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to all the clients and readers who sent us best wishes for our wedding in September. Here are some photos as promised! With love, Helen & Ben x
Photography: Carey Sheffield, www.hoipolloievents.co.uk
Eating Outï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ 3 Wealth Managementï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ 7 Taxing Mattersï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ 8 Theatreï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½10 Travel ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½14 American Womenâ€™s Clubs Newsï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½18 Top Tensï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½23 Hotel Reviewï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½29 Propertyï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½32 UK Sportsï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½34 Designed In Britainï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½37 Americans Ditch US Citizenshipï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½39 Bringing Sparkle To The UK From America ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½41 Arts & Antiquesï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½43 Free Subscription Formï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½46 Useful Numbersï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½47 Embassy Cornerï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½48
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PUBLISHER: Helen Elliott Tel: 020 8661 0186 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Publishing Director: Damian Porter Tel: 01737 551506 Email: email@example.com American in Britain, PO Box 921, Sutton SM1 2WB Advisory Panel:
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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in action against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Photo credit: Sean Ryan
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Eating Out Restaurant Reviews
MOTI MOHAL 45 Great Queen Street, Covent Garden, London WC2B 5AA Telephone: 020 7240 9329 How have your curry experiences in the UK faired so far? Generally you can expect a lot of food and a lot of sauce, washed down with a lot of beer. Whilst adequate for the odd occasion, it’s generally not a high expectation of fine dining. Well you can forget these misconceptions when you arrive at Moti Mohal in Covent Garden, and experience Indian cuisine at its best. Moti Mahal was established in 1959 in Delhi, India. The first Moti Mahal Restaurant became world famous for commercialising the tandoor, allegedly inventing the Murg Makali, more commonly known as Chicken Tikka Masala, and attracting the likes of Jawaharlal
Nehru, Indira Gandhi and the Kennedys. Opened in 2005 at 45 Great Queen Street, Moti Mahal in London benefits from a prime position in close proximity to the London theatre hub and offers authentic Indian cuisine in a contemporary and chic environment. As you enter the restaurant there is a long bar on the left, with the decor a mix of traditional and modern, in an airy, buzzy interior. The most striking feature is a theatrical glass fronted, ‘open’ kitchen which allows you to watch your food being prepared. The kitchen is amazingly calm, and at the helm is Head Chef Anirudh Arora. Inspired by the culinary roots of rural India, particularly along the famed Grand Trunk Road, from West Bengal to north India and Afghanistan, Chef Arora has brought time honoured dishes and recipes to this restaurant. By accentuating new tastes and flavours from India's richly woven history, the menu at Moti Mahal is certainly a feast for the senses. The well stocked bar offers an impressive range of cocktails and aperitifs, including mojitos and champagne cocktails, many with an Indian twist. I suggested that my partner sample a traditional Mango Lassi, a cross between a smoothie and a milk shake. It did not disappoint, and is something every fan of Indian cuisine should try. Our meal commenced with a Fresh Salad Board, which you mix yourself with salt, oil and spices, cleansing the palette and whetting the appetite. The starters (priced from £7) offer a mouthwatering range of dishes from various Indian regions. There are also dishes prepared in the Tandoori oven, and we were recommended the Gosht – a delicious, succulent and spicy Butterflied Leg of Lamb seasoned with bay leaf and cinnamon from the Hyderabad region. We also enjoyed a Naan bread flavoured with truffle and cheese. The wine list (from £28 a bottle) is broad and extensive, and we enjoyed white and reds
to complement each course. The main meals are varied and interesting (price range £10 - £23), again from various Indian regions including Black Lentils, Slow Cooked Lamb, Spicy Lamb Curry, Spiced Halibut, Wild Mushrooms, Paneer, Baby Chicken and Beef Stir Fried. Since Moti Mahal allegedly invented the Murg Makali (Chicken Tikka Masala), I had to sample this signature dish – tender chunks of chicken, enrobed in a sumptuous, creamy tomato sauce. This is, without a doubt, the best Chicken Tikka Masala I have ever sampled. My partner enjoyed her Mappas (Cochin region) – succulent Tiger Prawn simmered in a tangy coconut and curry leaf sauce. Both main dishes, complemented with Steamed Rice and Daal, were cooked to perfection and highly flavoursome. Be sure to save some space for dessert. We sampled a few traditional desserts (we were there over Diwali) from the trolley, and enjoyed each one immensely. The service was polite, attentive and casual, and whilst very busy, the atmosphere was relaxing with families, couples, work colleagues and friends all enjoying the ambience. Moti Mohal seemingly offers a number of different concepts and services – you can undertake Cookery Classes, order private catering for a party, pop in for lunch or the Tiffin Lunch menu, and you can even purchase a recipe book ‘Food of the Grand Trunk Road’. There are often seasonal sharing and taster menus to sample, which can also choose to match with wines or beers. Until the end of March 2014 you could also be in with a chance of winning a luxury 8-day tour of India with Abercrombie & Kent, enabling you to experience your own adventure along the Grand Trunk Road. Speak to the restaurant for further information. This is much more than a regular curry restaurant – this is a dining experience not be to be missed, whatever the occasion. 3
Bo Làng 100 Draycott Avenue, London, SW3 3AD Telephone: 020 7823 7887 Bō Làng, a specialist Dim Sum Restaurant & Tea House opened its doors in September last year, and three weeks after its opening was already a busy and bustling restaurant with an already thriving and regular clientele, as many of the guests that night were greeted by name by the waiting staff and already seemed to have their favourite dishes. Infused with Eastern mystique, Bō Làng is an elegant addition to the boutiques, bars and restaurants on Draycott Avenue in Chelsea. Head Chef and Dim Sum Master Kai Wang has over 10 years’ experience as a dim sum chef, starting his career at Yue Hai Jin Wei Hotel in China, before going on to work at the Grand Imperial at Grosvenor House, and as Dim Sum Head Chef for successful restaurateur Arkady Novikov, amongst others. The kitchen team has created an extensive menu of traditional and contemporary dim sum, including Snow Crab, Coriander and Water Chestnut with balsamic pearls; Sea Bass, Prawn and Chinese Celery; and Lobster with goji berry. The menu also features light main plates including salads, grilled and steamed dishes such as Blue Swimmer Crab Salad, Sautéed Root Vegetables with jasmine, and Bō Làng Crispy Duck. We chose a variety of Steamed and Crispy Dim Sum, which were all tasty, followed by Black Sesame Prawn Toast, Sichuan Pepper Squid, Glazed Pork Rib, Baked Black Cod, Stir-Fried 28 day aged Beef with Oyster & Ginger Sauce, Singapore Friend Noodles and Egg Fried Rice. Dish after dish was delicious, especially the Prawn with Mango Roll and the Baked Black Cod. Bō Làng
A beautiful tea collection, which includes a vast selection of rare and iced teas, provides the perfect accompaniment. Afternoon Tea is available from 3pm to 5pm, served in a range of traditional cast iron teapots; each of them unique. Enticing desserts are also on offer, including classic mochi and a range of macaroons with delicate, oriental notes including jasmine, rose and Earl Grey. A carefully crafted selection of Orientalinspired cocktails includes the Fortune Martini, Jade Dragon, and Chinese Garden. Soft drinks and freshly pressed juices are available alongside a short list of wines exclusively selected by the team at Bō Làng from boutique wine producers. Wines start from £8 per glass, and £30 per bottle, with vintage Thiénot Champagne from £12 per glass. The striking interiors have been created by designer Shaun Clarkson, who previously designed the Oxo Tower, Duke’s Hotel & Pitt Cue Co. Modern yet characterful, grey leather sofas and charcoal velvet chairs are offset by cutout wooden screens and tables. In the evening, candles gently illuminate the space, whilst the marble-fronted bar creates an elegant focal point for this ornately designed venue. Bō Làng seems to have had a great start and we can see why. Delicious food and great service, in an intimate restaurant, and with only 60 covers, you will be well looked after. Bō Làng
