135 touches down on the tarmac and with a quick turnaround time which includes refueling, we are on our way to Cape Town. PHOTOGRAPHS SUPPLIED BY AFRICAN BUSH CAMPS AND BY HELÉNE RAMACKERS

* Views expressed are the author’s own. * Thank you to Jemma Macmillan from African Bush Camps for making all my arrangements and to Thorntree River Lodge for hosting me. 52 Upscale Living Magazine |

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How to Get There:

Airlink is a privately owned airline business. The Regional Feeder Airline, offers a wide network of regional and domestic flights within southern Africa and operates as a franchisee to SAA Route Specific Information: Travel extraordinary with Airlink's direct flights, between Cape Town and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Combine iconic Cape Town with the majestic Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, or take the opportunity to travel onwards to Hwange National Park to see wild dog, lion, leopard and cheetah. Travel onwards to other key leisure destinations such as Chobe, the Okavango Delta, the Kruger National Park, or even visit an Indian Ocean Island in Mozambique - Bazaruto or Benguerra. Connectivity: Through our alliance with SAA travelers connect conveniently with SAA, their Partner airlines and other carriers throughout Southern Africa and the world. Frequent Flyer Programme: Airlink is a member of South African Aiways Loyalty programme - Voyager. Website: Flight Bookings: Online, booking agent or SAA Central Reservations on +27 11 978 1111. TRAVEL TIPS: -Thorntree River Lodge is situated in a malaria area. Speak to your healthcare practitioner about prophylactics -US Visitors need a Visa when entering Zimbabwe. -US Dollars are widely accepted as well as major credit cards.

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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 relooked lease on life. Grab your travel diary as you want to get to these places as soon as possible!”


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A new hotel is lining the exquisite oceanfront of Bermuda. The Loren at Pink Beach is the first hotel to grace these shores in 45 years, and with 45 suites, it is the perfect place to find inner peace.

sophistication. This is not your normal greeting point with a front desk – unchartered ocean views meet your arrival, with natural light flooding the wall-to-ceiling windows throughout the lobby and dining area.

Set on eight acres of the most magnificent landscape, The Loren at Pink Beach was developed by former investment banker and hedge fund principal Stephen King. In a quiet corner of Bermuda’s southern coast, the natural setting and sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean remain unchanged.

The most dramatic feature is the glass spiral staircase off the lobby where you feel like you are floating. Dine at the elegant fine-dining restaurant Maree or enjoy an unpretentious light bite at Pink Beach Club where locally sourced cuisine will tantalize your taste-buds.

Deviating from the traditional architecture of Bermuda, The Loren at Pink Beach is a breath of fresh air with its clean lines and

Walls are adorned with the developer’s personal art collection, featuring contemporary paintings, sculptures and works of mixed-media by artists such as Vik Muniz and Los Carpinteros.

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Forty-five spacious and warm suites welcome guests with breathtaking vistas of the Atlantic Ocean. Comfortable living spaces are created using sleek, modern lines with warm colors and original artwork. Plush pillow-top beds add to the comfort of your suite while five-piece marble bathrooms with rain showers and Malin & Goetz bath products enhance the luxury component. Two pools, four pool-side cabanas and an untouched stretch of signature Bermuda-pink sand beach add to the dramatic outdoor space at The Loren at Pink Beach.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NEW YORK Following a five-year renovation, the new look of The Adelphi Hotel in downtown Saratoga Springs resurfaces with a distinct style and simple elegance that is evident in Saratoga Springs. Adding a vivid, modern reimagination of Victorian luxury, the iconic 1877 hotel sports a much-needed improvement. Known for its charm, Saratoga Springs is situated in upstate New York and is renowned for its Victorian architecture, arts community and many attractions that include polo, world-class horse racing and naturally carbonated mineral spas. The collaboration with designer and architect Glen Coben of New York-based firm Glen & Company ensured that the interiors focused on a sophisticated modern Victorian design with a contemporary twist 58 Upscale Living Magazine |

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combined with an eclectic revival of timeless ideals. Led by Dominick Ranieri Architect P.C. of Schenectady, New York, the extensive structural transformation and restoration resulted in a reimagined masterpiece.

space. Choose from thirtytwo artfully appointed rooms, sumptuous suites and grand common spaces perched along historic Broadway, rendering it the crown jewel of the Broadway Historic District.

“This is more than just a place to stay, it’s a gathering spot for all people who live in, or are visiting, Saratoga Springs,” said Simon Milde, Managing Partner of Adelphi Hospitality Group. “The Adelphi Hotel dates back to Saratoga Spring’s Victorian age when the town was known as America’s playground for the rich and famous, and we are grateful to be part of such a culturally vibrant community.”

Dine at Morrisey’s, The Adelphi’s legendary hotel bar located on the main floor. Named after one of Saratoga’s most famous residents, homage is paid to John Morrissey who was a heavyweight boxer, congressman and co-founder of Saratoga’s race track.

Eleven-foot ceilings welcome guests with a grand staircase that climbs all four stories and is the heart of The Adelphi’s communal




MALIBU, CALIFORNIA Hailed as Malibu’s best-kept secret, Nobu Ryokan has certainly made a splash on the Californian coastline. Simple, chic, yet indulgent in luxury, Nobu Ryokan makes you feel like you’ve woken up in paradise.

while relaxing at Nobu Ryokan. Nobu Ryokan Malibu is the first of the Nobu Ryokan Collection, a showcase of individual and exclusive retreats located in exotic destinations and gateway cities.

