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Postcard from Paris


His Creativity... Your Confidence



Real Housewives of Miami Luxury Lifestyle



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Upscale Living Alina Rosa Leyva


Natalie King


Carly Drake


Allie Mendoza Lisa Marie Valentino


Suzanne Luccie


Anthony Barbosa




Maria Elena Holguin Lourdes Rodriguez Eric Fuentes Rich Murowski Diane Cassidy, Natalie Cabrera, Louisa Coy, Kevin Vieldhouse, Sophia Z. Lewin, Ray Shaun Gray, Jeffrey Gaya Ava Roxanne, Carly Drake, Lynne Nolan, Damon M. Banks, Jennifer Agress, Kathleen Krueger, Natalie King, Giancarlo Pawelec, Priscilla Pilon, Paul Kandarian, Megan Hill Michelle Tarkalson


Michael Vincent, Shane Tarkalson


Fable Communications


Carla McCarthy


Fabiano Silva


Luisa Anderson


Julianne Altmore Anthony McKay Carly Drake Anthony Leyva Jacklyn Dana

Publisher - Editor - Sales & Advertising -

Copyright 2013 Upscale Living Magazine. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of Upscale Living Magazine and ADMS Publishing Group, LLC. Neither the publisher nor the advertisers will be held responsible for any errors found in the magazine. The publisher accept no liability for the accuracy of statements made by advertisers. Ads in this publication are not intended as an offer where prohibited by state laws.

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Beauty Must Have’s


Carla McCarthy, the woman behind Cougar Vintage


A World of Fashion Glamour


Jewelry Must Have’s


Valimare, Luxury á la Mer


The Hommage Atelier Experience


Cocoon Yourself at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Spa, Atlanta


Whimsical Luxury Connie McSilver’s vivid imagination


Carbon Madness - Pagani Huayra


Prepare your own Super-Yacht experience


Starfire’s yacht


The Ultimate Golf Travel Lifestyle this Spring


Golf Must Have’s


Linda McDougald Design - Postcards from Paris


Kitchen Elegance with designer Karen Williams


Windfall Contemporary Crystal Lighting


Pastry Chef Claire Verneil


White Chocolate Martini


Chef Christian Sinicropi


Champagne of the World


Uncommon bottles of Champagne


One Bal Harbour Hotel


Exclusive Residential Golf Communities

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Indulgent Needs

Authentic Luxury Handbags Tanzanite Luxury Watches Soaps and Lotions

FEATURE Issue 31


Adriana de Moura Bravo TV’s star of Real Housewives of Miami



Dr Jeffrey LaGrasso His Creativity, Your Confidence



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Linda McDougald Linda McDougald Design Postcard from Paris



“Being a TV personality offers a platform to build on your dreams, but it can be hard to deal with scrutiny from people who think they know you.” Real Housewives of Miami star Adriana de Moura talks to Upscale Living Magazine.

As a TV personality, mother, art dealer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, multilingual, and much more, it is little wonder that no two days are the same for Adriana de Mourak. She often finds herself filming, making appearances, and attending events on top of her responsibilities as a mother and art dealer. Best known for her role on the hit Bravo TV show, The Real Housewives of Miami, Adriana is an art dealer who was first exposed to art at a very young age by her grandmother, a painter. She later studied French Art & Civilization at Paris’ Sorbonne University, in addition to Italian Art in Florence, Italy.

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As The Real Housewives of Miami’s ‘Brazilian bombshell,’ Adriana is a globetrotter who has travelled to more than 40 countries, visiting their renowned museums and galleries in the world. Out of everything she has accomplished, she believes her greatest achievement to date has been motherhood. “My son’s well-being and education are how I gauge my success. My son [Alexandre] is a caring boy and very smart too; he speaks four languages, one of them being Chinese. He plays classical piano and sails.

“Investing in nice art work is a ‘necessary’ luxury since you get to live and look at that piece every day and your art aesthetic says a lot about who you are.” “To me there is no greater legacy in the world than raising a well-educated child, who will grow up to be an individual contributing to society rather than being a burden to it.” In her devotion to being a good mother, Adriana has followed in the footsteps of her own role models: her mother and grandmother. To her they are, “strong, talented, and loving women who always put their children and family first.” Adriana describes her signature style as romantic and classic, while incorporating a trend to keep her looks fresh and interest. She advises others to invest in some key pieces and good quality basics such as a nice blazer, perfect fitting pants, and a flawless little black dress, which be dressed up or down with accessories. 12 Upscale Living Magazine |

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Adriana sees a nice watch and quality shoes as “necessary” luxuries because “those items anchor everything else you wear. Also, investing in nice art work is a ‘necessary’ luxury since you get to live and look at that piece every day and your art aesthetic says a lot about who you are.” Recently describing the latest season of Real Housewives of Miami as “emotionally taxing,” Adriana unwinds from the pressures of the filming by meditating, playing the piano, and going for long walks with the dog. “Being a TV personality can bring some advantages by giving you a platform to build on your dreams, but it can also be hard to deal with the scrutiny and criticism from people who think they know you.” Asked about her future plans, Adriana says she will “continue to raise my son to the best of my abilities and to grow as a human being. Professionally, I intend to launch a line of dresses and two other products are in the pipeline.” “From my last four years on a TV show, I’ve learned that the best thing I can do is to live in the present, not take myself too seriously and enjoy the ride. Carpe diem!” |  By Lynne Nolan


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Visit the Shop for vintage clothing, jewelry, accessories & home decor

Location: Florida, USA


check out my blog and visit my page in facebook:




|2| |3|


BEAUTY MUST HAVE’S |1| Gorgio Armani Belladonna Highlighter Palette «Effetto Nudo» Spring 2014 Collection provides a gorgeous natural sheen to the skin. |2| Guerlain Voilette de Madame Collection. |3| Sensai – Kanebo Sensai Collection cellular performance lift remodeling cream. |4| Amorepacific Time Response Skin Renewal Cream great for renewing and fixing the skin. |5| Laneige radiant shadow palette available in four highlypigmented color shades giving the eyes a great deal of color with just one swipe.

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JCK Las Vegas, North America’s leading jewelry show, took place at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino and featured products from over 2,500 jewelry industry exhibitors. Known for its extensive range and diversity of offerings, JCK is comprised of specific sections: fine jewelry fills the halls of LUXURY, Elite Enclave and the newly renamed Prestige; luxury timepieces can be viewed at the by appointment only Swiss Watch; the Design Center boasts innovative, artisan-quality jewelry; and the main JCK show floor is home to AGTA, Watches, the VICENZAORO Italian Pavilion, Plumb Club, and Hong Kong. The product, combined with a daily itinerary of networking events, education seminars and entertainment, including Rob Thomas’ JCK Rocks the Beach concert, made the show an unforgettable, must-attend event.

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CARLA McCarthy

The woman behind Cougar Vintage Boutique A few minutes with Carla McCarthy, and you quickly realize that she not only lives and breathes the latest fashion, but is also passionate about preserving and promoting the power of vintage fashion through her company, Cougar Vintage. Growing up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and now a resident of Miami, she brings the exotic sass of Rio together with the classic vintage fashions so popular throughout US fashion hotspots like Miami, New York and Los Angeles. This dynamic combination results in amazingly stunning fashion fit for today. Though vintage has been a passion for McCarthy since she was a little girl running around her large old house filled with art deco and antiqued baroque decor, she continues today to seek-out the perfect vintage finds 18 Upscale Living Magazine |

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to compliment other vintage fashion, or a modern look straight from this season’s runways. Both at home and on the big screen, she’s been fascinated with the classics. “My inspiration for my vintage collection is based on my beloved fashionistas from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s like my mother, Jackie Onassis, Audrey Hepburn and Lauren Hutton,” says McCarthy. Much like her passion for classic vintage, McCarthy has also been passionate about design as far back as she can remember. She was sketching designs as a small child, and understood that her life would revolve around the fashion world, some way, or somehow. “Upon receiving my degree at the University Candido Mendes School of Fashion Design, my mom and grandma helped me start my own company. I had a ladies garment manu-

PROFILE OF THE MOMENT facturing operation in Brazil, while also balancing a weekly segment on CNT in Rio. Loving every minute of this adventure, I had always known that I would take my love and passion for fashion and live and work in the United States,” says McCarthy. Arriving in Miami in 2006, McCarthy knew she was “home.” With an unmistakable eye for fashion and her love for the best vintage has to offer, McCarthy is constantly in demand as a stylist, personal shopper and image consultant, including her work with Adriana de Moura of The real Housewife of Miami. Maintaining a constant connection with her other home, she also writes the fashion page for Gazeta, the Brazilian newspaper. Launching Cougar Vintage was the natural next stage in McCarthy’s life; providing her the platform to further expand her love for everything vintage. It was 2010 that the name just popped into her head, and Cougar Vintage was born. “It was one day that I was thinking about many of the women I adore who wore my favorite fashions in the 60’s and 70’s, and bless many of them for being notorious cougars today. Cougar Vintage just felt right,” says McCarthy. Looking ahead, she plans to continue doing what she loves most by hunting down the most delicious vintage pieces she can discover, and eventually slow down enough to launch her own vintage-inspired clothing line. Though McCarthy admits that vintage is not yet as fashionable in Brazil as it is in the United States, she is seeing an increased number of Brazilians taking notice either while traveling and experiencing vintage fashion, jewelry and home décor first-hand; watching their favorite movie stars walking the red carpets with hints of vintage fashion; or of course, by the growing number of people reading her own Blog. She certainly sees the demand for vintage to grow exponentially in the coming years, and Carla McCarthy is sure to be in the middle of this fashion movement. Pulling from her vintage collection, McCarthy continues to impress everyone when working with magazines, personal clients and retailers. “Everything that’s old is truly new again,” says McCarthy. “We’re seeing many vintage-inspired styles on the runways today. Designers like Dolce and Gabbana, Valentino and Prada are showcasing lace, sequins, graphics, fringe, pleats, tea skirts, palazzo pants and more have these amazing vintage looks in their new lines.” “I love to put together vintage pieces with modern clothes, like a pair of ripped jeans with a tank top and vintage sequin jacket by Oleg Cassini is always a great look, but there are times that a vintage Dior dress needs nothing, as you don’t mess with perfection,” says McCarthy. It certainly takes a unique eye to create these inspiring fashion looks, and Carla McCarthy continues to provide the perfect combination of old and new. Not just a seasonal trend, vintage is here to stay, and with McCarthy’s growing popularity, the launch of her own vintage-inspired clothing line will surely be a huge success not only in the United States, but also in her other home, Brazil. Though we don’t know when that will happen, it will surely bring together her Brazilian sass with the vintage classics to be both fun and elegant. In closing, McCarthy says, “I believe that my things can transport you back to a more glamorous and hopeful time.” |  By Damon M. Banks