ANDRE GARRETT at CLIVEDEN Cliveden House, Taplow, Berkshire, SL6 0JF Telephone: 01628 607100 Cliveden has undergone the most amazing refurbishment of its main restaurant and now has the celebrated chef, Andre Garrett, at the helm as Executive Head Chef. Andre was awarded his first Michelin Star as Head Chef of Galvin Windows Restaurant in Park Lane. His experience is second to none having also worked at Chez Nico’s in Mayfair, Nico Central, Orrery, Guy Savoy in Paris and the Ritz. He also won a Roux Scholarship. His passion for seasonal British ingredients is evident from the various menus he has compiled. I was thrilled that dishes from culinary classics have been included and refined with up-to-date expertise. The fine cuisine, the superb selection of wines, the faultless service and wonderful ambience all combine to create a great dining experience. On arrival at Cliveden one enters a magnificent hall, rather like a large sitting room, for pre-lunch or pre-dinner drinks (especially a glass of Tattinger champagne!); a very imposing but comfortable area with stone fireplaces and warming logs, suits of armour and fresh flowers. A lovely painting of Lady Astor adorns the main fireplace. There is much history connected with Cliveden. Royalty and aristocracy have been associated with Cliveden for over three hundred years. At one time, the house was bought by William Waldorf Astor, America’s then richest citizen. Cliveden became a hub of society where notable guests from Charlie Chaplin to Winston Churchill and President Roosevelt to George Bernard Shaw would be entertained, or perhaps provide witty entertainment! The spectacular restaurant is a south facing room with impressive chandeliers and six sets of French windows offering panoramic views over the Terrace and River Thames beyond, a very grand setting for any occasion. This is an ideal venue for business lunches, special occasions and those ladies who lunch (and who will be very well looked after!). After lunch, what could be better than a stroll through the magnificent grounds down to the river? The à la carte lunch menu consists of three courses with coffee and the famous bonbons trolley at a cost of £65. The lunch menu, or Market Menu as it is called, costs just £28 but coffee and the bonbons are extra. The evening tasting menu costs £95 with an additional £75 for wine pairing. The evening à la carte menu is £65. Lunch is served from 12:15pm to 2:30pm and dinner from 7pm to 10pm (last orders for the tasting menu being 9pm). For lunch my guest and I chose starters of the Ballotine of Foie Gras with Cumbrian ham, salt-baked celeriac, golden raisins
and hazelnuts and a Tartare of South Coast Mackerel with black radish, smoked eel beignets, cod roe and English caviar. The Head Sommelier, Guillaume Gorichon is very informative and offered to choose our wines for each course. For the Ballotine he recommended a Vin de Constance 2008 from Klein Constancia in South Africa, and for the mackerel he chose a Gruner Veltiner 2011 from Austria. My main course was a Dover Sole (Veronique) Verjus with salted grapes, fennel, chicken jus gras and a delicious pomme puree served in a small copper pan. With this course Guillaume proposed an Albarino 2011 from Rias Baixas in Spain. My guest chose the Fillet of Cumbrian Long Horn Beef with smiled bone marrow containing oxtail (crumble), roast carrots and pomme mousseline, accompanied by a Chateau Caronnes SteGemme 2005 from Bordeaux. For dessert I chose the chef tester - a SouffflĂŠ, this being a Rice Pudding SouffflĂŠ with agen prunes, vanilla and Earl Grey (not the Lord!). My guest chose the Mille-Feuille with passion fruit, mango and fromage frais sorbet. Finally came the bonbons trolley, a vast
choice of sweets including nougat, macaroons, mango marshmallows, honeycomb, white truffles with cranberry jelly filling, chocolate orange and more - all prepared in the kitchen.
A very fitting finale to a gourmet experience. This restaurant and a visit to Cliveden House is a truly wonderful experience; do put a date in your diary for a visit! n
Wealth Management Simplicity & Sophistication
he Chinese philosopher Confucius once said that life is very simple, but we insist on making it complicated. You could say the same thing about investing. Complexity in investing often comes with a lack of transparency. The highly engineered and multilayered financial derivatives that contributed to the global financial crisis five years ago are a case in point. For many investors, these products were problematic because their complexity was such that it was very difficult to understand how they were designed, how they were priced, and whether the proposed payoffs were right for their own needs.
Of course, there may be an incentive for some players in the industry to make investing seem complicated. Complexity can sometimes provide a cover for overpricing. In contrast, there are far fewer mysteries about the underlying stocks and bonds traded each day on public capital markets, where prices are constantly in flux due to news and the ebb and flow of supply and demand. The virtue of these highly competitive markets for most investors is that prices quickly incorporate new information and provide rich information on risk and return. From these millions of securities, diverse portfolios can be built around known dimensions of return according to the appetites and needs of each individual. The competitive nature of public capital markets, the efficiency of pricing, and the difficulty of getting an edge are what underpin the “efficient markets hypothesis” of Prof. Eugene Fama, who was recently awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. Essentially, the practical takeaway from Fama’s work is that you are better off letting the market work for you rather than beating yourself up adopting complex, expensive, and ultimately futile strategies to “beat” the market. Writing in the Financial Times on the Nobel, economist and columnist Tim Harford said Fama had helped millions of people by showing them the futility of picking stocks, finding value-adding managers, or timing the market to their advantage. “If more investors had taken efficient market theory seriously, they would have been highly suspicious of subprime assets that were somehow rated as very safe yet yielded high returns,” Harford wrote.1 In the Sydney Morning Herald, journalist and economist Peter Martin said the world owes a great debt to Fama, who “demonstrated rigorously that if the supermarket crowd is big enough or if there are enough cars on the highway, you will get no advantage from changing lanes. Anyone who could have been helped will have already helped themselves.”2 This might be a counterintuitive idea to many people. After all, in other areas of our lives, like business, the secret to success is to study hard, compete aggressively, and constantly look for an edge over our competitors. One of the other two academics with whom Fama shared the Nobel–Robert Shiller–takes the view that markets can be irrational and subject to human error. He is frequently cited as a philosophical opponent of Fama. In practical terms, though, both men agree that it is very, very difficult for the average investor to get rich in the markets by trading on publicly available information. Most people trade too much or underestimate the unpredictability of prices.3
For example, many investors bought into supposedly sophisticated trading strategies during the financial crisis that left them on the sidelines in the subsequent rebound, which has driven prices in many markets to multiyear or record highs. Another Nobel Prize Winner, Daniel Kahnemann (of Thinking Fast and Slow fame), also frowns on stock pickers and pundits. Kahnermann, a behavioural psychologist believes that if you don’t have very specific information (which some say you’re not allowed to have) you shouldn’t kid yourself about your ability to pick stocks. There is a real disconnect between knowing that there is something you can’t do, and feeling you personally can. Kahnemann goes on to say that emotions are your worst enemy. People place too much weight on statistics that have no statistical relevance. When one talks to top performing investment managers a lot of emphasis is put on the previous five years performance. People who make decisions based on five years performance don’t understand statistics and the number of funds that are in the market. There are of course smart investment managers out there although most of them are throwing darts at a dartboard. The simpler approach is to adhere to three core principles: Markets reflect the aggregate expectations of investors about risk and return, diversification can help reduce uncertainty, and you can add value by structuring a portfolio focused on known market premiums. For the individual investor, the essential add-ons to this are staying disciplined and keeping a lid on fees and costs. Yes, these are simple ideas, but to quote another philosopher (Leonardo da Vinci), simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. With thanks to Jim Parker and DFA for their input and thoughts. n 1.Tim Harford, “Why the Efficient Markets Hypothesis Merited a Nobel,” Financial Times, Oct. 14, 2013. 2. Peter Martin, “Pitfalls of Looking for Life in the Fast Lane,” Sydney Morning Herald, Oct. 16, 2013. 3.Robert Shiller, “Sharing Nobel Honors, and Agreeing to Disagree,” New York Times, Oct. 26, 2013. James Sellon, CFA, Managing Partner Maseco Private Wealth Buchanan House, 3 St James’s Square London SW1Y 4JU T: +44 (0)20 7043 0455 E firstname.lastname@example.org W www.masecoprivatewealth.com 7
Taxing Issues H&R Block’s Roland Sabates Gives US Expats His Top Tips For Breaking The Stalemate Of US Tax Returns
iving abroad certainly has its perks, but the continued obligation to file annual US tax returns and foreign bank account reports is unlikely to be considered one of them. For many expats living in the UK, this complicated and burdensome task can often seem like a gruelling chess match that always ends in a tie. Pounds are converted to US dollars, P60s and other UK tax documents are allocated and combined to fit the US calendar year, and details of every foreign bank and financial account are hunted down. And at the end of this exercise, it is often the case that no tax is owed to the US government nor is any refund available for tax overpaid. Due to relatively high tax rates and the ability to claim other tax benefits available to expats, double taxation is effectively
eliminated for many expats in the UK and refunds are seldom available. This exercise is followed routinely on an annual basis due to the severe penalties that can be assessed for failure to comply. Nonetheless, US expats living in the UK should be aware of several situations where a refund (whether significant or not) could either be available or where investment decisions could result in tax unwittingly being owed to the US government when the annual tax return is filed. Are you leaving money on the table? Child Tax Credit Aside from cases where excess withholdings have been taken from a paycheck or an overpayment of estimated tax has been made, the US tax refund is largely the byproduct of refundable tax credits. However, the coveted refundable tax credit is generally out of reach for US expats. The Earned Income Credit requires presence in the United States for over half of the calendar year. The American Opportunity Credit (education) mandates attendance at a college or university eligible for US federal financial aid – a requirement met by few UK education institutions. Fortunately, expats raising children abroad may still qualify for the Child Tax Credit, which could result in a refund of up to $1,000 per eligible child. This benefit is even available to families living abroad all year. To qualify: 1. The child must be below age 17 2. The child must be a US citizen, national, or resident alien 3. The child must either be a son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or descendent of any (i.e., grandchild) 4. The child must not provide over half of their own support 5. The child must be claimed as a dependent; and 6. The child must have lived with the taxpayer for over half the year. The benefit is limited by the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income and phased out between the following income levels: • Married Filing Jointly - $110,000 $130,000 • Single or Head of Household - $75,000 $95,000 • Married Filing Separately - $55,000 $75,000. In addition to meeting the above requirements to claim the credit, the tax benefit employed to alleviate the burden of double taxation will weigh heavily on Child Tax Credit eligibility. A taxpayer must have “taxable” earned income to qualify for the credit. This may not happen if all income is excluded from US tax