Renovated from the 1950’s Casa Malibu motel, the clear linear forms of the hotel’s exterior is combined with a unique blend of Japanese hospitality and coastal serenity. Enjoy the blissful sounds of the Pacific Ocean waves crashing as you are encouraged to drift off to sleep in your luxury guest room, and with only sixteen custom guest suites, each is distinctive and oneof-a-kind.

Nobu Ryokan guests seek luxurious sanctuaries in discerning environments. These hideaway retreats offer distinctive service and luxury products each set with an authentic Ryokan inspired style. The masterful combination of Nobu’s unique style of artistry and global luxury comes to the fore at Nobu Ryokan Malibu.

With perfect design features, including ensuite fireplaces, sweeping skylights, private decks and thoughtful design to offer you peace, privacy and ease

chitects and designers TAL Studios merge the minimalist aesthetic of traditional Japanese inns with the cool elegance of the California shore. Partnered by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Larry Ellison of Oracle and actor, director, producer and two-time Academy Award winner Robert de Niro, you know you have arrived in paradise.

Globally loved by a powerful international clientele, the elegance of the California coastline encompasses the feeling of Omotenashi, the Japanese art of hospitality. Combined by architects Studio PCH, Montabla Ar-

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After a complete rebuild, andBeyond’s Bateleur Camp reopened with a host of new additions. Tucked away at the foot of the scenic Oloololo escarpment at the rim of the Great Rift Valley in Kenya’s iconic Masai Mara Reserve, the brand-new look celebrates two decades of the camp’s existence.

of a number of the camp’s original artefacts, antiques and furniture pieces. High quality local artisans and suppliers were used wherever possible to preserve a sense of authenticity, ensuring that economic and skills development opportunities continue to flow to the surrounding communities.

Inspired by fresh ideas from guest feedback and altering trends in hospitality, the stylish yet understated camp incorporates African design touches updates while sustaining its much-loved classical and romantic safari feel.

The new design preserves the vintage silver, soft worn leather, antique trunks and crystal decanters of the old camp, while integrating new design touches such as old-world maps and elegant dark brass fittings, creating a contrast with white marble surfaces. Functioning floor space in the sophisticated guest tents has almost doubled and the interior spaces appear more spacious with the utilization of a lighter color palette and brilliantly incorporated

Charged with creating its brand-new look, original designers Fox Browne Creative were instrumental in fashioning a sense of continuity, with the upcycling and revitalization 60 Upscale Living Magazine |

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natural light. En-suite bathrooms are bordered by private stone courtyards with spacious bathtubs, indoor and al fresco showers. Views over the breathtaking Mara are best enjoyed from sunken daybeds on the private veranda or from any vantage point in your tent. Your day starts with an early morning wake-up call where freshly brewed coffee or tea, conveniently delivered through your butler hatch will ensure that you are awake enough to enjoy the spectacular wildlife that is endemic to the Mara. https://www.andbeyond. com/our-lodges/africa/kenya/masai-mara-nationalpark/andbeyond-bateleurcamp/


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Travel and Food Writer Shares Favorites | By Tracy Ellen Beard

The dictionary definition of sexy is exciting, stimulating, interesting, appealing and intriguing. During my travels over the past year, I have eaten many unusual, tasty, stunning and creative seafood dishes, and I am pleased to share with you my top five sexy choices. Each plate is outstanding for a variety of reasons—they excite the pallet with tempting flavors, incorporate unexpected, fascinating textures, originate from different destinations from around the world and are alluring works of art. ULTIMATE FAVORITE The Cylinder of Sesame Seeds, created by Executive Chef Andrès Delpeut at the Michelin star restaurant Bridges, received my all-time favorite seafood award. I enjoyed this surprising, seductive dish while staying at the opulent Sofitel Legend the Grand Amsterdam Hotel in The Netherlands after my husband Steve and I traveled up the Rhine River from Basel, Switzerland, on a Viking River Cruise. Bridges is located inside the hotel. Chef Delpeut creates delectable dishes for both restaurants, the bar, and catered events. Chef tossed together raw ahi tuna with spicy wasabi, cream cheese, and a soy dressing to make the filling. He then stuffed the mix into a cylinder made of candied multi-colored sesame seeds. I was excited after the first bite. It was delicate and light with sweet notes from the candied shell and saltiness from the dressing. The fish was tender and succulent contrasting with the crunchy exterior. This one stunning dish incorporated everything desirable into the perfect bite. EXQUISITE AMBIANCE So many things contribute to the dining experience including the surroundings where one eats. While traveling and working on a story about the recovery after the 2017 fires in Napa Valley, California, my friend, Connie, and I