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BEAUTY | 2 | Home + Travel Shave Cream - $100

|1| Carbon and Watch Box - $1,200



|3| Verona Travel Set - $300

Atelier Experience As an exclusive enclave where gentlemen can unwind and enjoy bespoke grooming and skincare services in luxurious comfort, HOMMAGE is changing the face of modern-day grooming lounges for men. This is not your grandfather’s barbershop. With a growing number of international locations in some of the most sought-after hotels and destinations, more and more men are afforded the opportunity to reward themselves with an HOMMAGE escape. State-of-the-art offerings include a generous variety of face, shave, hair and body services personalized for every guest. For those who want to enjoy this level of service on a regular basis, HOMMAGE Memberships are an ideal solution. Titanium, Carbon and Platinum memberships are available with many exclusive perks of membership. Additionally, a Corporate Gold Membership can be obtained for CEO’s and their executive team. When you’re unable to visit an HOMMAGE location, here are 5 must-have items for today’s discerning gentlemen while both at home and traveling. 22 Upscale Living Magazine |

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|5| Gentlemen’s Face Kit - $125


|4| Shanghai Shave Set - $450

A World of


GLAMOUR Fashion Director Carla McCarthy Photographer Fabiano Silva Model Anna Sofia - Miss Brazil - USA 2013 Make up and Hair Stylist Studio D- Cesar Ferrette Clothing Cougar Vintage www. Jewelry Cougar Vintage, Carmen Gusmao Shoes BCBG, Tom Ford

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1. 2.

Special Fine Pieces for any occasion 1. 2014 Villeret model by Blancpain | 2. “Endless Joy” pearls by Francis Morris Designs | 3. Monique Lhullier Fine Jewelery Collection


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COCOON YOURSELF Wrap yourself in an indulgent detox journey at the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta Hotel and Spa

Deep in the heart of the South awaits an unexpected indulgence: a relaxing journey Far East for your mind, body and spirit -- without ever having to leave the city of Atlanta. An Oriental cocoon awaits at the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta Hotel and Spa. As we kick off the New Year of the Horse, it’s time to welcome the new you with a transformative detox journey, full of authentic Asian intricacies, but with a charming Georgian twist. Here is where the Far East meets the Deep South.

A hotel like no other

The Mandarin Oriental is ideally situated in the prestigious neighborhood of Buckhead, the heart of all things luxury in Atlanta, making it ideal for both leisure and business. Walk through the doors and you’ll be struck by the seamless and unique combination of Asian elegance and Southern hospitality. My daughter and I explored this 42-story hotel together. When we checked in, we were offered warm hand towels, hot verbena tea and a beautiful orchid. This kind of thoughtful attention to detail would weave throughout our entire experience.

The details make the difference

As we walked toward our room, the long foyer built anticipation for something incredible. It exceeded our expectations: two rooms, a large

bathroom, a dressing area with oversized, lined drawers and closets. All rooms were more spacious than US and international standards. The baths in even the simplest rooms here could rival the suites in other hotels. I decided I could move right in. It’s no wonder the world flocks to the Mandarin Oriental when in town! The hospitality here is taken to a whole new level, offering not only comfort but also good fortune. A lucky bamboo perches in the bathroom. Even the Shanghai Tang Mandarin Tea scented toiletries had the perfect touch of luxury, but without overpowering. An espresso machine waits in the foyer, along with snacks and complimentary water. We also experienced the most luxurious turndown, with orchids on the bed, extra water, a turndown rug and a pair of high-end slippers. However, it was more than a basic turndown. Aside from cleaning the room, which is expected, they even checked in to make sure we had everything we needed. I felt like I was living in “Downton Abbey.” They shined my boots for free while I slept, and even touched up a nick in them. We awoke to a prompt, exquisite breakfast, served in our room on a standard-size cart that transformed into a table, complete with a white table cloth, flowers and silver. 31 Upscale Living Magazine |

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The Mandarin Oriental anticipated all of our needs, and added so many tiny details to show they care.

A holistic spa journey

Just when we thought our experience couldn’t get any better, we entered the award-winning, 15,000-square-foot spa, offering everything: vitality pools, steam rooms, wet and dry saunas, a mani-pedi facility, fitness center, a relaxation room, outdoor spa lounge, balcony and private yoga studio. It was a holistic journey that truly transformed my mind, body and spirit -- and just as luxurious and unique as the rest of the hotel. We were greeted with a traditional shoe ceremony. Our shoes were taken on a tray, as shoes do not enter the spa area. I experienced the Body Detox and Tone Journey, a combination of a body wrap and massage, using specific oils to improve circulation and help eliminate toxins and excess fluid. Following body exfoliation, an algae wrap is applied and the scalp gently massaged. You receive a fullbody massage with detoxifying oil. This is the ideal treatment to help cleanse the body and improve the appearance of the skin. It begins with a washing-of-the-feet ceremony and the ringing of bells, then I moved from the chair to the table. First up: a top-of-the-line ESPA body brush. A natural bristle from a Mexican cactus plant stimulate circulation, eliminate toxins, improve skin tone, and finally helps to banish cellulite and boost cell renewal for smoother, softer, more radiant skin. Then I enjoyed the ESPA exfoliating body polish with a special touch: apricot kernels infused with spearmint essential oils for an uplifting experience and beautifully radiant skin refinement. Finally, I was covered in detoxifying body oil with a clarifying tonic. 32 Upscale Living Magazine | Issue 31

My therapist then wrapped me in a cocoon -- and I have never felt so warm and cared for. While bundled up, my therapist applied an awardwinning hair and scalp mud treatment, while cradling my head in her hands. This ESPA Pink treatment, using mineral-rich clay, watercress extract and apricot kernel oil, left my hair feeling youthful and lush for days. The wrap continued to work for days, as well, as it’s designed to help you rid toxins for three days after application. While in the soothing cocoon of the Mandarin Oriental, I felt my inner caterpillar melt away, leaving behind a beautiful butterfly waiting to emerge. This was just another tantalizing element of the magic of the Mandarin Oriental. |  By Ava Roxanne Stritt


VALIMARE Luxury á la Mer London-based brandVALIMARE has brought a fresh perspective to luxury swimwear, with chic yet playful cuts, as Upscale Living discovers.

Elegant yet undeniably sexy, VALIMARE is the new luxury women’s swimwear and resort wear brand from London that’s already making a splash since its launch at Miami Swimshow last summer. Founder and designer Paula Macineiras created the collection with her partner Ankit Jain, with the duo bringing a fresh perspective to luxury swimwear. “We are a new brand, and whilst we have a strong belief in the vision for Valimare, we have been extremely happy with the amazing reception we have received worldwide,” Ankit says. Paula has always had a strong passion for fashion design and discovering new materials, textures and colours. Having spent her summers growing up on an island, she developed a strong affinity for resort wear at an early age. The founders were both driven by a common entrepreneurial spirit and the challenge of building a business and a brand with strong values and focus on high quality products. As a brand, VALIMARE’s swimwear and resort wear reflects Paula’s personal

sense of style: elegant but playful, as well as her unique eye for detail. This combination conveys effortless style and allows VALIMARE to stand apart from many other brands. “We believe this balance would resonate extremely well with discerning women who forge their own sense of style and value quality,” Paula comments. Named after the family beach house on a private island in Spain, where Paula spent her summers and was first inspired by the style of the glamorous women who vacationed there, VALIMARE designs one-of-a-kind swimwear to suit and enhance all body types. The playful and elegant cuts displayed throughout the collection evoke this exclusive and flattering theme. Made in Italy from extraordinarily soft and fine Italian fabrics, the VALIMARE collection is cut to fit like a second skin. The collection features gorgeous solids and prints specifically chosen to enhance all skin tones, as well as rare accessories including filigree, bamboo, beautiful stones, and distressed gold themes. These details allow each piece a unique sense of character. Continuing with the theme of effortless style, inspired by Paula, VALIMARE has also created a stunning collection of kaftans to complement the swimwear collection. The collection consists of beautiful hand-embroidered pieces, made in India, displayed in themes of white and gold, geometric patterns, and necklaces as well as exclusive prints in luxurious silk. Many of the patterns are inspired by geometric themes, tropical birds, and vibrant colours. Already sold by selected retailers in the US, South America, the Caribbean, the UK, Russia, and France; VALIMARE’s online shop is at www.|  By Carly Drakes