by claiming the foreign earned income and housing exclusions. Every year, working expats are faced with the choice between claiming these exclusions and opting to figure a foreign tax credit, which can often be a more difficult task. For expats eligible for the Child Tax Credit, this choice is even more important. Particularly for expats who have been filing their own returns, the Child Tax Credit could have been missed due to this subtle nuance. For example, a married couple earning $100,000 USD with two children below the age of 17 could claim the foreign earned income exclusion on their tax return and have no US tax liability. By opting to figure the foreign tax credit instead, a refund of $2,000 would be generated – likely more than covering the cost of tax return preparation fees. Fortunately, even if expats miss out on claiming credits at the time they fill out their tax return they are still allowed to claim retrospectively for up to three years following the due date of the return. This means that 2010 tax returns can still be filed or amended to claim the Child Tax Credit through the spring of 2014. If you are raising a family abroad and may be eligible for the Child Tax Credit, be certain to speak with your tax advisor to ensure that your situation is being handled properly. A review of your prior year returns may even find some money that was overlooked. Protect your money Tax-Preferred Investment Strategies Expats living in the UK are afforded fairly robust protection of their retirement investments based on favourable language in the US-UK Income Tax Treaty. Those retirement arrangements eligible for tax deferral in the UK will typically qualify for the same treatment for US tax purposes. US expats residing in many other countries are not afforded the same treatment and pay US tax currently on both contributions and undistributed plan-level earnings. Contributing to employer pension schemes or personal pensions in the UK creates one of the few tax benefits that will help you on both sides of the pond. Be cautious of tax-exempt or tax-deferred benefits that may allow for tax savings in the UK, as the same protection may not be available for US tax purposes. When tax could be owed: Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) An Individual Savings Account (ISA), for example, provides a tremendous tax-free savings opportunity for UK residents. This opportunity is diminished for UK residents with US citizenship or permanent residency status. While set up as a savings option, the ability to withdraw from these accounts is not tied to retirement age or employment status.
Such details typically prevent qualification as a retirement plan or pension scheme under the Treaty, resulting in current taxation of interest or other earnings under US tax laws. As this same income is not being taxed currently in the UK, an offsetting foreign tax credit may not be available and a tax balance due could be generated on the US tax return. To make matters worse, additional information reporting could be required, particularly with “stock and shares” arrangements, increasing the complexity of US filing requirements and resulting in additional tax return preparation fees. With tax rates in the UK being generally higher than those applicable in the US, ISAs may still be a sound investment option for expats in certain situations. Nevertheless, US tax implications should not be overlooked when developing an investment strategy and selecting the type of ISA and its underlying holdings. Foreign Mutual Funds Stock and shares ISAs may hold mutual funds or other investments that could be saddled with classification as a passive foreign investment company (PFIC). Under PFIC rules US taxpayers are prevented from
harnessing foreign mutual funds and similar investments as vehicles for US tax deferral. This legislation has existed since 1986 but has recently become the focus of a crackdown by the IRS. Modern legislative changes that will soon mandate annual information reporting for all foreign mutual fund holdings combined with the IRS’ increased enforcement efforts against individual international taxpayers will drive compliance with these historically neglected foreign investments. As such, certain distributions and gains from the sale of foreign mutual funds - now subject to draconian tax rules - can be subject to US tax despite the UK tax rates. Applicable to all foreign mutual fund holdings, the US tax impact would be more pronounced when such investments are maintained through an ISA and offsetting foreign tax credits are unavailable. Making the most of your US tax return • Expats with children should analyse eligibility for the Child Tax Credit • Look into participation in UK pension and retirement arrangements • Carefully select ISA investments and be cautious of foreign mutual funds and similar investments.
Living abroad and keeping up with US tax filing obligations can be challenging. Make sure you’re not leaving money on the table. Work with a tax professional who has the expertise to handle the complexities of a US tax return to ensure you’re making the most of your tax situation. Contact H&R Block US Expat Tax Services at email@example.com or visit hrblock.com/expats. Roland A. Sabates, J.D., MBA H&R Block Roland Sabates is a tax attorney specialising in tax compliance issues for expatriates and noncitizen taxpayers. He has worked for The Tax Institute at H&R Block since 2008 supporting the company’s global team of tax professionals with international issues encountered in serving H&R Block clients. His primary areas of focus are foreign information reporting, US tax treatment of foreign pension and investment arrangements, tax treaty interpretation, tax implications of international employment, and international social security coverage.
Theatre Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense. Credit Getty Image
Some Reviews Of London's Theatre by Lydia Parker
Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense at Duke of York’s As a big fan of the early 1990’s TV series of ‘Jeeves and Wooster’ with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, as well as the original stories by PG Wodehouse, I was a bit sceptical that this stage production could do anything to dislodge those actors from my imagination as the perfect embodiments of Wodehouse’s creations. In ‘Perfect Nonsense’, Matthew Macfadyen as Jeeves and Stephen Mangan as Wooster, however, are so completely delightful that they certainly give them a run for their money. The conceit of the production is that Bertie Wooster is putting on his own play about the recent events in his life with the aid of his “gentleman’s personal gentleman” Jeeves and his aunt Dahlia’s elderly butler, Seppings, who is apparently “remarkably 10
good at impersonations.” Part of the fun is Bertie’s astonishment as Jeeves brings out set pieces one by one, recreating scenes with sleight of hand at times, revolving the set with a stationary bicycle, turning a crank to change the picture in a frame, all with a perfect calm amongst all the chaos that ensues. Jeeves is also adept at impersonations, playing at least four other characters including two women, one represented believably by just a curtain and a lampshade. Seppings, meanwhile, changes from a crotchety old man to Aunt Dahlia, radiant in an orange dress, Bertie’s nemesis, the fascist Roderick Spode, a policeman and an antiques dealer. The many stranded plot involving a silver cow creamer, Gussie FinkJeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense. Credit Getty Image
Nottle and his experiments with newts, his simpering fiancée Madeleine Bassett and her imposing father Sir Watkyn Bassett (who hates Bertie) can be a bit difficult to follow, but it doesn’t really matter. There were a few times when the repetition of a joke became tiresome, such as Seppings’ elaborate machinery to transform himself from a short butler to an incredibly tall Hitlerlike Roderick Spode, but in general ‘Perfect Nonsense’ is full of surprises. It works best when it refers back to Jeeves and Wooster creating a play and like all good comedy, it is funniest when things go wrong. Stephen Mangan is a brilliant physical comedian but can also make the audience
erupt into laughter by just smiling Wooster’s goofy grin. He keeps the story going, narrating it, commenting on it and partaking in the action all at once. Mangan perfectly captures Bertie’s guilelessness and innocent wonder at the madness of the world around him, never realising that he may be the cause of much of the madness. Matthew Macfadyen is superb not only as the seemingly superhuman Jeeves but also as the many other characters he slips into, especially Gussie Fink-Nottle, a fantastic creation in bottle top glasses who can’t ever seem to find a door handle ( a repetitive joke which works.) Mark Hadfield also shines as the hard working Seppings, who plays so many other characters you forget which one he started out as. Such a complicated piece needs a strong director and Sean Foley, a skilled comic actor himself, pulls it together admirably. The Goodall Brothers, who originally wrote the adaptation as a one man show, are also to be commended. The three actors looked stretched running around the stage to play all their roles and it is hard to imagine only one actor doing it. Jeeves and Wooster in ‘Perfect Nonsense’ will not only please diehard Wodehouse fans but will also create new converts with this sparkling, hilarious production. From Here to Eternity at the Shaftsbury Theatre Having never seen the 1953 film version of From Here to Eternity, I expected the musical to be an epic tale of romance with plenty of kissing on a beach and rolling around in the surf. What I didn’t expect is a searing indictment of the US Army’s brutality against its own recruits. The musical goes back to the original autobiographical novel by James Jones, set in 1941 Hawaii, where the G Company, a peacetime Army unit is in training. Although a war is being waged halfway round the world, they think they are safe from harm’s way. This ragtag bunch of soldiers comes from poor backgrounds, joining up so that they have a job. The latest recruit, Private Robert E Lee Prewitt, is brought in by the fierce Captain Holmes for his boxing skills- a favourite sport amongst the company. Prewitt declares he has given up boxing and bugling, so Holmes decides to break him by rigorous and often cruel training methods. Prewitt, a man who sticks to his word, will not give in and gains a reputation for being insubordinate, as much as he tries to stay out of trouble. He is befriended by the cheeky Italian American Angelo Maggio, who puts up with daily verbal abuse from the other men, but takes it all with humour. Prewitt is dragged along by Maggio to a brothel where he falls in love with the mysterious and beautiful Lorene, played by the talented Siubhan Harrison. She is the quintessential whore with a heart of gold who just wants to make enough money to go back