experienced a culinary extravaganza at The Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil, a Michelin star restaurant. Executive Chef Robert Curry creates Mediterranean-inspired cuisine using locally sourced ingredients. Eating outside on an unusually balmy February night overlooking the vineyards filled with bright yellow mustard flowers, we watched the sun go down over the Valley while we dined on appetizing creations of culinary art. My favorite seafood dish of the evening was The Day Boat Scallop. Chef Curry prepared the delicate scallop by searing the outside until it formed a crust while simultaneously keeping the inside supple and cooked to perfection. The scallop rested on a bed of pureed sunchoke accompanied by a baby carrot, sunchoke, cabbage, shaved Proscuitto de San Daniele and a drizzle of black garlic with oil. PHENOMENAL CROWD PLEASER The word “festival” brings to mind thoughts of innovative products, creative foods, beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages. The BC Shellfish Festival in Comox Valley, Vancouver Island, Canada, did not disappoint. I traveled to the island by seaplane to write a few stories about the industry and the use of local products. Each night encompassed either a special event where accomplished chefs manned booths turning out exceptional food along with free-flowing beer and wine, or an elegant multi-course dinner. Executive Chef Nigel McMean from the Blackfin Pub distributed a few hundred paper plates with sablefish and a ginger yam puree. The delicate fish marinated for 24 hours in mirin, tamari, diced ginger and sambal oelek which added a bit of spice. Chef then brushed the sablefish with oil and seared it skin-side down. The fish baked in a convection oven for 10-12 minutes until it was opaque throughout. The yams were steamed until soft and then whipped with a puree of caramelized ginger and onion, whipping cream, butter, cayenne pepper and a little salt and pepper to taste. Chef Nigel and his staff worked quickly and efficiently to prepare plate after plate with a mound of smoothly pureed yam as a foundation for the sablefish, and then they expertly decorated the plate with a reduction of hibiscus and wasabi aioli. UNEXPECTED ORIGIN In the past seafood was considered best if eaten in restaurants established near water. Today this

perishable protein flies overnight almost anywhere in the world giving chefs in Midwestern cities and other inland places around the globe an opportunity to create spectacular dishes. Recently I visited St. Louis, Missouri, to write historical and luxury stories. While staying at The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta St. Louis I dined in their restaurant, The Preston, and was delighted to discover a sensual seafood dish in a region I thought unlikely to deliver such an arousing plate. Chef de Cuisine Nathan Sandknop takes octopus and turns it into something marvelous to savor. First, he simmers the octopus in a court bouillon made of onions, celery, lemons, black pepper, smoked paprika and bay leaves for an hour or two depending on their size. Once finished, the octopus is cleaned, grilled and tossed in a paprika vinaigrette with house-made potato gnocchi. The two ingredients lay over a bed of pureed sunchokes mixed with cream and butter. The vinaigrette adds a light acidity, and the soft pillowy gnocchi pairs lovingly with the tender, tasty octopus. SENSUOUS SUSHI Portland, Oregon, boasts some spectacular seafood, but my favorite place for sushi is Sinju. This chain of restaurants serves premier Japanese food in three different locations around Portland—Bridgeport Village, Clackamas Town Center, and the Pearl District. I live near Portland and frequent the city for both work and pleasure. It doesn’t matter which restaurant you visit, each one uses the same recipes. A favorite plate for me is one with a Caterpillar Roll and a Sunshine Roll. The Caterpillar Roll incorporates smoked eel, cucumber, nori, rice, avocado and a sweet sauce. The Sunshine Roll features shrimp, crab salad and avocado wrapped in rice, and then it is topped with raw salmon, mango, and a drizzle of honey mustard sauce. I like to eat each bite with a little soy sauce mixed with wasabi and a tiny piece of pickled ginger. The combination creates an explosion of flavors. Seafood is a fabulous source of protein, generally low in calories, and highlighted in a variety of cuisines. Take a chance and try some new dishes when your are dining out, or pick up some seafood at your local purveyors and try a recipe that will delight your taste buds. 

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VALENTINO ONE DOOR EAST Two Divine Culinary Experiences Under One Roof | By Alona Abbady Martinez

It is hard not to miss Chef Giovanni - he’s the handsome, charming guy in chef whites working a mile a minute behind the open kitchen at Valentino Cucina Italiana on Ft. Lauderdale’s busy North Federal Highway. Rocchio isn’t just charismatic, he is extremely talented as well. “I don’t eat much,” he laughs, distracting listeners with his dimpled smile as he places the finishing touches on a breathtaking foie gras with whipped cream appetizer dish. The bar accommodates 16 and is the coveted spot for diners to enjoy front row seats to the magic of Valentino. For those seeking to simply sit back, relax, and enjoy a standout Italian meal there is plenty of comfy, intimate seating throughout the expansive restaurant as well. It takes a lot to keep one restaurant running smoothly and garnering success, but Rocchio, whose unruly curls betray the strict discipline he evokes in the kitchen, decided to double up by opening another completely different eatery, One Door East, right next door to his modern Italian hit. “We used to play ping pong in that empty space,” he confides while serving a shrimp fusilli with controne beans. “But ping pong doesn’t pay the rent.” And there’s that smile again. The friendliness that exudes from Rocchio crosses over to his cooking. Valentino Cucina Italiana opened in 2006 as an ode to his father’s Plantation restaurant young Rocchio grew up in by the same name. The menu showcases his thorough training, both in revered New York establishments and kitchens in Italy, where he spent time honing his skills as a chef. Featured dishes include veal osso buco with porcini mushrooms, bone marrow, and tomato, house-made tortelli with butternut squash and pumpkin seeds, and diver scallops with cauliflower, fregola sarda (a type of pasta typical to Sardinia), preserved lemon, and nigella seed. “I use only the freshest of ingredients when cooking. Fresh vegetables and herbs provide an authentic taste that nothing else can deliver,” Rocchio says. One Door East became the restaurant that would replace Rocchio’s table tennis tournaments, and the space where he used to bake Valentino’s bread, when it opened in February 2016. The industrial-style, global tapas eatery recently welcomed Chef Oliver Lustaro, formerly of Zuma in London, to oversee the kitchen. Dishes include hamachi ceviche with royal red prawn and aji-passion fruit leche tigre, lobster toast with saffron sabayon, and burnt ends with homemade barbeque, pickles and aged cheddar cheese. Lustaro works closely with Rocchio to create the menu and Rocchio frequently pops by to chat with diners of One Door East as well. At first glance one would be hard pressed to find similarities between the two restaurants, save that they are owned by Rocchio, driven by passion and creativity, and share the same front entrance: make a left, and you’ll get a boisterous, Asian fusion experience or turn right for a classy, intimate Italian with a modern twist. Both offer scrumptious cocktails, wines, and beers to pair with the meal. Of course, the most important thing they share is the end result: regardless of which you choose, you’re sure to leave satisfied in the end.  64 Upscale Living Magazine |