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LaGrasso “His Creativity, Your Confidence”

Ever since he was a little boy, Dr. Jeffrey LaGrasso has always had a love for science and a love for working with his hands. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that a career in plastic surgery was a natural result. For Dr. LaGrasso, being a plastic surgeon is about more than face-lifts and liposuction – it’s a medium for creativity, it’s a method of healing someone’s pain, and it’s a way to help others gain the confidence in themselves that they might not have had before. Mentored by some of the top plastic surgeons from leading hospitals in New York, Florida and California, Dr. LaGrasso currently runs his own full-service practice from his offices in New York City and Miami Beach. Specializing in face and neck procedures, liposuction and body contouring, his practice also offers breast enhancement, reduction and reconstruction, a series of non-surgical procedures, and everything in between. Not surprisingly, his diverse menu of services mirrors the diversity of his clientele. “People forget that plastic surgery combines a little bit of everything, from reconstructive surgery to aesthetics,” says Dr. LaGrasso. “It’s not just for affluent people anymore – my patients include everyone from young men and women, to children with deformities and older individuals who want to look just a little bit younger.” As humble as he is talented, Dr. LaGrasso attributes the impressive quality of his work to the wonderful teachers who guided his training. Spending his undergraduate years at Pennsylvania State University, Dr. LaGrasso went on to earn his M.D. from New Jersey Medical School. He then continued his career with General Surgical training at the New York Hospital of Queens, followed by Plastic Surgical training at Albany Medical Center. One of only a few doctors chosen to complete a Craniofacial and Pediatric Plastic Surgery Fellowship at the Children’s Hospital 34 Upscale Living Magazine |

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of Los Angeles – which focused on the reconstruction of child deformities – Dr. LaGrasso successfully separated a set of twins conjoined at the hip and abdomen in 2006, earning him international recognition for his craft. Working with celebrities, socialites, jetsetters, business executives, athletes, and even other physicians, Dr. LaGrasso is driven by both his passion for the field and his desire to always improve his skill sets. “My process is simple. I listen to my patients, ask them what their end goals are and do what I can to help them make those goals a reality,” says Dr. LaGrasso. “I do have one rule though that I tell all my patients – if something’s not bothering you, don’t change it.” Always keeping his patients health in mind, Dr. LaGrasso aims to ensure that all prospective patients understand the full scope of their procedure before it even takes place. Whether it’s aesthetic or reconstructive, surgery comes with both risks and benefits – and the recovery process is different for everyone. “When it comes to getting a procedure, for me, communication is key,” Dr. LaGrasso says. “Plastic surgery is elective – and if there is something my patient really wants out of it, my role is simply to help them get there.” |  By Jennifer Agress

Jeffrey R. LaGrasso, MD 1425 S. Andrews Avenue Suite 200 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 954-760-4370

Tribeca Medaesthetics 777 Arthur Godfrey Rd, Suite 300 Miami Beach, FL 33140 305-763-8832


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LINDA McDOUGALD DESIGN | Postcard from Paris Home

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A stroll through her Postcard from Paris Home retail boutique in downtown Greenville, South Carolina is often all it takes to win a new client for world-class designer Linda McDougald, founder, president and lead designer for Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home. McDougald has had a life-long love affair with French antiques. When she and co-founder, Meredith Kinsey, first opened the retail boutique, they filled the space with stunning antiques from France. The comment was made that it was prettier than a “postcard from Paris.” This eventually became the name for the design firm’s retail division, with the full name combining both the design services and the retail side – Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home. “We have an exceptional collection of antiques and other vintage pieces, and we wanted to showcase those in a special way,” explains McDougald. “Our retail boutique and design firm actually grew together; they feed off of one another and were natural extensions of each other.” McDougald is personally involved with every project, but she is far from a one-woman business. McDouglad and Kinsey have assembled a talented team of creatives. McDougald describes what they look for in team members this way: “We look for individuals with innate ability, strong initiative, a good work ethic, a commitment to the highest levels of service to our clients, and an unmatched appreciation for improving, and creating beautiful and practical environments tailored to the lives of our clients.” At Linda McDougald Design the quintessential design elements that have stood the test of time are enhanced with current technology tools which allow McDougald and her team to work closely with all their 38 Upscale Living Magazine | Issue 31


clients, regardless of the location of the project. The firm is working on a number of beautiful homes outside of South Carolina in 2014. This includes homes in: Beverly Hills, California; Santa Monica, California; Manhasset, New York; Bristol, Virginia; and Baltimore, Maryland. They are also working on a historical property in Washington, DC and have a number of other projects in the works. Each new project generates excitement and energy, according to McDougald. “For us, building relationships with our clients is crucial” McDougald offers. “We are participating in a very personal, very important and longlasting endeavor with them, and they need to feel the highest levels of confidence in us. We use our knowledge and experience to create beautiful, practical and safe environments that support their lifestyles and the environment in which they live. We work hard each day to ensure their experience with us is inimitable and the results breathtaking.” Linda McDougald Design is a full-service design firm with a strong affinity for developing relationships with their clients. McDougald says they take great pride in their ability to help their clients discover and articulate their own sense of style and desires for their home. “We guide them seamlessly through what can often be an exhausting and intimidating process and helping make their vision a reality,” says

McDougald. “That is an exhilarating and fulfilling experience for us, and we absolutely adore every bit of it.” The newest addition to the services and offerings of Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home is their online shopping portal. “Adding an online boutique is something that has been in our plan for years,” says Kinsey. “We have some exciting things coming down the pike, both for our retail and online boutiques.” Sustainability is a high priority for many of the firm’s clients. Working with a client’s architect and contractors in achieving LEED certification has become a standard within the McDougald process. Introducing clients to innovative Green products, which are as stylish as they are environmentally friendly, has become one of their specialties. Clients of Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home are an elite group. Most of them have been referred to McDougald by one of her current or previous clients. A visit to a home furnished from Postcard from Paris Home, immediately initiates an inquiry into the designer and source, from even the most discerning of visitors. | By Kathleen Krueger

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ARCHITECTURAL PLANNING J. Armando Leyva 253-653-6815



Karen designed this kitchen in Scarsdale, NY featuring Calacatta Gold marble ideal for entertaining and two islands, allowing plenty of space for entertaining prep and serving. The Hamptons project has a large dining room table that can be used for serving a buffet-style dinner

Kitchen Elegance with designer Karen Williams Karen Williams creates kitchens that are easy to fall in love with. Her designs have won accolades including Global First Prize winner in the prestigious 2010-2012 Kitchen Design Contest, and her reputation as a premier kitchen designer in New York City attracts clients across the globe. Beyond the schooling and expertise that it takes to create kitchens with such graceful architectural integrity, there is a real passion that Karen radiates which comes from her love of cooking and all things entertaining. “From the beginning of my career I found kitchens so intriguing. I am an avid cook and love to invite friends into my home. I am fortunate to be in an industry where I can be constantly inspired” says Williams. It is important to keep your kitchen design unique to your style, while also keeping in mind elements that will support a strong resale value. Personally, I am always attracted to lasting elements and getting the inside scoop from designers of ways to incorporate these elements into your aesthetic. Much like a favorite Chanel purse that you will always adore, some elements of design are forever chic. Here is a list of kitchen “must-haves” from Karen Williams:

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HOME + ARCHITECTURE - A professional range will always enhance your value. And remember, it doesn’t have to be large. You will have years of enjoyment when you cook using a range that is of high quality. - A quality refrigerator—this is the most used item in a kitchen and you will not regret putting this at the top of your list. -A deep stainless steel sink is crucial. - When choosing an island or countertop, remember that white marble is a classic, making it a guaranteed sound choice because it will be in style for many years to come. - A large cutting board—this is an item that you will truly love and use often. The cutting board can be used in many forms, either: its conventional way, as an appetizer tray, a wine and cheese display, or as a center piece for many gatherings. A kitchen is the room that everyone congregates to. No matter how fabulously you have decorated your dining table, or the time and care you took to make beautiful floral arrangements around a lovely buffet table – at some point during a party, everyone ends up in the kitchen. I asked Karen why the kitchen is truly the heart of the home. “It’s the room that people feel most comfortable in. It makes anyone, guests or family members feel welcome and inspired to help you prepare or arrange food. It is where you have the best conversations. Where people really enjoy themselves and feel most at ease. It truly is the best room in the house”. Karen’s personality and sense of style is alluring and warm. Along with kitchen design she has also collaborated with celebrity jewelry designer Joan Hornig and is known well for her elegant entertaining and cooking. Visit to get a first glimpse of a recipe and entertaining ideas from Karen that you can incorporate into your own home. |  By Natalie King

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One of light’s most mesmerizing playthings is crystal. From tiny stones that can adorn a dress to even just the protective covering of your watch, when light is reflected through crystal an enchanting display is revealed in a multitude of colors. Roel Haagmans and Clarissa Dorn are two artists who understand the intricate beauty of light, and crystals and after working at several chandelier companies, decided to branch out on their own in Munich in 2004. What they set out to accomplish with their designs has set the world of crystal lighting manufacturing ablaze. Whatever you envision when someone says the word, “crystal chandelier,” I can assure you it won’t even come close to what Haagmans’ and Dorn’s company, Windfall Contemporary Crystal Lighting will and can produce.