From Here to Eternity
home to Oregon and marry a respectable man. Another strand to the plot involves the First Sergeant Milt Warden, a handsome Darius Campbell, who goes after Karen, the cold and remote wife of Captain Holmes with the chatup line “I want to go to bed with you.” Instead of taking offense, they begin a torrid affair. The musical doesn’t dwell on the lovers, however, but deals with more uncomfortable issues: Private Maggio is being routinely beaten to a pulp by the Army’s Military Police after he is arrested outside of a gay club, a place he frequented to “roll the queers”, ie make money from homosexual men by spending time with them. It develops that the man who ratted on him was another soldier who is actually gay but has been hiding it by constantly bullying the much smaller Maggio in front of the other recruits. Maggio’s cruel treatment by the military police comes to a tragic end even before the inevitable bombing of Pearl Harbour in Act II. This is gritty stuff, an engrossing story which is well acted and disturbing. Robert Lonsdale is excellent as Prewitt; he is a very honest, truthful performer with a fantastic tenor voice. Darius Campbell, who some may remember as a runner up many years ago in Pop Idol, has made a career for himself as a West End star with his deep, lusty baritone; he has the looks, demeanour and the voice to be a matinee idol. The best musical number was between these two leads, “Aint Where I Wanna Be Blues” but there is also a nice, believable playfulness between Robert Lonsdale and Siubhan Harrison in the song “Love Me Forever Today.” Ryan Sampson is outstanding as Private Maggio, with his ironic “I Love the Army”; he ends up being the one you care most about as he is cruelly mistreated by his own people. The strong chorus of soldiers, all interesting characters who come in many shapes and sizes, shone in the interesting choreography of Javier de Frutos, who has tried to capture the way soldiers really
From Here to Eternity
move rather than invent dance numbers. From Here to Eternity is a musical with substance that tells a memorable and moving side to the story about one of the most important episodes in American history. Strangers on a Train at the Gielgud Theatre Adaptations of 1950’s films seem to be in fashion with another one hitting the West End: Strangers on a Train was made into the classic film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951, but this stage version owes more to the original book by Patricia Highsmith. Having unfortunately never read the book nor seen the film, I can only judge the play on its own merits. It is an interesting examination of a psychopath who, so desperate to be in another man’s life, will do anything to draw him in, including murder his wife. Although it has elements of a film noir, notably in the fantastic revolving grey, black and white set with its clever projections of trains, tracks and carousels, it doesn’t convey enough sense of urgency or mystery. For those who are not familiar with the premise, Guy Haines, an architect, meets the wealthy Charles Bruno, who proposes a perfect murder. Bruno wants his hated father dead so that he can inherit his money. Guy is on his way to Texas to meet up with his unfaithful wife Miriam to try to finalise plans for a divorce. Bruno suggests that if he murders Miriam, Guy can repay him by 11
murdering Mr Bruno. No one would ever tie the two murders together as they are complete strangers who have met by chance on a train. Guy does not take this suggestion seriously but enjoys Bruno’s creativity. Charles Bruno, however, has an unnaturally close relationship with his mother and really wants his father dead. He travels to Texas, follows Miriam and her boyfriend to a fairground and once she is alone, he strangles her to death. Guy hears this news from his fiancée Anne’s father and is shocked. Charles meets up with Guy and insists that he commit his own murder in return, he thought they had an agreement. Guy refuses but is then bombarded with letters and phone calls from Bruno who also sends anonymous letters to Anne and to a potential client, accusing Guy of the murder of his wife. Guy feels like he has no choice but to murder Bruno’s father, in order for him to leave him alone. The second act actually gets even more interesting as the alcohol addicted Bruno forces himself into Guy’s life, turning up at his wedding to Anne and befriending her behind Guy’s back while he travels for work. Meanwhile, Bruno’s mother has asked a private detective to find out who murdered her husband and everything starts to unravel, driving both of the men mad in the process. This story of a disturbed man becoming obsessed with another has echoes of Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 thriller, The Talented Mr Ripley, which also has overtones of repressed homosexuality. In Strangers on a Train, Bruno wants so badly to be a part of Guy’s world, envisioning the two of them together, off on adventures, living the high life. Once he meets Anne, who he also sees as a replacement mother when his own wants nothing to do with him, he includes her in his fantasies. Jack Huston believably portrays Bruno as a charming, clever yet disturbed child, spoiled to the point where he believes he can make anything happen. Although Huston has no theatre credits in his biography, he is a fine stage actor who uses his entire body to act, inhabiting the character of Bruno completely. Laurence Fox plays Guy Haines as a bit of a cipher. We never really get to know what is beneath his handsome exterior, or why Bruno would become so obsessed with him. He comes across as a reserved Englishman rather than a charming, American everyman. This portrayal, however, does make him more believeable as a murderer with secrets to hide. Imogen Stubbs as Bruno’s glamorous mother Elsie was beautiful and slightly over the top, as though she had some idea of what an American aging sexpot was like but no clue of how to become her. The result is a bit of a cartoon. Miranda Raison was elegant yet passionate as Anne- perhaps the character 12
the audience can identify with. MyAnna Buring, better known as the conniving maid Edna in Downton Abby, here plays another seductress, the unfortunate Miriam who was probably justified in berating her husband for being such a terrible lover. Just as Anne is a stereotype of the good true nineteen fifties wife so Miriam is the embodiment of all the evil a fifties woman can do. Miss Buring does an admirable job of bringing her to life before her untimely death. All in all, this is an enjoyable production
perhaps because the story is so dated. The stylish sets and costumes belie a seediness that lies underneath, something Hitchcock would have approved of. An exploration of severe obsession with hints of homosexuality and an Oedipus complex would have been quite shocking in the fifties. The central premise of a stalker who ruins another man’s life still has the power to shock. This production of Strangers on a Train, although not perfect, is worth seeing for the riveting central performance of Jack Huston. n
Tam Williams (Myers) in Strangers on a Train. Credit Brinkhoff and Mogenburg
Laurence Fox (Guy) in Strangers on a Train. Credit Brinkhoff and Mogenburg
Travel - Azamara Club Cruises
here are some questions that when asked need a fair degree of time before responding to as they need careful thought, and there are some that really require no thought at all, and I will leave it up to you as to which category the request to spend a night in the Park Hyatt, the best hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, and a cruise through Vietnam on the luxury Azamara Journey cruise ship fell into! It was for me a journey of firsts, the first time in Vietnam, the first time at the Park Hyatt and the first time cruising - but it won’t be my last, that’s for sure. Having set off on a cold wintery morning at the end of November to fly to Ho Chi Minh City, it was a pleasant surprise to arrive there to find the weather far more agreeable, and although our luggage didn’t arrive on the same plane nothing could dampen my spirits. The journey to the Park Hyatt takes about 15 minutes and was truly an experience as our taxi, and seemingly everything else on the road, appeared to just ignore every road sign and light and just jostle for position with the view that if you are bigger than me I will give
way, if not I won’t! What will strike you is just how many motorcycles there are (I am reliably informed that Vietnam has a population of approximately 80 million and there are 40 million motorbikes). At every junction and crossing the bikes queue up 10 abreast appearing to be willing the unwary pedestrian to venture into the road so they can swoop down blaring their horns! The fact that we didn’t have at least a couple of accidents on our way to the hotel was, in my view, down to pure luck, but the hustle and bustle of the streets fade away once you turn into Lam Son Square and you enter the imposing Park Hyatt that rises majestically in front of you. The hotel is perfectly situated occupying a prime location in District 1 overlooking the Opera House, and is within easy reach of a number of boutique and local shops, where you can buy either the locally made designer clothes or the real thing. Staff greet you at the imposing colonial entrance and I am sure if we had had any luggage, (yes it was still in the air somewhere over Europe!), it would have been whisked away, as everything here is so efficient, but is efficient without losing that personal touch which makes a good hotel great. Having spent 13 hours in the air I was grateful that the check-in was quick and we were shown to our room. A sumptuous large double bed dominated a spacious room which oozed French Colonial charm with wooden shutters etc., whilst still replete with all mod cons. The facilities are second to none with