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MAKING A DIFFERENCE (786) 760-9133 | (630) 980-6570


A Delicious Return to

CALIFORNIA’S WINE COUNTRY | By Alona Abbady Martinez

Last year’s wildfires were the worst in California’s history, killing 43 people and destroying 10,000 properties, with some wineries in Northern California among them. Yet, considering the catastrophic impact, overall, the wineries fared much better than expected, with only a few burning down completely. Vineyards actually served as firebreaks, protecting most properties from going up in flames. California’s wine country is up and running and eager to share its award-winning wines with visitors. Here is a rundown for the perfect long weekend escape, starting at Napa Valley and ending in Sonoma County. Each vineyard listed is an easy 40-ncies minute drive from the another, making it the ideal travel time to take in the picturesque landscape while reminiscing on vintage tasted and preparing for the next one to come.



tart at this boutique Napa Valley winery for an unforgettable hands-on lesson in wine. Whether you aren’t sure what kind of a wine drinker you are or you swear allegiance to one varietal, Conn Creek Winery’s barrel blending experience is the best way to begin your wine journey. You’ll get to play “winemaker for a day” by tasting Cabernet Sauvignon in a guided tasting, then blend any combination of Cabernets to your palate’s liking. After that, adjust by adding other Bordeaux varietals like Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. You’ll get to play around a bit with several formulas, before committing to one personalized blend which you’ll then get to bottle, hand-cork, and create a label for using blank labels and a rainbow of

markers. This one-of-a-kind experience not only allows wine lovers to have a first-hand look into the art of blending wines, but also learn about their own palate and preference to grape varietals and their nuances.

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ou’ll have to make an appointment to visit this remote, picturesque vineyard perched atop the Atlas Peak District and it will be so worth it. The impressive winery belongs to the Italian Antinori family, who have been growing wines in Tuscany and Umbria for 26 generations, dating back to 1385. Today, the firm, which includes Antica, is run by Piero Antinori and his three daughters, Albiera, Allegra, and Alessia.

tially charred forest in these eastern mountains of Napa Valley is a reminder of how precariously close last year’s fires came to the winery. Yet the lush and thriving vineyards prove otherwise, much in part to Antica’s tenacious and dedicated Estate Manager, Glenn Salva, who helped create firebreaks that saved the property from approaching flames. Salva’s charisma and clear love of these vineyards is a reflection of the Antinori’s overall philosophy to create wines with passion, patience, and perseverance, a value that was carried over to California when the Antorini

family partnered with others to grow vineyards in Napa Valley in 1985. By 1993 the Antorini family had full ownership of the property. Even so, they took the time to cultivate and learn the land, releasing their first wines under the Antica label in 2007. Aside from the breathtaking views, you’ll get to sample their extraordinary Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and singlevineyard Townsend Cab in an effort to understand how perfectly this marriage between Italy and America is.

pon speaking to co-owner James Hall, one Make sure to reserve for their “Salon Experiquickly learns that people, and relation- ence” ($75) which runs Thursday through Sunships with them, is what has made Patz & Hall days and features six Chardonnay and Pinot the renowned vineyard it is today. The idea for Noir single-vineyard-designate wines. This inPatz & Hall began in the 1980s, when, Hall, timate experience accommodates up to 9 people who was an assistant winemaker at the time, and pairs the wines with canapés such as mini struck a friendship with the vineyard’s national shrimp taco with pineapple salsa, burnt orange sales manager, Donald Patz. They joined with and mezcal pâte de fruit on pink peppercorn Heather Patz and Anne Moses and created Patz shortbread, and Moroccan spiced lamb with & Hall in 1988. Fast-forward 30 years and this cranberry carrot slaw on sweet potato. vineyard has become a must-visit destination known for its single vineyard Chardonnay and They also offer a stylish drop-in tasting bar that offers more casual seated tastings as well as a Pinot Noir. 68 Upscale Living Magazine | JUNE 2018

gorgeous terrace where guests may relax and take in the views.

The climb 1,800 feet above sea level through par-



Patz & Hall is located at 21200 8th Street East, Sonoma, CA 95476 For reservations please phone the Sonoma House Concierge at 707-931-2440 or email at info@patzhall.comor book your reservation online at




visit to California wine country would not be complete without a visit to Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, not to be confused with Stags’ Leap Winery, a nearby vineyard with almost identical name. The name of this vineyard originated from a native Wappo legend of a stag leaping to escape hunters. According to the tale, the stag jumped through a prominent “v” shape between the mountains behind the property known as the Stag’s Leap Palisades, and hence came the name. Stag’s Leap is famous for taking first place in the prestigious Judgement of Paris in 1976, only four years after the vineyard was established. There, its 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon won first place, having surpassed top French wines in a blind taste test led by French wine experts. The victory catapulted, not only Stag’s Leap, but all of California into the winemaking limelight, making California a serious contender in the world wine map from that moment on. The winery has recently opened a large, modern visitors center with even a mini-museum showcasing the famous bottle that took the fated 1st place award. Visitors can view the correspondence sent back and forth between France and California before being drawn to the extraordinary view of the vineyards framed by the commanding mountains in the back. There are several tasting packages available beginning with the Estate Collection Tasting Flight ($45 per person) which showcases the vineyards FAY and S.L.V. estate wines, two extremely different, yet equally alluring wines. This tasting includes the highly collected CASK 23. Reservations are required for groups of five or more. For a bit more exploring, Stag’s Leap offers the Estate Wine Tasting & Cave Tour ($75 per person) which offers a tasting as well as a tour of the impressive underground modern caves where the majority of the wines are stored. Reservations are required.