The duo’s first concept, SCARLETT, ripped apart the conceptual box of the typical tiered chandelier shape by---ideally enough---encasing the hanging crystals in a box like or circular frame. Some of the designs are square, some are rectangle, and some are varying circular shapes. However, not all hang in the same direction at the same time within the confines of clear colored crystal. Some sit inside one another like Russian nesting dolls, and some, like their design for the Roberto Cavalli store, are encased in a sheer frame with a nature inspired whimsical design. The light that shines through does not always create the color alone, at times it mixes with the colors of the crystals in use to create stunning effects. 43 Upscale Living Magazine |

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Windfall doesn’t just stop at enchanting designs that break the molds of the industry with encasing hanging crystals in an open frame. One design, FLOWERS, is precisely what the name entails, but in true Windfall fashion, the concept does not just end with a name. These crystal flowers of multiple colors may be strung at various heights by wires, or clustered to reveal a specific shape. One design looks almost like the traditional chandelier shape, but at its very top, the flowers begin to disconnect, giving the design the unique artistic feel of breaking from convention. Another extremely popular design of the company is the HELLBOB collection. This design features spheres made of individual crystals in various colors and sizes that can be used to create a modern and luxurious feel to any space, whether it be home or residential. Indeed, with Windfall’s cutting edge designs and techniques there has been no shortage of impressive clients, both residential and commercial alike, that use Windfall’s designs in their spaces. This company not only has pioneered the unique designs that they are internationally known for, but they also strive to compete in the contemporary crystal lighting industry by offering new technology. One such piece is called, the “Curler Technique.” This special design allows them to crystalize any shape for the client so that a desired three dimensional shape can be achieved. Another design that the company has introduced is called “Tubees.” A choice of 80 different colors of crystals are available to choose from that can be placed inside clear tubes and then shaped into a cohesive design. The company’s LEAVES collection is a perfect example of this technique’s charming possibilities. 44 Upscale Living Magazine | Issue 31

If you want a traditional chandelier look or even one with a modern twist to the design for your space, then Windfall is still an excellent company to explore. Their collections, BALANCE and FRENCHY, capture the beauty of tradition with the luxurious enchantment of quality crystals and other materials that can be used in all of their designs. These can include: Murano glass, handmade antique glass, alabaster, aluminum, silicon, wood, silk, 24 carat gold, nickel, chrome, silver plating, and antique finish. The beautiful lighting creations of Windfall can be seen firsthand in the Royal Palace in Saudi Arabia; on cruise ships like the Ventura II; hotels like Europäischer Hof in Hamburg or the Marriot in Warsaw; luxury retail locations like Mont Blanc, Roberto Cavalli, and Cartier; the British Airways terminals in London Heathrow, Washigton, Dulles, Houston, Vancouver, and Toronto; and restaurants such as Restaurant Coffemania in Moscow and NOBU in Budapest. Windfall’s designs can even be seen gracing the homes of private residences in cities like Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles, Bologna, St.Petersburg, and Riyadh. The above is just a tiny slice of projects that this magnificent company has worked on, and they no doubt have many more in the works. For when you calculate detail by a millimeter, lead the way in lighting innovation, and push the boundaries of luxury design it is no surprised that you will become one of the most sought after contemporary crystal lighting companies. | By Carly Drake


2013 Pagani Zonda Carbon Madness: |  By Giancarlo Pawelec (AMF)

In 1992, Argentinian-born Horacio Pagani founded the Italian sports car company, Pagani Automobili S.P.A., after spending a number of years managing Lamborghini’s composites division and the restyling of some notable machines. Fast-forward a few years and Pagani’s dream of creating the ultimate supercar (at the time named the Fangio F1 in honour of his friend and Formula One legend Juan Manuel Fangio) came true. Introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 1999, Pagani unveiled a car unlike any other for its time – the Zonda C12. This radically designed $500,000 USD hyper-car boasted a 6.0-liter AMG V12 engine putting out 389 BHP and matted to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Soon after its debut, the Zonda received some upgrades including upgraded aero components, gauge cluster, exhaust system, and a new 7.0-liter AMG engine. Eight different versions later its final production, in 2011, was rendered with the “764 Passion”. 46 Upscale Living Magazine |

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Proving that a supercar dream could come true, Horacio Pagani has done the unthinkable with the Zonda and ruffled feathers throughout the process. With the benchmark set high, the next generation of Pagani had to be leaps and bounds better than its predecessor, which had put the boutique Italian supercar maker on the map. After much speculation from journalists and motor enthusiasts worldwide, news of the successor came away with a debut set for February 2012 in Geneva. The new dream machine would be called, “Huayra,” (pronounced: wai-rah) after the Incan wind god Huayra-tata who is said to live in the high Andes Mountains. Despite the difficult pronunciation, this debuted hyper-car became the new star by which other makers followed. Shortly after it’s unveiling, Top Gear Magazine named the Huayra as “The Hypercar of the Year 2012, which speaks volumes as the replacement to the already legendary Zonda.

AUTOMOBILE With its gull-wings opened as if it wanted to embrace thee, this new Huayra charmed as it sat in the showroom of Pfaff Tuning in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada. According to Horst Bulau of Pfaff, this exposed carbon beauty is said to be the only one in North America at present and on a demo tour across the country. Priced at $1.8-million CAD, this hyper-car is not your average Pagani as it boasts upgraded options from the shopping list of offerings at the San Cesario sul Panaro factory near Modena, Italy. The most obvious of which is the exposed carbon fiber finish on the body, unlike the other the painted variety.

The cockpit is sheer beauty with incredible craftsmanship and a fusion of art and technology. Aluminum accessories (making it feel like a spaceship) are mixed with a stunning glossy carbon fiber finish. The center console packs a touch screen display that provides the navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, and back-up camera view. The seating arrangement is a magnificent set of race buckets finished in matching red leather, which is an upgrade option well worth its price. The attention to detail throughout the Huayra’s interior is truly incredible, making it seem more of automotive art rather than the insanely fast race car that it is. Tucked just behind the red bucket seats is an upgraded audio system encased in none other than carbon fiber. The upgrade consists of Sonus Faber speakers and amplifier that delivers, not only 1,200 watts of power output in the confined Pagani cabin, but also the essential weight savings for a racecar – it is a Pagani after all. The new audio triples the performance of the standard option and provides a rich audiophile experience unlike any other supercar of its kind. Just as you would to a toy car, the Huayra opens up with gull wing doors revealing all its glory. Under the wind tunnel tested and styled body are the bare essentials including: a carbon-titanium monocoque chassis and front and rear chromoly subframes. The body is styled for maximum down-force and air directed to the brakes and pads. On either side behind the front wheels are air outlets for added down-force similar to the underbody channels. Profile wise, this new Pagani is something to behold with perfect proportions and an appearance that screams all business. Under the rear hatch is a suspension system suited to a Formula One car. Matted to the chromoly subframes is a aluminum double-A arm suspension from the Zonda R and fully adjustable Ohlins coil-overs. Letting the hot exhaust gases out from the AMG engine is a gorgeous and extremely light blue-purple titanium exhaust system that weighs in at only 20-pounds and sounds incredible. The sight alone of all of these space-age parts will make engineers and enthusiasts feel like kids in a proverbial technology candy store.  The demon inside this carbon creation is a hand built AMG M158 6.0-liter V12 engine that packs two small turbochargers good 700 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque. When untapped, the Huayra boasts a 0-60 mph time of 3-seconds and a top speed of 230mph, possible in part to a seven speed transverse-mounted sequential gearbox built by Xtrac. Allowing for 700 raw horsepower to be unleashed, that Huayra rolls on a set of off-size forged bespoke wheels sized at 19-inches front and 20-inches at back. Rubber of choice is that of Pirelli P Zero tires in 255/35/19 and massive 35/30/20. Allowing this hyper-car to stop quick enough, and probably able to tilt the world’s axis, are a set of massive 15″ Brembo carbon ceramic brakes with red calipers.

The rear of the Pagani is as expected with the quad titanium exhaust canons sticking out, carbon diffuser, and the twin independent flaps for cornering / braking. An added option to this particular carbon clad monster is that of a rear-view camera located above the center brake light. From the moment one’s eyes are laid upon the Zonda’s successor it is clear that the heritage still exists despite the brand’s youthful age. With a mix of Argentinian passion, Italian craftsmanship, and German power this is one supercar that will always remain iconic to gear heads and motor trend aficionados. 47 Upscale Living Magazine |

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Whimsical Luxury:

Connie McSilver’s Vivid Imagination So many times, we forget that art is more than just décor. It’s a means of expression, an outlet for creativity—and for sculptor Connie McSilver— it’s a way to make people smile. Born in Maine, 73-year-old Connie McSilver---a prominent sculpture artist in some of the nation’s finest galleries, has known she wanted to be an artist since she was in the first grade. A New York University alumnus, Connie has spent most of her career working as a psychoanalyst; and today, she teaches classes at NYU, is actively engaged as a member of the university board, and along with her husband, has made generous contributions to facilitate the opening of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at the NYU Silver School of Social Work. Closing her practice years ago to focus solely on her craft, Connie now draws on all of these experiences—as well as all of the people she has met along the way—as inspiration for the whimsical sculptures that have since fanned her international fame. Drawing funny faces and cartoons since she was just a little girl, Connie channels that child-like energy in the hundreds of pieces she creates today. One such piece, “The Wedding Couple,” which is currently on display in the cancer ward of the NYU Children’s Hospital, features two caricatures of a man and a woman in figurative shapes. The piece is adorned with fanciful patterns, flowers, and an interesting combination of stars, stripes, and smiling faces. “Whoopie in Blue,” which currently stands outside Miami’s Markowicz Fine Art gallery, combines different animals and patterns to create one, comical human-like figure. Finally, her most favorite piece, “Umbrella Man”—inspired by her husband, 48 Upscale Living Magazine | Issue 31

who likes to grow tomatoes—is a 6’-tall sculpture of a colorful, oddshaped figure with a bright red tomato on its head. Using fiberglass, bright colors and her zealous imagination as the basis of most of her designs, each sculpture Connie creates is entirely different from the next. Though the meaning of these pieces may not be immediately apparent to anyone but her, every one of them embodies one important message she always strives to convey: that laughter, especially at ourselves, is the perfect medicine. Creating the bulk of her collection from her studio in Westport, Connecticut, Connie’s work is a reflection of the child that lives in each of us. All of her pieces, whether trees, odd shapes or figurines, are characterized by expressive faces and big sneakers; and all appear to be ‘off-balance’ or dancing. She bases these characteristics on her own experiences and those of the patients and friends around her. “After working as a psychoanalyst for so many years, there is one thing I know for sure,” says Connie. “We’re all trying to find balance in life.” When it comes down to it, for Connie, art is all about being creative— and above all—being you. “The creative spirit really is a wonderful thing, mainly because art is everywhere,” says Connie. “If you’re making art, you have the freedom to do what you really want to do. No one can recreate my art because it’s based on my own personal experiences. I do my sculptures based on what I’m feeling or thinking—and lucky for me, people like it.” | By  Jennifer Agress


Priscilla Pilon with Chef Claire Verneil at the Fairmont Hotel in Monte Carlo. Courtesy photos by Priscilla Pilon.

PASTRY CHEF CLAIRE VERNEIL World Traveler and Creative Genius from the Kitchen of the Fairmont Hotel, Monte Carlo Chef of the world, Claire Verneil, formerly a lawyer, had a desire to follow her passion for cooking and began a new career as a pastry chef that lead her to become the first female head pastry chef at the Fairmont Hotel in Monte Carlo. Chef Verneil’s love of creating innovative and feminine pastries came from cooking with her grandmother. She incorporates the souvenirs from her travel and contemporary style with classic French pastry raining resulting in delicious and beautiful desserts of distinction. I was treated to a private cooking class with this genius, followed by a sit down lunch and exclusive interview with Chef Verneil just before the holidays. Please tell me what you have been doing since taking over the pastry reigns at the hotel? “The first year I stayed in the kitchen concentrating on my pastry skills and recipes to put my print on the team working under me.” She went on to say that she is totally comfortable with leaving her team and traveling a bit more. “I love Paris, of course, and try to go once a week, but I also love New York City,” says Chef Verneil. She says her favorite place to travel is Greece because, “the islands work with really good products, respecting them and using them in creative ways.” What or who influences your style and design? “I travel to London to see the modern art scene. Last year I went to the David Bowie exhibit because I love his spirit,” says Verneil, but she also looks for inspiration from Paris’ Salon du Chocolat to keep her current with French trends. She went on to say; “When I travel, I look for local passion in the cooking and try to bring some of it back with me. For instance, I went to Marrakesh for a cooking show and gala and brought back many spices that I have incorporated into my cooking. I also went to Montreal as part of an all female cooking demonstration and brought back Canadian maple syrup to use in recipes.” 50 Upscale Living Magazine |

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With the opening of Chef Nobu’s restaurant at the Fairmont, what changes will there be to the pastry menu? “We respect the Nobu guidelines but make our dishes the Monaco way.” She went on to explain that they balance the two by keeping the spirit of Nobu but also the local flair. “Where we may cook cakes with traditional flour, for his restaurant we are now making things with rice flour. Our guests like fruit bowls but for guests at Nobu we will use more exotic fruits in them. Simple ice cream is enhanced by using green tea.” But Chef Verneil is adamant about one thing, “We use our own techniques to create dishes and must use local ingredients for certain pastries because they are simply the best of what is out there. We use French chocolate and lemons from our area because they are the best in the world.” What trends are you seeing in cooking and, in particular, from your travels? “People now are much more into the methods of cooking and like to practice at home. It’s hard to surprise them since they watch everything being constructed on television.” Not surprisingly, Chef Verneil is catering to the ever-changing dietary restrictions of diners. She commented, “We see more and more demand for less fattening desserts and requests for less sweet options, but at the same time they don’t want less taste. Our clients still want the healthier options to feel and taste the same in the mouth. We substitute stevia sugar and agave to meet their dietary needs.” Thank you Chef Claire Verneil for a wonderful day of pastry lessons and tasting the excellent cuisine by your fellow chefs. I enjoyed learning more about your travels and luxurious International lifestyle that adds more passion to your cooking. | By Priscilla Pilon


White Chocolate Martini

A chocolate twist is given to this classic cocktail. | Makes 4 cocktails | Ingredients: Tempered fine dark (bittersweet) chocolate, for piping 240ml (8fl oz/scant 1 cup) whipping (pouring) cream 150g (5½ oz) fine white chocolate, finely chopped 85g (3oz/generous 1/3 cup) caster (superfine) sugar 85ml (3fl oz/1/3 cup) water 100ml (3½ fl oz/generous 1/3 cup) vodka 50ml (1¾ fl oz/3 tbsp) vermouth Method: Spoon the tempered dark (bittersweet) chocolate into a paper piping (pastry) bag and pipe lines of chocolate into 4 martini glasses. Transfer the glasses to the fridge to chill while you make the cocktail.

Recipes provided by William Curley, a masterclass in chocolate. Find these and many others in “Couture Chocolate”.

Put the cream in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl or jug and stir until smooth and emulsified. Leave to cool. Meanwhile, put the sugar and water in a pan and bring to a boil. Leave to cool. Pour the vodka, vermouth, and the cooled sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker and add in the white chocolate mixture and some ice. Shake until fully mixed. Pour into the chilled martini glasses and serve immediately.

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CHEF CHRISTIAN SINICROPI Artistic and Audacious Meal of La Palme d’Or in Cannes

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Chef Sinicropi of the Grand Hyatt’s signature restaurant, La Palme d’Or, is to cooking what Chagall was to painting. Audacious and provocative, but festive and colorful, the creativity of this two-star Michelin rated chef shows not only in his cuisine, but in his dishes as well – literally the dishes. Each course of the meal is served on a specially designed ceramic dish or platter designed by the chef and his wife. My favorite was the hollowed out tree with ants crawling up the trunk where desserts were perched on the branches, followed closely by the red


and white striped circus-themed tent appetizer holder. The serving pieces added a whimsical touch to an incredible meal. The act of eating a meal, according to chef Sinicropi, is not a passive pleasure. He requires the diners to become part of his movement of organized chaos. Squid bread seemed like the perfect place to start my meal by the sea in Cannes. Next came the fried ravioli of Comté cheese, black olive and chocolate “amuse-bouchés” that were light and flavorful. Checking in with me between courses the chef asked me to follow along the culinary AMNIS or MOVING WATER journey from a simple taste of a fresh raw oyster to a more evolved bite when combined with a powerful citrus punch from the local Menton village lemons and another with béarnaise sauce with shallots and vinegar. Finally, the oyster course reached its conclusion atop brioche bread with smoked sea urchin tongue, accompanied by duck foie gras cooked in sea salt and seasoned with citrus zest.

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And so it went with the rest of the courses chef Sinicropi created and executed. He opened my mind and forced me to think before I ate and awakened taste buds I did not previously know existed. The cheese course was spectacular due to the array of aged cheeses matured by the famous Provence frommage celeb, Madame Josiane Déal. The masterpiece of a meal drew near the end, but not without two dessert courses. The pre-dessert was a tower of treats consisting of chocolates and fluffy Meringues of different flavors. Last, but not least, I was served some sweetness and elegance to end the meal. Eye candy – the crispy outer shell looked like something from outer space that surrounded an icy mango treat that made my mouth pucker just a tad, while a hint of jasmine subtly played on my lips. No coffee needed; after the meal at La Palme d’Or I was wide-awake with excitement and my taste buds did not want to erase the magic they had tasted all night long in one of the most artistic and ambitious kitchens in France.

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Thank you to chef Christian Sinicropi and the Grand Hyatt, Cannes for an outstanding dining experience. |  By Priscilla Pilon

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Chocolate Meringue

This is such a simple dish, made using the traditional French method. | Makes about 24 mini meringues | Ingredients:


120g (41/4oz) egg whites (about 6 eggs)

Preheat the oven to 110°C (225°F/Gas 1/4) and line a baking tray (sheet) with silicone (baking) paper.

180g (6oz/3/4 cup) caster (superfine) sugar 60g (2oz/generous ⅓ cup) icing (powdered/pure) sugar, sifted

Put the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on a slow speed, gradually adding the caster (superfine) sugar and increasing the speed. Continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold in the icing (powdered/pure) sugar and cocoa powder – do not overwork the mixture.

20g (3/4oz) cocoa nibs, roughly chopped

2 Spoon into a piping (pastry) bag, snip a hole in the end and pipe 3.5cm (11/2 inch) bulbs onto the tray. Sprinkle with cocoa nibs and bake for 11/2 hours, lowering the oven to its lowest setting (or leaving the door slightly ajar) halfway through baking.