award winning restaurants, a spa and extensive fitness facility, and for me the most perfect pool area which was so tranquil and restful even though it was just a few yards away from the insanity of the roads and streets of this bustling city. If you do go to Ho Chi Minh this is the hotel to stay in, not only for the facilities and food, but in my view because of the staff. Nothing is too much trouble and everything is actioned with military precision and with 5 star service. What a great combination! It was with great regret that we had to leave this oasis of calm and venture to the port to meet up with the Azamara Journey to continue our tour of Vietnam. This regret was however short lived, as we turned the corner of the port and set eyes on our ship which, like the Park Hyatt before it, rose majestically from the dock. Although classed as a small ship, the Azamara Journey can accommodate 694 passengers is 592m in length and for those who love statistics, the tonnage is 30,277. This is the amount of water that a ship displaces when afloat and on my departure 5 days later I would bet that that tonnage had increased considerably in light of the culinary delights I had partaken of during the voyage! Having been reunited with our luggage (!),it was swept away once we embarked Azamara Journey, and we entered the main entrance hall to be greeted by a glass of champagne and the feeling that we had gone back to a bygone age where elegance and aesthetics were at the forefront of thinking. Rather than a large atrium and Disney-like décor, a stylishly curved
staircase gracefully sweeps under a domed skylight to the main public room. We were then led by staff to our Stateroom on deck 6 and were greeted by our Butler who showed us all of the amenities in the room and asked us to just ask if we needed anything more. Our room was a Club Veranda stateroom and the décor and clever use of mirrors makes the 175 sq ft seem larger. The room is also well designed, cleverly making use of all the available space so that we had plenty of storage without it encroaching on our living space. One lovely feature of the Azamara Journey is the number of rooms that have balcony’s as 70% of the rooms have them and ours was perfect for sitting out on at the end of the day with afternoon tea brought by our Butler - how quintessentially English! For those looking for a little extra luxury the Azamara has a number of larger cabins with 32 Sky suites (266 sq ft ) with a 60-square-ft. verandah and a sitting area rather than a second room. There are also 10 even larger suites onboard: four Royal Suites, measuring 440 to 501 square ft. (with 105- to 156-square-ft. verandahs) and six Penthouse Suites, each measuring 560 square ft. (with 233- square-ft. verandahs). Every room is well appointed and mixes the expected e.g. a plasma tv, a stocked fridge, luxury toiletries and dressing gowns and slippers and even a pair of binoculars, but there is so much going on you rarely spend much time in your room. Once unpacked I decided a little bit of relaxation was required so made my way up to the pool deck at the top of the ship to find a sun bed. The pool and Jacuzzis are situated on deck 9 and they are surrounded by well-spaced padded sun beds which were so comfortable I spent many an hour asleep on them, and despite the cruise being pretty much full, you could always get one. There is also a quieter area on the top of the ship which whilst we were
onboard was never more than half full. Those who have read my reviews know that I love quality towels and to me the quality and luxuriousness of the Azamara’s are right up there with the best, demonstrating an attention to detail which I found throughout the ship. I keep saying it, but it is the small things that when done right, take a hotel, or ship in this case, to another level. This attention to detail is also evident throughout the ship from the décor in all public areas to the quality of the service provided by the staff. It is worth noting that I believe the ratio of staff to passengers is almost 1 staff member for every 2 passengers and with ratios like that the service is second to none. Staff recognise you, remember your name, and take note of your preferences so when you return to the restaurants the staff know what you want without you having to ask which made me feel very much at home. I had a number of prejudices about cruising before I set off and one was the quality of the food and drink, as once they have you on board you are a captured market, but I needn’t have worried, as both on the Azamara are exceptional. Azamara has positioned its cruises between a full all-inclusive and just full-board and provide an extensive selection of drinks and food which are complimentary including a choice of wine which changes daily. They have restaurants for all tastes ranging from the Pool side grill which cooks a mean burger or chicken
wings, through to the Windows Café buffet to fine dining at the Discoveries restaurant or, for an additional fee of $25 a head, dining in Aqualina or Prime C. There is also 24hr free room service for those who haven’t managed to eat enough during the day! Breakfast can either be served in your room, be served à la carte at Discoveries restaurant or you can enjoy al fresco dining at the Windows Café where there is an extensive buffet with a number of prepared to order stations cooking Omelettes and creating a number of ultra-healthy smoothies. Wherever you go, the service is attentive without being obtrusive and the quality and choice of food second to none. The main dining venue is the Discoveries restaurant which you reach via the Discoveries Lounge. Here you can enjoy a pre-dinner drink, and is at the aft (or the back to the likes of me) of the ship. The room accommodates all sizes of parties and you can easily enjoy a romantic dinner for 2 or a more inclusive table with friends, both old and new. The décor is in keeping with the rest of the ship with a heavy emphasis on the stylish elegance of a bygone era whilst remaining modern and luxurious. The menu changes every day and you can choose from a wide range of entrees, then a
salad or pasta course, a main and then dessert. You can however mix and match as much as you like, so if you don’t want a main but prefer 2 entrées then you just have to ask. The service is in-keeping with the top restaurants in London and the selected wine of the day is served freely. As well as the daily choices there are also a number of ‘favourites’ which remain on the menu every day which include Shrimp Cocktail, Caesar Salad, Steak and a delicious New York Cheese Cake in case nothing takes your fancy. Vegetarians are also well catered for. The other choices for dinner are the buffet at the Windows Café which has theme nights and enables you to dine inside or out and the 2 à la carte restaurants, Prime C which is a speciality steak and chop restaurant and Aqualina which serves a Mediterranean menu focussing more on fish. Aqualina is a perfect venue for a more relaxed dinner in a quieter and more refined setting, and is perfect for a romantic meal for two. The choices again were extensive and the service impeccable, and the food again worthy of the top restaurants in London. I loved my seafood starter of Shrimp, Scallops, Lobster and Crab and I would also recommend the Lobster Thermidor, which was delightfully creamy. Prime C and Aqualina have a $25 supplement, unless you are in a suite, but are both well worth a visit. Continuing with the food theme I have always been advised by my mother that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I can’t wait to take her to the Windows café or Discoveries to show her how seriously Azamara takes it! The choice is being served à la carte in Discoveries or the less formal help yourself option at the Windows Café. Both are exceptional and what is special is although a buffet there are many prepared to order stations including freshly squeezed juices, made to order smoothies and a pancake and waffles station. As a foodie I could have stayed here most of the day! Azamara cruises distinguish themselves from their competition in a number of ways and direct their attention on ensuring that its passengers get the best of both worlds in that they stay longer in their stop overs, more over nights and night touring so they can immerse themselves more in the culture of the country, but when at sea providing everything anyone could want. Another major benefit is because of the size of their ships many more destinations are possible to be visited and also the ship can dock closer to the town reducing the transfer times. At every destination transportation is laid on for those passengers wanting to spend time themselves visiting the sights but there are also numerous excursions, which are available to book before you sail. I took one to visit a Unesco Heritage site in Ha Long Bay and stared in wonder at the Limestone Karsts rising imperiously from the water and returned to the ship much more 16
knowledgeable than I had left it. Another distinguishing factor is that during their cruises there are special theme nights. Whilst on board we were lucky enough to be able to attend the ‘White Night’, which consisted of everyone wearing white. If you hadn’t brought white clothes it didn’t matter, although there were a few guests in their complimentary dressing gowns!, The sunloungers around the pool had all been removed and replaced with candle lit tables, whilst guests enjoyed a barbeque and entertainment and dancing to the house band. Azamara are also very proud of their ‘Azamazing Evening’, where the passengers are treated to a once in a lifetime experience. On our cruise it was being taken to a Bangkok temple which had been specially opened and watching an amazing firework display, enjoy a typical Thai meal, watching traditional dancing, and then releasing candles on lilies down the river which is supposed to release all stress and problems as they just float away! Another pre-conception I had was that I would be bored on board as there isn’t anything to do, but that pre-conception was also blown away quickly as I read the list of activities available every day. These cater for all tastes and range from quizzes to exercise classes through to seminars on the local culture and history. Every sailing has lectures by a "destination specialist," and there are other experts included in the mix to give more in-depth presentations on cultural, historical or natural aspects of the destinations. Everyone is catered for and the difficulty wasn’t having not enough to do, it was rather how could you fit everything in that you wanted to. In the evenings the main venue for nightly entertainment is the Celebrity Cabaret, a lovely, intimate show lounge which provided a variety of entertainment from shows to a hypnotist and once the show is over you can continue the party in the looking glass bar on the deck 9 where you can dance the night away until very late. Alternatively for those who want to, there is a intimate casino, open only when at sea, where