The Fire & Water Tour and Tasting ($95) includes a guided tour of the winery as well as a seated tasting accompanied by small bites. (Reservations required.) The Cellarius Kitchen Experience with Chef Travis Westrope ($175), is the winery’s latest option. Guests are treated to a tour of the caves before enjoying a sit-down feast at the property’s Cellarius Kitchen. Chef Travis Westrope pairs Stag’s Leap’s finest wines with seasonal and locally-inspired dishes, explaining each pairing along the way. Dishes have included beet-stained Atlantic salmon with sour grape caviar, lemon aioli, asparagus and heirloom squash salad (paired with 2015 FAY Vineyard Estate Cabernet Sauvignon), Mexican coffee pork belly, popcorn “grits”, espresso agrodolce, and peach mostarda (paired with 2015 S.L.V. Estate Cabernet Sauvignon), and porcini dusted elk loin, squash blossom pesto, haricot verts, crispy morel mushrooms, and almond foam (paired with 2015 CASK 23 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon). Advance reservation are required and there is a maximum of 12 guests. Lastly, the release of the 2015 FAY Cabernet Sauvignon this month marks 25 years of FAY. The FAY vineyard was planted by Nathan Fay in 1961 and was the first planting of Cabernet Sauvignon in what is now referred to as Stags Leap District. In honor of this anniversary, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars will be hosting a special seated tasting highlighting their latest 2015 FAY along with several vintages from their wine library. The special tasting will run from June 1, 2018 through December 2018. Reservations are required for this special 1-hour tasting and the price runs $125 per person. There are several lovely terraces to sit outdoors, sip wine, enjoy the awe-inspiring views, and perhaps catch a selfie with Stag’s Leap in the background. Stag’s Leap is located at 5766 Silverado Trail, Napa CA 94558; 707-261-6410; Stag’s Leap

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Where to Stay & Where to Dine



A boutique hotel located in the heart of Napa, Archer Hotel offers an urban modern vibe that includes large flat-screen TVs, Nespresso coffee machines, and, in true wine country fashion, a wine cooler. There’s also a hip outdoor rooftop bar called Sky & Vine which offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the valley with plush seating. The 7,000 square foot space features natural design elements of reclaimed wood, metal and stone, has hanging string lights, fruitless olive trees surrounding stone fire pits and lounge seating. It opens at 7:00am, so one can enjoy a cup of coffee before starting the day and serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, with dishes like avocado toast with beet and horseradish-cured salmon, cucumber, watercress, and cured egg yolk or chilled artichoke salad with spring vegetables, watercress, and quinoa puffs.

Located within walking distance of quaint Sonoma Plaza, a shopping and dining mecca, this recently updated rustic-chic property serves as the ideal springboard for exploring Sonoma wine country. 1325 Broadway at Leveroni and Napa Roads, Sonoma, CA 95476 707-935-6600; The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Spa & Inn

Brunch features a spinning doughnut wheel and brioche French toast with spice battered, strawberry, basil, and whipped mascarpone. Renowned steakhouse, Charlie Palmer Steak is located in the main floor of the hotel where celebrated chef Charlie Palmer shapes, what he calls, “Progressive American” cuisine inspired by the surrounding Napa Valley agricultural and viticulture regions. Steak lovers rejoice: this s the real deal. Opt to share 21-day dry-aged porterhouse or bone-on tomahawk steak for two and be sure to add on foie gras just because you can. But first, begin with the short rib pastrami or pig ear pad thai. Sides are plentiful and hard to stick to just one, so go for ordering several and sharing as well. Try the creamed spinach with garlic crumbs, assorted wild mushrooms with caramelized onions, and Yukon gold potato puree. 1230 1st St., Napa, CA 94559; 707-690-9800


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Executive chef Armando Navarro prepares California-inspired local farm and ranch fresh fare in a straight-forward manner. Locals flock here, and understandably so. The communal table, large windows welcoming natural light, and casual ambiance are part of the appeal. A spectacular wine list and exquisite dishes like scallop and soy glazed pork belly, seafood paella, and Petaluma chicken, house made sausage, polenta, mole sauce, and sous vide egg keep folks coming back.


GRANDE UTOPIA EM EVO SPEAKERS The Grande Utopia are not only loudspeakers that have had a great impact on their generation. It is also the most accomplished concept of our philosophy “Listen Beyond”, the ultimate reference. After the “W” cones, the pure Beryllium tweeter and the Electro-Magnet woofer (EM) of the previous models that had marked a technological break, Grande Eutopia EM Evo adopts the latest Focal innovations: TMD suspension, NIC magnet and MRR cabinet structure. Superlative performance, unique style: Grande Utopia EM Evo is not only a technological monument, it’s above all acoustic sculpture 71 Upscale Living Magazine |

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Seven Luxury HOTELS to enjoy throughout

portugal | By Sean Hillen

For a nationwide tour of Portugal from the Algarve to Porto, Coimbra and Lisbon, here are my suggestions for experiencing sheer luxury combining authenticity and style. PINE CLIFFS RESORT, ALGARVE