500g (1lb 2oz) tempered dark chocolate, for dipping

Leave to cool and then dip the bases in tempered chocolate.

15g (1/2oz/1 tbsp) cocoa powder

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One Bal Harbour Bal Harbour is a tiny community of 2,500 but packed to its posh brim with luxury. An upscale enclave tucked away at the northern edge of Miami Beach, the area hold five-star hotels, world-class dining, sprawling beaches, and famous shopping. Of the four hotels here, the St. Regis looms large, a multi-tower affair that opened in January 2012 and this year earned an AAA Five Diamond and Luxury Travel Advisor Awards of Excellence for “Best new Luxury Hotel in North America” award, among others. Art factors huge in Bal Harbour in general, and its hotels in particular. At the St. Regis, with its towering, beveled-mirror walls in the lobby that reflect light from rock-crystal chandeliers, the Rosenbaum Museum curates the stunning art that is regularly rotated throughout the building. St. Regis is synonymous with star treatment, and you feel like one the minute you arrive, where staff know the name of each guest and use it with every greeting. I stayed one night in a 15th-floor, one-bedroom suite, and got there in high-tech style: A swipe of my room key by a scanner directed me to the proper elevator and zipped me to my floor, without ever having to punch a single button. With a suite comes a butler, who will unpack for you, press your clothes and bring whatever food of beverage you require, day or night. The suite was spectacular with large kitchen, dining and living spaces; ocean-facing balconies off the living room and master bedroom; cream-colored walls with gentle blue and brown accents; a full bath off the entry and larger one off the master that held a giant soaking tub; frosted-door shower and toilet, and in-mirror television. The suite also features lights that can be dimmed and shades drawn by the touch of a screen in the living room and master. Dining at J&G, the St. Regis’s signature restaurant, is to be lavished with constant attention and supping on the creations of Chef de Cuisine Brad Kilgore, in a dining room with wall-to-ceiling glass, affording views as 58 Upscale Living Magazine |

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spectacular as the food. They overlook no detail; dine alone, and you’ll be asked if you want a paper or magazine to pass the time. I also stayed one night at One Bal Harbour, a stunning stay with just two rooms per floor, with views of the ocean and nearby Haulover Park. My room was spacious, sun splashed and airy, with a large leathertopped work station, balcony, and the most unusual bathroom I’ve ever seen. The oval-shaped tub and separate shower were next to a wall of glass overlooking the ocean, a set-up that earned the hotel multiple local nominations for “sexiest bathroom.” However, privacy is easily obtained by pulling down shades, controlled by a wall switch. One Bal Harbour is also keen on the arts. On the terrace of the restaurant, Mr. Collins, is a massive bronze sculpture by Guy Dill, and throughout the hotel, a $3.5-million collection of art curated by Joan Warren-Grady, art advisor to luxury hotels worldwide. No matter where you stay, a visit to Bal Harbour Shops is a must, an open-air mall that recently earned the status of being the most profitable in the world. It’s home to nearly 100 high-end stores, including Bulgari, Jimmy Choo, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Oscar de la Renta, Saint Laurent, Nieman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, in a setting lush with landscaping, fountains, and koi swimming in tanks beneath glass in the pedestrian walkway. Here you will also find Makoto, a Steven Starr restaurant noted for inventive sushi and modern Asian cuisine; Carpaccio, an Italian eatery with outside dining perfect for people watching; and La Goulue, a French bistro with a tropical touch. Bal Harbour—a long-time favorite of presidents, sports figures, and celebrities—isn’t a secret, and you don’t have to be a star to go there. However, if you do, you will be treated like one.|By Paul Kandarian

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Prepare For Your Own Super-yacht Experience

iPad Case | $129.00 | Lifeproof nüüd iPad Case - Protecting your iPad from water, dirt, and other dangers that come with travel, the case is well worth the investment. The unique technology and durability make this case ideal for today’s savvy traveler.

Skincare – Night | $500.00 | La Prairie Skin Caviar Liquid Lift - Exposure to the elements is inevitable. Skin Caviar Liquid Lift—a gravity defying serum that lifts, firms and provides longlasting effects. Past damage recedes as existing cells are rejuvenated, and new ones are supercharged, nourished, and protected.

Skincare - Day | $215.00 | La Prairie Anti-Aging Emulsion Sunscreen - Ideal for those who prefer their moisturizer on the lighter side, without sacrificing UV protection, Anti-Aging Emulsion SPF 30 is a perfect solution. The advanced emulsion also helps prevent fine lines and wrinkles and maintain healthy, ageless skin.

Headphones | $299.00 | Polk Audio UltraFocus 8000 When it comes to a pair of headphones that is complete with all the latest noise-canceling technology and a comfortable over-ear design, this newest product from Polk Audio will not disappoint.

Luggage | $500-$5,000 | Globe-Trotter Centenary Collection - The perfect combination of the oldschool classic styling and modern-day technology and durability, Globe-Trotter collections are always a smart luggage decision. A variety of colors and sizes allow for a truly personalized collection. 60 Upscale Living Magazine |

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Sunglasses | $349.00 | Mustang by Scheyden - Even the glares from the water can’t compete with these sunglasses, which bring together cutting-edge technology, such as durable titanium frames and specialized 8-layer polarized lenses.



Commitment to Effortless Service with Captain Carl Sputh A look at Starfire’s elegant lines and inviting decks make it easy to understand the obvious desire by so many to be one of the fortunate charter guests onboard this majestic beauty at some point in their lives. While the level of luxury in terms of the posh interior design by Zuretti and the regal exterior by Stefano Natucci are simply flawless, it’s the personal attention given to every last detail of the super-yacht charter experience by Captain Carl Sputh that puts Starfire so far ahead of its competition.

Anticipating the Needs of His Guests From the moment you confirm your charter with Starfire, Captain Carl goes to work in order to ensure a flawless performance by him and his team. The time put forth to become better acquainted with guests, and begin planning their personalized itinerary to provide the perfect bespoke experience is only the beginning of the Starfire process. When it’s time for your charter, this is not a case of the captain greeting guests once they arrive to the yacht, Captain Carl is known to be the first face seen at the airport, personally greeting his guests and taking care of their luggage. It’s at that moment that Starfire guests are officially under Captain Carl’s watch, and will not want for anything. This methodology of anticipating his guest’s every need and simply guiding them through the steps of the ultimate yacht charter experience has served Captain Carl very well over the years, allowing his guests the freedom to

simply relax, disconnect, and enjoy every moment of their adventure. Being named “Best Captain of a Mega Yacht” and the level or respect he has from others in the industry is naturally very important to him. However, it’s the thank you notes from so many guests each year that gives Captain Carl the accolades he truly cherishes. The 61 Upscale Living Magazine | Issue 31



notes are often filled with praise for his leadership, service, and the unique ability he and his team are able to deliver while providing “the trip of a lifetime.” “It never fails that my favorite moment of each charter is that second or third day when the guests let go and put their complete trust in me and my team so they can truly relax and savor everything that comes with the Starfire experience,” says Captain Carl Sputh.

The Starfire Experience At just over 177 feet, the Starfire has a lot to offer guests of all ages, and every desire. Luxuriously appointed staterooms allow for up to 12 guests, and with the interior transformation to Modern Art Deco in 2012, the custom furniture and exquisite fabrics ensure ultimate luxury. Along with this transformation during the 2012 refit, Starfire also received the latest technology available, such as advanced communications, audio visual upgrades, and wireless internet for guests anywhere in the world and atanchor zero speed stabilization. The cuisine is often of much conversation by guests, as they are constantly amazed by the delicious creativity of Chef Stuart Chambers, and his ability to not only meet, but to far exceed every special request. With a team that has been with Starfire for many years, this level of service without turnover is unheard of in this industry. The Interior Crew graciously tends to the guest’s every need and makes life with Starfire effortless. When it comes time to have fun and burn some of those calories courtesy of Chef Chambers, Starfire has toys designed for everyone. Parents rave about the level of safety they feel for their children while under the supervision of Starfire’s first-class Deck Crew. Relieving parents of worry, the crew is there to maintain safety and fun while making the most of the yacht lifestyle for every guest. Fortunately with Starfire, it can deliver guests to some of the most amazing destinations around the globe. With a yacht like Starfire serving as your floating resort, any port of call is sure to be a dream come true. Among the Caribbean islands, the British Virgin Islands remain a favorite among guests, while Captain Carl always loves the opportunity to share St. Lucia and the Grenadines with his guests, whenever possible. Across 62 Upscale Living Magazine |

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the pond, Monaco and the French Riviera remain favorite destinations, but when guests let Captain Carl plan for one of his favorite itineraries, it will most definitely include the Aeolian Island in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the northern coast of Sicily. With Captain Carl at the helm, Starfire has entered into the digital revolution in the same regal fashion one would expect from the team behind this luxury super-yacht. Providing first person insight into the luxury travel world by way of this super-yacht, Captain Carl looks forward to using digital media to better connect with guests, potential guests, and those merely curious to know more about the yachting lifestyle by one of the most respected captains in the industry today. “I want to build real relationships with digital influencers and luxury travel brands who cater to the super-yacht audience. By sharing our wealth of knowledge through blogs, eBooks and info-graphics, we can truly inspire affluent travelers to seek out new adventures,” says Captain Carl Sputh. “After all, chartering a super-yacht is about experiencing the best of all worlds, whether it’s real life or digital.” |  By Damon M. Banks Statitistics: Launch Year: 1998 | Builder: Benetti (Italy) | Style: Modern Art Deco | Designer: Francois Zuretti | Refits: 2002,2004,2012 | Length: 178ft (54M) | Beam: 31.5ft (9.6M) | Draft: 11.6ft (3.5M) | Tonnage: 757 tons Superstructure: Aluminum | Max Speed: 15 kts | Cruise Speed: 12 kts | Hull: Steel | Fuel capacity: 35,000 gal. (140,000 l) | At anchor stabilizer | Ku-Ban satellite (High Speed Wi-Fi) | State-of-the-art Audio system