you can try to beat the bank with a variety of slot machines and blackjack and poker tables as well as a roulette wheel. There is so much to mention that it is impossible to include everything in this review, and the ship also boasts a top of the range spa and fitness centre as well as a number of speciality shops, all of which follow the same mantra of being state of the art whilst remaining personal. I loved my time on board and was truly disappointed to leave. Azamara state that ‘you’ll love where they take you’, well I would add to that that you will arrive as individuals but will leave feeling like a family and that is why I, like many I spoke to on the voyage, won’t choose any other company to cruise with. Our entire trip, including flights, hotel accommodation, and the cruise, was well put together by Protravel, who specialise in luxury travel. Protravel was founded in 1984 with Corporate Headquarters located in New York City and currently supports a network of 26 locations. Protravel have been named Virtuoso TOP producer 2004-2013, so clients booking trips via Protravel can enjoy priviledged access, perks and service that Virtuoso offer. Protravel are the only Virtuoso Agency in the UK which allows them to give their clients added value amenities like upgrades, spa credits, gifts, late check-outs at the top hotels and resorts around the world, so for example, at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Saigon they would be able to offer: 12 noon early check in and 4pm late check-out (subject to availability); Upgrade upon arrival (subject to availability); Daily breakfast for 2 people in the restaurant; and complimentary set dinner for 2 people per room, once during stay (excluding alcohol and gratuities).For further information please contact Catherine Ashurst at Catherine.ashurst@Protravel.co.uk or visit www.protravelinc.com n For more information on Azamara Club Cruises, please visit www.azamaraclubcruises.com
American Women’s Clubs News FAWCO Has had a productive 2013! On global issues, with the successful launch of the new Target Programme - Human Rights for Women and with our UN Reps participating at the policy making level at the UN, FAWCO is contributing to the improvement of the lives of women and girls worldwide (FAWCO’s 1st Resolution). On US issues, we continue to provide a strong voice for the “American family living abroad”. FAWCO’s US Liaison has met not only with IRS and Treasury officials, but also with members of EU Parliament to talk about the impact of new tax and banking laws. I am particularly proud of the successful completion of our Inaugural FAWCO Youth Cultural Volunteers Programme launched to enable our youth to explore the world’s culture and issues. 18
I am constantly amazed at how much can be accomplished when we put (in the words of our Founder Caroline Curtis Brown) “enlightened women” together. Caroline’s original vision was “world peace”; our current mission is to improve the lives of women and girls worldwide. All women should live free from fear and their rights to a safe environment, education, health and other basic human rights must be protected. For this cause, FAWCO volunteers are dedicated, smart and enlightened women who have a passion to make a difference. Their commitment and hard work leaves me awed and thankful. And they do all this amidst personal tragedies and other life challenges. My deepest thanks to our volunteers for your time, talent and dedication! FAWCO UN Reps to Chair United Nations Committees FAWCO is proud to recognise the efforts of two of its UN Reps, Sara von Moos, UN Rep – Geneva and Erica Higbie, UN Rep – New York, who have been asked to chair committees that they have been involved with as part of their UN duties. FAWCO UN Representative, Erica Higbie, became active with the Working Group on Girls ( WG G ) last ye a r h e l p i n g to organise the “Girls Tribunal on Violence” (http:// girlsrights. org/girls-tribunal-on-violence/) at the 57thCommission on the Status of Women. In August 2013, Erica became Chair of the WGG Advocacy Committee which works with permanent missions to the UN to influence government policy on issues unique to girls such as child marriage, trafficking, FGM and equal access to education. FAWCO UN Rep Sara von Moos (pictured here in the Human Rights Council Chambers) has been appointed Co-Chair of the UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) Beijing +20 Regional Review Task Force responsible for overseeing the coordination of the conference. Sara’s appointment was made by NGO CSW Geneva President and General Secretary of the World YWCA Ms. Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda. UNECE, which has 53 member states, will hold its Regional Review in Geneva in November 2014 in the form of a two-day conference attended by an expected 200 representatives of UN agencies, NGO’s and women’s groups.
CAWC Chiltern American Women’s Club Annual Charity Christmas Bazaar CAWC Annual Charity Christmas Bazaar – The Bellhouse Hotel Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire; Sunday, November 17, 2013. It was a chilly, grey day outdoors, but when you stepped into the Gerrard’s Suite at the Bellhouse Hotel, it was a warm, welcoming, Christmas atmosphere. The CAWC had over 800 individuals attend their 2013 Annual Charity Christmas Bazaar, which raised money in support of The Epilepsy Society and Hestia – a charity that supports victims of domestic abuse. There were over 70 volunteers who contributed to the day. With over 55 outstanding speciality vendors, crafters and local artisans, shoppers were treated to a vast selection of unique gifts and personal items to purchase. The marketplace consisted of quality-handcrafted items including jewellery, candles, clothing, handmade wooden items, fashion and home accessories, artwork, speciality Christmas items and so much more! This year the Luxury Hamper Committee created over 290 beautiful hampers to be sold. Each hamper was carefully selected, designed, wrapped and decorated with a gorgeous bow. A detailed label and name were given to each hamper in the hope that a very lucky individual would find them under their Christmas tree this year. A special thank you to Karen Bates and Lety Wicks, for chairing this year’s committee. The Café and Bake Sale created a mouthwatering experience! No matter what your appetite: chocolate, chilli con-carne, carrot cake or multiple types of cookies, the Café and Bake Sale offered an array of smells and tastes. Over 50 members donated home-baked goods to be wrapped and decorated, then sold at the Bazaar. Thank you to the Café chairwomen Wendy Hoffmann and Yvonne Tilley-Landmark and the Bake Sale chairwoman Kate Schuman Harman. The CAWC Annual Charity Christmas Bazaar also offered shoppers a chance to purchase
£1 Raffle Tickets in the hope of winning one of more than 60 unique items donated by each of the exhibitors. Thank you to the Raffle Chairwoman, Anne Axus. The excitement and energy that comes each year with the CAWC Bazaar always rests on the shoulders of a few super individuals. Thank you to the Christmas Bazaar Co-Chairwomen, Maureen Rice and Pam Showalter. Their hard work and determination was brilliant. Additional thanks must also be given to the following CAWC members: Denise Abdussamad, Celestina Akinkunmi, Sara Baghai, Suhaila Baghai, Stephanie Broman, Leslie Collingridge, Debra Delorge, Yvonne Felix, Anna Hawkins, Deb Lennertz, Sarah Maconachy, Bonnie Maurer, Anne Mehr, Saralie Pincini, Anita Strachota, Elizabeth Strats, Lori Urban, and Pam Waller. Lastly, a huge thank you to the CAWC President, Robin Smirnov. The CAWC is proud to donate all the proceeds to The Epilepsy Society and Hestia. Please look for the CAWC Annual Charity Christmas Bazaar next November at the Bellhouse Hotel, to join in the excitement and shopping experience. The CAWC is an active group of over 120 expatriate individuals from all over the world. They provide assistance to newcomers in Britain, and a very important part of the club is to give
back to the community. The CAWC members are proud to have raised over £225,000 for local charities over the past 20 years with the Annual Charity Christmas Bazaar. Visit them at http:// www.cawc.co.uk. American Women's Club of London Don’t let the shorter, cooler grey days of winter get you down. Put on your warmest jumper, find a cheerful hat, scarf and gloves and join us at the American Women’s Club London as we engage in a variety of fun activities over the coming months. We’ve got a little something
Pub Quiz Winners
Let's Do Lunch at Sticks & Sushi, Wimbledon
for everyone, whether you are looking to fill a few hours, learn a new skill, give back to the community or find fellow readers, stitchers, hikers or game players. London offers a wonderful variety of things to do when it is easier to spend most of the day indoors, but it can be much more fun to share these activities with others. A great way to meet fellow American expats is to join us at our monthly New Member coffees at the AWC offices at 68 Old Brompton Road, South Kensington. We meet on the third Tuesday of each month to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and bit of something sweet, and celebrate, or commiserate about, living in London. Our next coffees are scheduled for January 21 and February 18 - we would love to meet you. If Tuesday coffee doesn’t work for you the MMC, Monday Morning Coffee Group may better fit with your schedule. Every Monday a different venue is chosen throughout the city chosen based on venue, excellence of coffee, deliciousness of baked goods or friendliness of staff. The group meets from 10 to 11:30am, and you are welcome for as much time as you have. Looking for something to end the day? Our Thursday Afternoon Drinks at 11 Pimlico is a wonderful way to catch up with friends, what’s going on around the city, or get travel recommendations! Order your drink from the bar and join the group at the reserved table nearby - you can’t miss us. We’ve recently had two full groups climb the 334 steps to the top of Big Ben. There are plenty of stops along the way and you are rewarded with spectacular views. We were able to donate more than £200 to the Ronald McDonald House from the donations collected at our last climb. We also cook three times a month for the RMH as a group and are aided by the newly formed “Baking Brigade” who supply the sweet end to the meal. Both cooks and bakers meet at a nearby pub after preparing the meal for a quick pint and fellowship. Monday, January 20; Friday, February 7 and Wednesday, February 19 are our next cooking evenings. Want to expand your nightly meal repertoire? 20