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ordered by swaying palm and cypress trees and clusters of roses, the entrance driveway to the Conrad in Quinta do Lago is one of sheer elegance. Impressive interiors feature a high, dome-shaped ceiling decorated in a floral design with six floors of rooms above encircling the lobby. The hotel was built to resemble a contemporary palace, incorporating distinct Moorish elements. While such architectural quality made my companion and I feel reverential, any suggestion of stuffy formality was eased by the friendliness of the young staff. Sightseeing over the few days we spent there was made easy with their help. Guests at this, the first European Conrad Resort, enjoy plenty of leisure activities. During our brief stay, there were classes in yoga, pilates, aqua fitness and core, cardio and fusion strength. There are four swimming pools including infinity and lagoon-style, plus tennis courts, a gym and a spacious spa. As Quinta do Lagos has so many championship golf courses, the Conrad also offers a simulation play area to help guests improve their handicap. This resort hotel also has its own beach, Ancao Poente, with restaurant facilities and a stunning ochre cliff backdrop, with free daily transport. For more information visit:




tretching across 72 hectares, Pine Cliffs Resort in the Algarve is so vast it has developed a special botanical handbook and walking tour for its guests. This multi-faceted, 5-star property, also offers diverse accommodation options, 10 different restaurants and bars; a health club, a beauty salon, a children’s village and numerous boutiques and shops. Accommodation options include rooms, apartments and townhouses in separate designated areas including the Sheraton Algarve; Pine Cliffs Vacation Club; Pine Cliffs Deluxe Villas; Pine Cliffs Ocean Suites; Pine Cliffs Terraces; and Pine Cliffs Residence. Myriad sports activities range from golf and tennis to football and watersports. Pine Cliffs Golf Course and Academy, a nine-holer of mainly three and four pars, is suitable for beginners. ‘Beach Club and Water Sports Center,’ at the resort’s ‘Falesia Beach,’ focuses on surfing, catamaran sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, jet-skiing and wakeboarding. For more laid-back guests, the beach itself has sun loungers, parasols, changing facilities and a nearby terrace restaurant. Children enjoy a special Porto Pirata ‘village’ centering on two lifesized wooden pirate ships. Other facilities include a basketball court, a dedicated children’s swimming pool, a ‘racetrack’ for toys on wheels, a bouncy castle, mini-golf, football, archery, arts and crafts, cricket and aqua-gym. The resort has five separate outdoor swimming pools. For more information visit

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nce an ‘albergaria’ providing inn-style family accommodation, the Vitoria Stone is now a charming four-star hotel just outside the historic walls of the central Portuguese town of Évora in the Alentejo region. A low-ceilinged lobby characterized by irregularly-shaped concrete pillars reflect an artistic representation of the intriguing megalithic tombs scattered throughout the region. Large glazed amphorae and black and white photographs of menhirs (cromlechs) on the walls extend the archaeological theme. Upstairs, corridors leading to the 48 rooms exude a sense of surrealism, an effect created by a glass ceiling and dark walls along the narrow space, with designs made from cork decorating every door. Highlighting the hotel’s focus on recycling, old throwaway wooden planks have been newly varnished and transformed into headboards, adding a surprising touch of contemporary design. The hotel’s ‘Almendra Spa’ offering facials and massages including a creative ‘Fado music massage,’ is designed using old, wrought-iron fencing. On the 5th floor is a rooftop terrace bar and large sunbathing area beside an infinity dipping pool. (!popup/1/)

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ccess to this 57-room hotel in the Douro Valley is down a narrow cobblestone lane lined with vineyards, cyprus trees and lavender and rosemary bushes. The renovated 19th century manor house consists of a series of interconnecting corridors leading to rooms, the restaurant, breakfast room, bar, swimming pools, organic gardens and a wine library. The latter, a delightful place to relax, feature floor-to-ceiling books, a funky chandelier-like lighting structure made from bottles and glass-fronted shelves stacked with wines. Wine and port tastings are held here. A second relaxation room adjoins the wine library with soft sofas and armchairs, a collection of urns, brass wall plates and an open fireside. Here, varnished tables are shaped from recycled wood and framed 19th century prints adorning the walls are creatively ‘touched up’ with modern abstract dabs and brushes of color. An Old World traveling trunk containing a range of board games and a billiard table at the end of the room provide entertainment options. Spa facilities at the Six Senses Hotel include a heated indoor pool with water jets, a special herb sauna with fresh lavender, lemon grass and chamomile and a steam-room. Holistic face and body treatments take place in 10 separate rooms, either single or multi-day therapies. ( )

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alking through the heavy, copper-colored doors of downtown Porto’s Teatro Hotel is like entering a world of artistic fantasy.

This six-floor property is designed to imitate its predecessor, the Theater Baquet, which stood on the same location and was burned to the ground more than 150 years ago. Design and furnishings are delightfully symbolic of the theater, beginning with the reception desk, shaped like a box office where guests receive a ticket to access their rooms. Colorful costumes hang in the foyer, alongside which are spotlights. The ‘Plateia Bar’ (meaning ‘audience’) features ceiling stage lights and heavy ropes used for raising sets while an entire wall of the ‘Palco’ restaurant (meaning ‘stage’) features a giant vintage black and white photograph depicting the enthralled faces of people enjoying a show. Even the hotel’s entrance doors are artistic, with the words of native, romantic poet Almeida Garrett, entwined on them in gold lettering. Extending the theatrical theme, bedrooms are termed ‘Gallery,’ ‘Audience’ and ‘Tribune’ and that all-important aspect of the stage - curtains - are everywhere, even lining the corridors. One half expects actors to step out boldly and recite their lines in front of you. ( )