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This Spring

LUXURY GETAWAYS TO VISIT: Golf and Spa Resorts: | ď Ž By Damon M. Banks

Emerging from one of the coldest and snowiest winters most of the country has seen in years, it’s a perfect time to plan your spring golf getaway. For many of us, making golf an integral part of our travel lifestyle is what provides the balance to the work and stress often associated with travel schedules. When seeking the perfect escape for several days complete with amazing dining, relaxing spa treatments, luxurious amenities and services, and of course, world-class golf; look no further than several of my favorite getaways that manage to deliver time and time again. 65 Upscale Living Magazine |

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Fisher Island One Fisher Island Drive | Fisher Island, FL 33109 | (305) 535-6000

While looking for golf getaways, I rarely come across a nine-hole course that has enough of a “wow” factor to attract my attention for several days, but in the case of The Links at Fisher Island, the phenomenal views and feeling of exclusivity make it ideal anytime. Teeing it up with the view of the Miami skyline in the distance and navigating around the perfectly manicured course while challenging the bunkers, lagoons and lakes is an unbeatable experience. As part of the resort’s recent $60 million renovation, the Clubhouse is nicer than ever, and provides a great place to enjoy a bite to eat before going out for another nine-holes in the afternoon. When able to pull away from the golf course, live like a Vanderbilt while enjoying the absolute best of today’s resort lifestyle amenities in an atmosphere complete with the perfect amount of old-world charm. Suites, villas, and a personal favorite, the cottages, provide a simply captivating place to call home for a few days. Splurge and take advantage of the spa’s signature treatment, “The Vanderbilt,” which provides three hours of complete bliss.

La Cantera Hill Country Resort | 16641 La Cantera Parkway | San Antonio, Texas 78256 | (855) 499-2960 Located just north of San Antonio, golfers immediately fall in love with the championship golf conditions that come with these two courses. The Resort Course has been recognized for its challenging beauty since it opened in 1995. With views that go on for miles across Hill Country, be prepared to attack the seventh hole, which is always a favorite because of the 80 foot drop from tee to fairway. The Palmer Course opened a few years later in 2001, and with “Palmer-flair,” it manages to impress everyone who tees it up here. Along with the amazing golf, players also appreciate the Winnie Palmer Memorial Bridge, a tribute to Palmer’s late wife. Almost as decorated with accolades as the courses themselves, the Clubhouse is an award-winning masterpiece. The resort has a world of options to keep anyone occupied for days. Beyond the luxury suite options, La Cantera also offers an intimate collection of 11 casitas, known as Casita Village. These exclusive casitas provide a perfect solution for some added space and privacy while enjoying the resort amenities. The gym and Woodhouse Day Spa are first class, and after a few rounds of golf, the signature four-handed massage is 80 minutes of perfection.

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PGA Village | 1916 Perfect Drive | Port St Lucie, FL 34986 | (772) 467-1300 For any golf aficionado, or just a passionate golfer of any skill level, PGA Village is ultimately on the must-play list purely for the opportunity to experience this spectacular piece of the PGA legacy. With two of the great course designers involved, Pete Dye and Tom Fazio, the level of championship golf here is unmistakable. The Wanamaker, Ryder and Dye Courses form a trio of world-class facilities at the PGA Golf Club, at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, Fla. PGA Golf Club is one of the premier publicaccess resort facilities in America, complete with a Private Members Club (Country Club Course), and serves as the home facility for the 27,000 men and women PGA Professionals. The Village also features the award-winning, 35-acre PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance and the PGA Museum of Golf, which is home to golf ’s four major championship trophies. While I admit that I feel this particular area is prime for a major luxury resort, this is simply not an option at the moment and serves as a reminder that PGA Village is quite simply about golf, and the game we love. However, Perfect Drive Villas has a number of great villas with golf course views, and can arrange golf packages for guests.

St. Regis Monarch Beach | One Monarch Beach Resort | Dana Point, CA 92629 | (949) 234-3200

Located between Los Angles and San Diego, this luxury resort has it all, and can only be described as heavenly. Having been awarded the Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond awards, the team at this property continues to impress the most discerning guests. Monarch Beach Golf Links was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. to provide the same beauty and challenge that comes from the Scottish style courses. Jones certainly exceeded his goal with this magnificent Pacific Ocean beauty. This is a resort that must be experienced to truly appreciate the efforts that go into every meticulous detail. The cabanas by the pool, personalized butler service, family programs, access to the private beach club and Monarch Bay Club and the sensational spa make the St. Regis Monarch Beach another favorite Southern California escape. Don’t miss the opportunity to dine at Michael Mina’s Stonehill Tavern restaurant and take full advantage of the restaurant’s wine collection that is the envy of so many area restaurants. Be sure to inquire about a personal favorite offering this spring, which is the Unlimited Golf and Spa package that brings together two of my favorite pastimes.

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St. Regis Princeville Resort | 5520 Ka Haku Road | Princeville, Kaua’i, HI 96722 | (808) 826-9644 A favorite getaway destination from the West Coast, Hawaii has so much to offer when looking to completely get away from it all and unwind. Overlooking the stunning Hanalei  Bay, the St. Regis Princeville Resort recently underwent a massive $100 million rebranding/renovation project, which has been a top-to-bottom rebirth to now be the amazing destination that it is today. Another Robert Trent Jones Jr. masterpiece, the Makai Golf Club delivers on every expectation set for a world-class Hawaiian golf resort. The redesign was completed in 2010, and recent accolades include being one of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses, 2013-14” by Golf Digest and the “No. 3 course in Hawaii” by Golfweek. All 252 rooms, including 51 ocean-view suites, were remodeled during the renovation, and the 10,000-square-foot Halelea Spa was unveiled. Located in the 9,000-acre resort community of Princeville at Hanalei, this ocean-side destination provides guests all the amenities you would expect from the St. Regis brand, including The Kaua‘i Grill by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, an awe-inspiring infinity-designed swimming pool situated on the ocean and private butler service. While no element here will disappoint, a personal favorite when it comes to their diverse collection of suites is the Bali Hai Signature Suite, which is named after the legendary mountain peak that can be viewed from the hotel and made famous in the movie, “South Pacific,” and features a loft-style suite with a modern island motif and quintessential views of Hawaii.

The Resort at Pelican Hill | 22701 Pelican Hill Road | Newport Coast, CA 92657 | (855) 315-8214 When 36 holes just aren’t enough at the resort’s Ocean North and Ocean South courses, nearby Oak Creek Golf Club is also available as part of these remarkable 54 holes of golf designed by Tom Fazio. You’ll want for nothing while being catered to by the entire staff at the North and South courses. An added bonus while a guest of the golf courses are the forecaddies provided for the rounds, which make the entire experience even more enjoyable and stress-free. It’s difficult to actually put into words the level of breathtaking beauty and over-the-top amenities and services that await you at Pelican Hill.

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Never to disappoint, the graceful Italian architecture, panoramic ocean views, lush Mediterranean landscape and level of dining, amenities and accommodations sets the bar in terms of luxury getaways. The Spa provides an ideal hideaway to be pampered for several hours, or make a day out of it by taking advantage of their half-day package followed by a haircut and one of their wellness classes, including yoga, pilates and more. All of the suites, bungalows and villas offer a unique experience all their own, but the larger ocean-view villas are absolutely flawless. For families, The Resort at Pelican Hill is often a perfect compromise, as the endless amount of luxury amenities are available for those of all ages, while also offering fun camp programs for kids, and what they call “Latitude” available to young adults. The only time you’ll find yourself disappointed is when you must face the reality of checking-out and leaving this little piece of paradise.