Why not join in the Chinese Cooking Lesson at Chef Ruby’s Home Kitchen? Learn what the Chinese really eat at home and get hands on cooking experience led by a native Hong Kong chef. Learn how to cook a selection of dishes including a starter, three mains and vegetable. What’s better is that you get to eat your lesson, accompanied by a glass of wine, for lunch. Most importantly you will discover many Chinese cooking secrets passed down to the teacher by her mother and grandmother - priceless! We have a very special Afternoon Tea planned on January 15 that is currently fully subscribed but we are still taking names on the waiting list. The American Society and American Women’s Club are hosting the tea at the beautiful Millennium Hotel Mayfair. Mr. Grant Harrold, the former butler to Prince Charles, will guide the group in royal etiquette and tea service. If space does not open up we do have a group that meets periodically at special venues around London, just check our website at www.awclondon.org for updates. One of our most popular day trips is the annual Stoke-on-Trent Pottery Trip. It is a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of the semi-annual sales at the pottery outlets in Stoke-on-Trent. There are many deals to be found and it always nice to have somebody nearby to give you an opinion before you buy. A private coach picks us up in Sloane Square and drives us to the individual factory stores where you can shop till you drop! Store your purchases on the bus, have them shipped directly to your flat, or home in the USA. £50 saves you the trouble of fighting traffic and parking and gives you a bus full of friends to boot. Bring a packed lunch as shopping is the number one priority! Don’t forget a cart if you need to carry your purchases home. RSVP by January 2 for the January 22 trip. Come with the AWC to explore China in 2014!! From March 3 to March 13 our first tour will start in Beijing, including the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Olympic Park and Summer Palace and Beijing Zoo. We will continue to Xian to
discover the Terracotta Warriors, city wall and Little Wild Goose Pagoda. Next we’ll stop in Shanghai where we’ll see the historic Old Town, Yu Gardens, Xintiandi and Pudong district. In addition a road trip to Suzhou is included to see it’s renowned gardens and a boat ride on the Grand Canal. These are but the highlights! Also included for £2900 are economy flights and all transfers within China, 9 nights accommodation in 4&5 star hotels, most meals, all necessary coach transportation, English speaking tour guide throughout, Chinese acrobatic show and Tany Dynasty dancing show and entrance fees to sites specified in the itinerary. Upgrades are available, a Visa is required as is travel insurance. Contact the AWC office for further details. This is just a taste of what the AWC offers each season, and you can find a much more comprehensive list at www.awclondon. org. Business Women’s Group, Bumps to Jumps, Health & Fitness, Stitching, Bridge, Wednesday at the Movies, Book Group, Classical Music, Spanish Conversation, Food, Glorious Food; Hiking, Area Coffees, Shopaholics, Mah Jong and Community Outreach all have activities scheduled during the winter. Call 020 7589 8292, email awc@ awclondon.org or check our website for the most up-to-date information. Let us be your home away from home! American Women of Surrey (AWS) 23RD ANNUAL GIFT FAYRE A SUCCESS Cobham, Surrey, November 2013 – The American Women of Surrey’s (AWS) 23rd Annual Gift Fayre, which took place on 17 November, was a huge success. The Gift Fayre is the Club’s largest, completely volunteer-run, fundraising event of the year. For the first time, the Fayre was held in the Sports Centre at the ACS International School in Cobham, and over 700 were in attendance. Jane Aragon, the Gift Fayre Coordinator, organised more than 100 volunteers, planning for ten months in advance, to make it a great event. The money raised will greatly benefit FAWCO and three Surrey charities: B@titudes, Momentum, and Transform Housing & Support. Elmbridge Mayor, Mike Bennison, officially opened the Gift Fayre. He and his wife enjoyed speaking to the vendors, shoppers, and volunteers. AWS was thrilled to have the Mayor’s support for the Club’s biggest event of the year. Attendees had a wonderful time shopping, with over 90 high-quality vendors. There was something for everyone: jewellery, pottery, gourmet food, handmade crafts, Christmas decorations, books, clothing, photography, and art. In addition to the money collected from ticket sales, exhibitors paid to secure their
Jane Aragon (on the right), the AWS Gift Fayre Coordinator, and Janet Woolard, the AWS member who won a 50 GBP cash raffle prize at the event.
Betsy Cook Speer, AWS President, with the Mayor and his wife.
Stalls set up for the Gift Fayre at the Sports Centre at ACS International School Cobham.
stalls. The Gift Fayre also included a bake sale, tombola, café, and a gently used housewares table, called My Sister’s Attic. Once more this year, the children enjoyed the Santa’s Grotto and crafts area. Also, Graham Laycock of Brooklands Radio added to the festive ambience with Christmas music, while covering the event live. His interviews taken at the Fayre with some of those involved were played on his show the following Thursday evening. Since 1990, AWS’ Gift Fayres have raised more than £615,000 for Surrey-area charities. This year, The Neem Tree Dental Practice, together with APW, James and Giles, Love Water, Prime Health, Travel Producer and Whole Foods Market Richmond generously sponsored the event. With their contributions, AWS was able to give back to the local Surrey community and help brighten the holidays for some of its less fortunate residents. KCWC January General Meeting Thursday 16 January 9:30 am-12 noon Royal Geographical Society No. 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR (nearest tube: South Kensington or High Street Kensington) GUEST SPEAKER: Richard Stemp
photos by Lisa Browne and Jennifer Herrold
“The Self as Subject: Introspection from Van Gogh to Emin” Richard Stemp is an art historian and actor. He has taught at most of the major art museums in London, including the National Gallery, Tate Modern, Tate Britain and Buckingham Palace. He has written and presented two series for Channel 4, Art in the National Gallery and Tate Modern. His books include The Secret Language of the Renaissance and Directions in Art: Painting, one in a series about contemporary art for children. Richard Stemp studied Natural Sciences and History of Art at the University of Cambridge, eventually completing a PhD on “Sculpture in Ferrara in the 15th Century”. He also followed a post-graduate acting course at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts. Since then he has shared his time between acting in and lecturing on the History of Art, taking trips across Italy, Germany, Austria and Russia. Richard’s subject today, “The Self as Subject: Introspection from Munch to Emin”, is about the modern artistic obsession with the self. He will consider the ways in which artists have used their own image and experience as the subject of their paintings. With “selfies” all the rage now, come Richard will take us
on a journey to show how self-portraiture has expanded from mere illustration to expressing the inner state and identity of the artist. Starting with artists such as Van Gogh and Munch, he’ll show how this genre follows through to Andy Warhol and Tracey Emin. KCWC February General Meeting Thursday 6 February 9:30 am-12 noon Royal Geographical Society No. 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR (nearest tube: South Kensington or High Street Kensington) GUEST SPEAKER: Donald Jackson -- The Queen’s Caligrapher “The Saint John’s Bible” Donald Jackson had a dream, to create the equivalent of the Sistine Chapel for a calligrapher: a hand-written Bible. This dream was realised in the form of a contemporary masterpiece, The Saint John’s Bible. He speaks about his work to kcwc. Completed in September 2011, this work is the result of a 15-year collaboration of artists and calligraphers at a scriptorium in Wales, and a group of scripture scholars and theologians at Saint John’s University in Collegeville,
Dr Mark Barrett is a US trained prosthodontist based in a private dental practice in Cavendish Square, Central London W1. He is the President of the American Dental Society of London for 2013/14. Examination Hygienist Children’s Dental Care Replacing Missing Teeth - Dentures, Bridges and Implants Root Canal Treatment Crowns Dental Veneers Tooth Whitening Fillings GDC no: 60751
Mark Barrett BDS MS(Texas) 6 Harcourt House, 19a Cavendish Square, London, W1G 0PN WWW.MARKBARRETTDENTISTRY.CO.UK E: firstname.lastname@example.org
T: 0207 580 2500
Minnesota, under the direction of Donald Jackson. It combines a centuries-old tradition of craftsmanship with the latest capabilities of computer technology and electronic communication. It was written and drawn entirely by hand using quills and paints handground from precious minerals and stones such as lapis lazuli, malachite, silver, and 24-karat gold, embracing 21st century technology to facilitate the design and creation process. The beauty and splendour of this worldrenowned project has been on exhibition at the Library of Congress, at the Victoria & Albert Museum, at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and is now on a national tour of the United States. SAVE THE DATES Upcoming General Meetings: 6 March - Royal Geographical Society 3 April - Royal Geographical Society 8 May - TBD 5 June - Royal Automobile Club For information about joining kcwc, please contact us at email@example.com, or telephone (020) 7863 7562, and request an information packet which will be posted free of charge. Visit: www.kcwc.org.uk.