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ocated in Campolide, the heart of Lisbon’s financial district, the 5-star Corinthia is near a metro station with a direct line to the historic downtown area. It is also close to the Gulbenkian Museum and the Lisbon Zoo. The building had been a hotel for more than 19 years before the Pisani family of Malta, founders of the Corinthia Hotel Collection, took it over in 2004. Having an impressive 518 rooms and an Executive Club, the hotel has three separate entrances, convenient for large corporate groups. The lobby, renovated by London-based interior designers Goddard Littlefair, is spacious and well lighted, its walls and furnishings the work of mostly local artists. Those seeking both relaxation and physical fitness opportunities are well catered for through restaurants, including ‘Sete Colinas’ (named after Lisbon’s nickname ‘City of the Seven Hills’), tapas in the ‘Tipico’ café, as well as a spa, a gym and a heated indoor pool. Our suite offered wonderful views over the city, the Monsanto Nature Park and the soaring 18th century Aqueduto das Águas Livres (Aqueduct of the Free Waters). Furnishings in the room even included a most seductive electronic massage chair. (

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he hilltop, 4-star, 46-room Palรกcio da Lousa, is a small-town property in a rural setting with a rich 300-year-old history.

Located in Lousa in central Portugal, a two-hour drive from Lisbon, this old-world hotel was formerly the palace of the Viscountess of Espinhal. Such its historical pedigree, its broad cobblestoned entrance-way conjures images of regal horse-and-carriages approaching. Two large Greek urns outside the front doors hint at elegance within. Our charming first-floor room, number 10, granted panoramic views over surrounding forest and stunning views over the Lousa mountains. Immediately across from our room was a magnificent elongated salon extending over four rooms with intricately carved doors between each. Here, shelves of books, glass-topped coffee-tables plied with glossy magazines, hanging framed portraits of former owners, comfy soft armchairs, potted plants, funky silk cushions with dog images imprinted on them and an open fireplace bid guests to relax. Dinner is enjoyed in a cozy first-floor room, resplendent with painted ceiling, wall murals of flowers and plants, cornices, intricate stucco moldings and delicate, hand-carved facades on doors and plinths. ( ) 79 Upscale Living Magazine |

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Celebrate Washington at

Tri-Cities Lodge at Columbia Point | By Nancy Zaffaro

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ith more than 200 wineries within a one hour’s drive of Richland, Pasco and Kennewick, together known as the Tri-Cities, the time is right to visit this Eastern Washington State region for a wine tasting holiday. And the Lodge at Columbia Point, a boutique wine hotel that opened in May of 2017, is the perfect home base while you sip, dine and explore the area. While wet and wily Western Washington sees 35-38 inches of rain annually, Eastern Washington receives only about eight — and enjoys 300 days of sunshine. This dry and fertile region grows an incredible bounty of crops, including wine grapes that become world-class wines. The Tri-Cities are well-situated for visiting some of Columbia Valley AVA’s top wineries, including those in the sub-AVA’s of Red Mountain, Horse Heaven Hills Rattlesnake Hills, Yakima Valley, and Walla Walla Valley. Embracing its agricultural roots and thriving businesses has also meant becoming a hub of fabulous wine estate tasting rooms, chef-driven, farm-fresh cuisine, and a host of activities for visitors. THE LODGE AT COLUMBIA POINT With a serene view of the Columbia River and Columbia Point Harbor, a trip is only accentuated with a stay at The Lodge at Columbia Point. The hotel partners with some of the AVA’s best wineries. Each of the rooms and suites is named for one of these 82 wine partners. The 62,777 square feet hotel includes a restaurant, wine bar, pool, hot tub, exercise room, and a massage spa, as well as numerous guest spaces in which to relax with a glass of wine. The same large Douglas Fir natural beams and trestles that greet you just outside the Lodge’s entrance extend to the Lodge’s interior. The stairs leading to the second floor restaurant use reclaimed wood and feature a hand-blown glass chandelier. The Lodge is a wonderful example of handcrafted construction that blends into the sun-kissed landscape. Elegant yet casual, the emphasis is on relaxation — and on the award-winning wines that so define the region. THE LODGE LIVING ROOM For me, the heart of the Lodge is the main floor living room. This welcoming gathering space is inviting and comfortable. Enjoy the library and open gas fireplaces. Comfy sofas, club chairs and table lighting encourage you to settle in. It’s here that wine partners take turns hosting social hours that include their wines, along with some nibbles. During my stay, I enjoyed tastings both evenings, with wines from Drumheller Wines and Alexandria Nicole Cellars. Check with the hotel for the schedule. Just off the Living Room is the outdoor river view deck. Sitting around the welcoming outdoor fire pit presents just another option to relax with a glass of wine. FOOD AND DRINK AT THE LODGE In the morning, there’s a complimentary breakfast in Drumheller’s, the Lodge’s second floor restaurant. Floor-to-ceiling windows face the waterfront and start your day out right. The breakfast spread offers fresh-baked bakery items, salads, hot dishes, fresh and dried fruits, a yogurt bar, and Chef Pauline Garza’s homemade granola. Vine Wine and Craft Bar is a great spot to stop for a glass of regional wine or a craft cocktail. Order bites from Chef Pauline’s small plates menu. Try this young and talented chef ’s country-fried oysters and the excellent charcuterie board. (Don’t miss the pecan pralines and pickled grapes.) Get wine recommendations from Rod, the hotel’s sommelier; yet another opportunity to learn more about the area’s wines. 82 Upscale Living Magazine |