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MUST-HAVES - To Enhance Your Golf Travel Lifestyle (1) GolfLogix -This App continues to impress me with the advanced technology on the course, along with the perks and abilities off of the course. With over 3 million users, I’m certainly not the only person addidicted to this technology while on the course. Even in cases where courses have GPS technology, it’s always comforting to have a familiar system to help with yardages and keep track of the scores and player stats. The “Clubhouse” provides a way to maintain your handicap and even book golf through their partner, GolfNow. (2) The Last Bag by Club Glove USA -With more than 90 percent of players from the PGA, LPGA and Champions tour using this product, it seems pointless to say more about the overall quality. This particular model provides a more streamlined look, while still allowing the space necessary for footwear and other items to make the most of the added bag when traveling. Besides, when traveling with the TRS Ballistic line of luggage, it’s great to have a coordinating golf travel bag that’s equally as stylish and durable. (3) TRS Ballistic Premium Travel Luggage -Providing the best of both worlds, this durable luggage collection allows for both premium construction and a stylish look. Brought to you by the same company that has revolutionized the golf travel bag industry, Club Glove USA has gained a reputation of providing the greatest resistance from wear and tear. The collection is easy to connect while traveling and allows for the best stacking capabilities when being stored away. (4) Big Bertha Alpha Driver -It’s back, and it’s better than ever. Coming out of retirement, the Big Bertha has been completely revolutionized, and the Alpha is the most advanced driver anyone has ever made. Bringing a total performance package for maximum distance, it’s a dream to swing, and brings the confidence needed when standing over your ball on that first tee. You don’t have to understand all the science behind the club to totally appreciate the revolutionary new gravity core enhancement with moveable weight, and the dial in the hosel providing both power and personalization. (5) ECCO Tour Hybrid Wingtip -These shoes provide the best of old-school style paired perfectly with the most up-to-date technology. With the modern outsole suited to be comfortable on and off the course, these are ideal for wearing around the resort before and after the golf round without the trouble that can come with spikes. Cosmetically, these wingtip options are beautiful, but from a technical angle, they are built atop the E-DTS outsole that has approximately 100 molded traction bars and 800 traction angles. (6) SwingSmart -We all want to improve our games, and this unique technology is small enough to toss into the golf bag to have at home, or while traveling. With the capability to connect to the free app on your iOS and Android device, the device provides instant and accurate feedback on your tempo, swing speed, shaft lean, face angle and more. To help visualize your swing, it creates a “3-D Swing View” and new this year are mini games integrated into the system to further help your own game. (7) Sony NEX-7K -While most of us are quick to use the camera on our smartphone, a quality camera is always a priceless asset when traveling, especially while playing some of the best golf the world has to offer. This particular model is very portable, but still provides high-speed focus and super fast release time. Other benefits include the tough magnesium housing to protect the camera while being tossed around and the ability to capture razor sharp detail at 50p with stereo sound and capture in 3D with an amazing Panoramic sweep feature. (8) QuietComfort® 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling® Headphones -A leader in the noise cancelling market for a good reason, these headphones provide a quality far superior to many of the competitors. I personally love traveling with these since the in-ear design is great while traveling, but also ideal while listening to my favorite music at the driving range, putting green, or even that occasional early morning round of solo golf. (9) Vonage Mobile -Fortunately, today we have several great options to stay connected while traveling, but I’ve recently been introduced to this free app available for iOS and Android™ devices that allows for app-to-app voice, video and messaging across Wi-Fi and data networks worldwide. App users are able to make free high-definition phone calls and video calls, and send free texts, video messages and photos to other Vonage Mobile app users worldwide. A free App and discounted International calls make it a very competitive option today. (10) Flak Jacket XLJ Golf Specific Sunglasses -The Flak Jacket glasses don’t only look good, but the technology packed into these glasses is a rarity. The G30™ lenses actually enhance your depth perception by boosting visual contrast, which is one of the reasons they are so often worn by tour players. Designed for environments where ordinary sunglasses just don’t work, overcast skies and shadowed holes are no longer a problem. With this technology and interchangeable lenses, these are great for on and off the course. |  By Damon M. Banks 69 Upscale Living Magazine | Issue 31


LUXURY GETAWAYS TO LIVE Exclusive Residential Golf Communities |  By Damon M. Banks

In many cases, it’s much more desirable to purchase a permanent home, or at least a vacation home, in these resort-like communities to have the opportunity to live the ultimate golf lifestyle on a more regular basis. The days of the pretentious and stuffy country clubs are largely behind us, and these communities today allow for a sophisticated, yet light-hearted way of life. The social aspects combined with the first-class dining, impeccable service, attention to detail, world-class golf, and a host of additional sport and leisure activities make today’s residential golf communities very much in-demand.

Cordillera Ranch | Boerne, Texas | Cordillera Ranch is perfect for someone who enjoys being in typical Texas nature, while having access to luxurious amenities and the club atmosphere. An expansive 8,700-acre masterplanned residential community, Cordillera Ranch is located north of San Antonio in the Texas Hill Country. With recreational activities at your fingertips, it boasts villa and multi-acre estate options that include views of the valley or golf course; Guadalupe River frontage; and hilltop home sites. With seven clubs within this 70 Upscale Living Magazine |

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gated community, whether for a permanent, or vacation residence, you will never find yourself bored. To refer to this as a picturesque golf course does not begin to do the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course justice. A thrilling experience among every twist and turn this course throws at you, you’ll quickly understand the desire by so many to call Cordillera Ranch home. Clubs galore, your days can include time at the Golf

Club, Tennis Club, Equestrian Club, Rod and Gun Club, Spa and Athletic Club, River Club or simply the Social Club at the 45,000 square foot clubhouse. Yes, everything in Texas is bigger, and Cordillera Ranch is no exception. There are currently homes available between $200,000 and $4.2 million.


Old Palm Golf Club | Palm Beach Gardens, Florida | While the Palm Beach area continues to attract many seeking that relaxed Palm Beach mentality, the Old Palm Golf Club delivers on multiple levels, while providing over-the-top services and amenities to their members. Located in the heart of Palm Beach Gardens, you’re within minutes of an abundance of shopping, dining and entertainment options to satisfy any Floridian. Those arriving by private jet enjoy the very close proximity to the North County General Aviation Airport, and for those flying

commercial, the Palm Beach International Airport is also very convenient. For me, the Clubhouse provides the perfect blend of refined grandeur and approachable intimacy. The poolside cabanas are perfect for taking advantage of the amazing weather, and the members rave about the in-house concierge service and the casitas available for overnight guest accommodations. With so many offerings, it difficult to tear away to play golf, but

the Raymond Floyd Signatutre championship course and on-property Golf Studio showcase the level of class found at Old Palm Golf Club. Being developed by one of the area’s leading real estate investment firms, the new estates are available for prices ranging between $1.3 to $15 million.

Saddle Creek | Copperopolis, California | With so many golf opportunities in Southern California, Saddle Creek provides the northern Californian alternative, being situated in the rolling foothills of the Central Sierra region just two hours from the Bay Area and a little less than that to Sacramento. A much more relaxed atmosphere than most golf communities today, Saddle Creek will quickly charm their way into your heart with an unmatched level of hospitality. The town of Copperopolis and the Town Square are a modern take on the coun-

try town from the gold rush era. Copperopolis Town Square is the pedestrian-friendly hub of boutiques, specialty shops and eateries. The collection of shimmering lakes, native trees, indigenous grasses and the mere 100 bunkers provides a challenging, thought-provoking experience from tee to green when attacking the flagsticks at Saddle Creek. Membership is a very affordable option, but not required by the residents. Guests have the opportunity

to take advantage of the well-appointed bungalows within a few steps of the golf course and Lodge. There is a beautiful collection of homes available here, which includes custom and semi-custom homes, but the major advantage here are the lots still available for under $200,000 that allows for the custom home of your dreams.

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Uncommon Bottles of Champagne If you ask champagne importer Bryan Maletis about France’s largest champagne houses – with household names like Dom Perignon and Veuve Clicquot – he may compare them to an international corporation that strives to appeal to many different cultural tastes in the food/ beverage industry---like McDonalds. Sure, these well-known names are outstanding beverages, but there’s something unimpressive about the design of these familiar labels. “The largest houses are trying to appeal to the broadest market possible, like McDonald’s does,” says Maletis, who owns Seattle-based import and sales firm Fat Cork. “They sell ubiquitous standards that they know everyone will enjoy.”  The bottles Maletis sells are anything but ubiquitous or mass marketed. Rather than import from the big houses, Fat Cork sells grower champagnes from tiny, obscure producers who tend to deviate from what most people have come to expect from their champagne. Champagne is traditionally a blend of three grapes: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay. Together, these grapes produce the elegant, balanced beverage our palates have come to expect. But if you search hard enough, you’ll find champagne that deviates from this blend. Maletis sells a bottle from producer Didier-Ducos called Absolu Meunier that uses only the more obscure Pinot Meunier grape in a very rare type of champagne. The result is a bold and full-bodied wine with a florally fruit-forward flavor profile. Champagne is typically aged in the bottle for a minimum of 15 months, and it’s rare to find champagne in stores that has been aged in the bottle for more than 10. At Fat Cork, Maletis sells several bottles of champagne 72 Upscale Living Magazine |

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aged as long as 20 years. Most bubbly is bottle aged, though with some hunting it’s possible to find oak barrel-aged champagne. This wine tends to be buttery and fruit-driven, with a long-lasting finish.  You’d be hard pressed to find a bottle of champagne made by a woman, as well because most businesses are passed from father to son. So few champagne labels are run by women, but Fat Cork carries bottles from three: Grongnet, managed by renown winemaker Cécile Grongnet; Jean Baillette-Prudhomme, run by Laureen Baillette along with her mother and sister; and Perrot-Batteaux et Filles, whose owner Cynthia Perrot added “et filles” -- and daughters -- to the label when she inherited the business.  A few other aspects that makes grower champagne – bubbly produced by the family growing the grapes – so unique in many ways are the steps they take to bring this traditional industry into the modern world of couture style food. The big houses blend grapes from thousands of growers to create a master blend that is consistent year after year, while indie growers don’t shy away from the naturally-occurring yearly variations in flavor. Growers are also more likely to stray from the norm, and to experiment with their small batch concoctions.  These indie style bottles are hard to find: Ninety-percent of the wine coming out of the Champagne region is sold under a Gran Marquis label, which represents those big houses like Taittinger and Veuve Clicquot. This makes popping the cork on a bottle from a small-batch producer is an exceptional experience on its own. When you lift a glass of this unique champagne, you taste flavors specific to the soil, topography, and weather of the sliver of land where the grapes were grown and the creative whims of their grower. |  By Megan Hill

Upscale Living Magazine Issue 31  

Luxury lifestyle magazine catering to affluent individuals throughout the World.

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