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The same commitment to fresh, regional cuisine goes into the dishes on Drumheller’s dinner menu. Roasted vegetables and pan-seared Chinook salmon are two items you may find on the seasonal menu. Lodge Amenities The Lodge’s Woodward Canyon Spa features a tranquil hand-painted canvas wall. The Spa uses doTERRA products that will leave you refreshed for the duration of your travels. An exercise room is available. The open air


pool and hot tub offers waterfront views and comfortable seating around a roaring fireplace. CASUALLY LUXURIOUS ROOMS Spacious and well-appointed, my riverfront room includes a king-sized bed with excellent top-quality pillows and bedding, gas fireplace, and kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave, bar sink, coffeemaker, premium coffee and teas. The kitchenette is stocked with coffee mugs, stemware, silverware, ice bucket, wine opener, and provides ample counter space for a snack when you relax with a bottle of wine. I stayed in the Felécitas Room; Felécitas is one of the excellent wines in the nearby Red Mountain AVA. Small details matter. I appreciated the bedside charging stations and bathroom lighting that could be dimmed, making those nigh-time and morning transitions comfortable. The spacious bathroom features a large walkin rain shower that thoughtfully place the faucets at the

shower’s entry rather than near the showerhead so water temperature can be adjusted without getting soaked. (It surprises me how rarely this is done.) WINE TASTING Enjoy nearby dining options in Richland, including Fiction @ J. Bookwalter Winery, LuLu Craft Bar and Kitchen, and The Kitchen at Barnard Griffin Winery. (Don’t miss a stop into the tasting room and the art glass studio at Barnard Griffin, where you can make your own art glass piece.) Your biggest challenge will be in deciding which wineries to visit. Here again, the hotel’s sommelier can help. Interested in a wine tasting that includes food pairings, or a horseback ride or wagon ride through the vineyards? Those options are available. You may also want to visit the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center for a unique wine experience. Here, taste regional wines and enjoy educational exhibits, classes and attend events. The Center

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is named for Walter Clore, often called the “father of Washington wine.” Come away with even more knowledge about the diversity of Washington’s wine and terroir. EXPLORE THE TRI-CITIES AREA Besides wine tasting and fabulous local cuisine, the area offers much in the way of outdoor exploration. Three rivers in the area — the Columbia, Snake and Yakima rivers — offer scenic boating and paddling and there are miles of trails of hiking and equestrian trails. Exploring the Tri-Cities can begin just outside the hotel’s riverfront patio. Stroll along some or all of the paved Richland Riverfront Trail that begins just at the Columbia Point Marina. The walking and biking trail is seven miles long. The trail is part of the extensive 23-mile Sacajawea Heritage Trail connecting Richland and Pasco, and across the Blue Bridge over to the Kennewick side of the river. For golfers, the Columbia Point Golf Course is just across from the hotel. The Lodge at Columbia Point is an excellent lodging choice at which to base your stay while exploring the wines, cuisine and outdoors of the Columbia Valley AVA. And taking home your favorite wines finds will revive some great memories each time you open a bottle. For More Information: • The Lodge at Columbia Point, • Visit Tri-Cities, • The Tri-Cities are a three-and-a-half hour drive from either Seattle or Portland. Or fly in to the Tri-Cities airport in Pasco, the state’s third largest airport. • Traveling with your pet? Pet-friendly rooms are available at the Lodge at Columbia Point. • Insider Tip: If you’re flying Alaska Air, the airlines allows each person to check a case of wine free of charge. Of course, the wineries are also happy to ship your purchases.

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urity, space and light are the essential elements of the newest sail range boasting a combination of exterior and interior areas easily flowing into one another. A clever bridge deck and superstructure design allow for a great onboard comfort potential whereas the generous teak use, high bulwarks and classy lines underscore the modern style with a classic edge. Sunreef Yachts’ latest addition to its already vast offer is a tribute to all those who won’t settle for a mass product. Future Owners will begin their journey with a white canvas. One to fill with ideas, shapes and colors. FLEXIBILITY AND FREEDOM With a completely fresh superstructure concept, the range gains a saloon plan with an outstanding potential for customization. A vast, central

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lounging space with a panoramic view and endless layout possibilities, it opens both onto the bow terrace and cockpit. The bow benefits from a cozy lounge, well shielded from sun and wind. To the aft, the saloon merges with the generous cockpit extended with a large aft platform. All the areas combined form a universal, open environment where flexibility and freedom reign. TAKING LOUNGING TO A HIGHER LEVEL A couple of stairs up from the cockpit, the flybridge is more than easily accessed. Undeniably the new yachts’ most spectacular feature, the sundeck’s surface was specifically conceived to be the highlight of every model within the range. While housing the main helm, the flybridge is definitely dedicated to leisure with

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more than enough space for movable furniture, a Jacuzzi, fully-equipped wet bar, a barbecue and large sunpads. RETREAT AND RELAX The line’s new bridge deck was astutely designed to maximize the volumes available in the hulls. The range will boast an infinite variety of layouts suitable for both chartered and private boats. Depending on the Owner’s wish, the galley will be either placed down at hull level or seamlessly integrated with the saloon. The hulls provide impressive volumes to set up a custom layout including airy, luxurious guest cabins and an opulent master suite with a walk-in dressing, desk, sofa, retractable TV and an immense bathroom. A perfect setting to unwind and relax after a long day in the sun.

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Luxury lifestyle magazine encompassing everything luxury worldwide

JUNE 2018  

Luxury lifestyle magazine encompassing everything luxury worldwide