Top Tens Shaken Not Stirred: London’s Top Cocktail Bars by Judith Schrut
ou say tomato and we say tomato - on that we can agree. So, why do we still argue as to which of us, Americans or Brits, invented the noble cocktail? It’s a debate that’s raged for decades, usually after we’ve had a few tipples or toddies. Competition is equally hot over which of our libatious nations is “Top Dog” in today’s cocktail bar world. But none can deny that recent years have seen a cocktail A delicious taste of Victoriana, Zetter Townhouse Cocktail Lounge
Renaissance in London. Whether your thirst is for classic or cool, elegant or ethnic, our Top Ten choice of London’s cocktail bars is guaranteed to tickle your gimlet. 1. MASTERFUL MIXOLOGY: ZETTER TOWNHOUSE Eccentric, charming, discreet and heavenly are phrases which trip easily off the tongue as you pass through the deceptively plain blue front door and enter the Zetter Townhouse cocktail lounge. ZTH, as it’s affectionately known, is the weird sister to Clerkenwell’s Zetter Hotel, one of London’s hippest hotels in its coolest quarter. Think Downton Abbey, stir in Potter’s Museum of Curiosities and garnish with a teaspoon of Hogwarts School, all set in this fascinating part of Dickensian London, once hedged with breweries and gin distilleries. You may remember seeing the winning team in a recent episode of BBC’s The Apprentice whooping it up with ZTH cocktails and wishing you were there. Although a relative newby on the scene, it’s already swept up a whole bunch of accolades, including Good Hotel Guide’s London Hotel of the Year, and has quickly become a favourite haunt for the capital’s cleverest cocktail lovers. Once inside, get comfy in a battered armchair in front of the crackling fire, surrounded by odd portraits, unusual knick knacks, taxidermied cats and a stuffed kangaroo, and believe us, you won’t want to leave. And then there are those cocktails! Behind all the magic is the talented and respected Grandbardaddy of alcoholic alchemy, Tony Conigliaro, of Drinks Factory and Colebrooke Row fame. His cocktails, cordials and infusions are inspired by old recipes for tinctures, bitters and herbal remedies. Wizard Tony’s new recipe book, Drinks, shows he
knows as much about alcohol in perfume as in beverages and puts this knowledge to unique use in his cocktail creations. Our bartender William showed pure joy as he glowingly described each entry in ZTH’s cocktail menu, all innovative tipples, handmade with carefully sourced ingredients and love. Signature drinks include the navalthemed Master at Arms, a combo of Myers rum, port evaporation and homemade pomegranate based grenadine. The result is a deep, dark and deliciously addictive tipple, served in a rope wrapped stem coupette glass for added nautical flavour. The Koln (as in Cologne) Martini, is a heady mixture of dry gin, Martini and homemade citrus aromatics and described to us as drinkable perfume, whilst Somerset Sour toasts a cross-Channel alliance of Somerset cider brandy and Breton cider. The Flintlock, made with Beefeater Gin, gunpowder tea tincture, dandelion, Fernet Branca and burdock bitters, includes a showstopping performance with a lit fuse. Impressed as we were so far, our visit was lifted to an even higher level when our enchanting server, Aga, appeared with a fat spread of Bruno Loubet nibbles, including melt-in-the-mouth parmesan shortbread, pork crackling pigtails with apple sauce, rarebit baked spuds and ecstasy producing deep fried anchovy olives. Eat a bowl of those olives, down a couple of Masters at Arms and you’ll go to bed happy. That’s a promise. Zetter Townhouse, St John’s Square, Clerkenwell House Cocktails £8.50 www.thezettertownhouse.com 2. JOY AT THE SAVOY: THE AMERICAN BAR The splendiferous Savoy Hotel’s American Bar holds a special place in the history of cocktails since it introduced American cocktails to a wide-eyed European public for the very first time. When the total ban on alcohol in the 1920s Prohibition Era America brought thirsty Americans over in their droves, Joy at the Savoy, the American Bar
the Bar’s popularity soared. Prohibition also brought across barman Harry Craddock, who famously came and stayed for 40 years, authoring the legendary Savoy Cocktail Book, still regarded as the bartenders’ bible. The American Bar was birthplace to many classics - The White Lady, the Corpse Reviver, the Hanky Panky, to name a few. Wedding Bells was invented to toast Queen Elizabeth’s wedding to Prince Phillip; Moonwalk for Neil Armstrong’s 1969 moon landing; and Speedbird for Concorde’s first flight. The Savoy was London’s original luxury hotel, the first to have electric lifts, lights and 24-hour room service. This most elegant and atmospheric venue has been a favourite of the rich and famous since it opened in 1889. The long rollcall of celebrity American performers or guests includes Marilyn Monroe, Bob Dylan, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland and Humphrey Bogart. Gershwin premiered his Rhapsody in Blue here in 1925. Frank Sinatra liked to sneak into the Bar and play the piano. As you ascend the stairs to the American Bar, take time to gaze and gawp for yourself at its wonderwall of star photos and memorabilia. Nowadays you’ll find the charming and award-winning Erik Lorincz presiding over the American Bar, welcoming guests from all corners of the globe to cosy up with cocktails including his signature drink, the stylish Green Park. As it has for decades, classic jazz is played seven nights a week on the famed baby grand. Erik joyfully described to us the honour of creating a special cocktail for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations last year. This led to Diamond Jubilee Punch, fittingly served up from the Lalique Fountain in the Savoy’s forecourt, a forecourt famed as the only street in England where vehicles must drive on the right. The recipe called for 36 bottles of gin, 40 bottles of champagne, 90 litres each of Earl Grey Tea, lemon juice and iced sherbet. Summer 2014 may well see the fountain overflow again as the Savoy celebrates its 125th birthday. Unsurprisingly, the cocktail menu is a wonder to behold. Modern ladies favour the lasciviously fruity Pink Collins, champagne cocktails or the sherry, port and rum combo making up the Malecon, while gentlemen prefer classic drinks like Dry Martini or an old fashioned Maid in Cuba is a spirited concoction of Bacardi rum, cucumber, mint and a hint of absinthe. If you’re looking for a nightcap, American Bar has a strong selection of ‘lullaby libations’ like Spiced Milk, Savoy Eggnog and lovely Erik’s absinthebased chestwarmer, Monet Moment, created in honour of the French Impressionist who sketched nearby during his stay at the Savoy in 1902. If it’s a liquid breakfast you’re seeking, try waking the brain with a Morning Glory 24
Fizz or a Bloody Caesar. The American Bar, Savoy Hotel Cocktails from £15, Mocktails £10.50 www.fairmont.com/savoy-london/dining/ americanbar 3. COCKTAILS WITH COCO: SOFITEL - ST JAMES BAR Union Jack meets the Tricolore in the luxurious surroundings of Hotel Sofitel-St James and its highly regarded St James Bar. With its pedigree address close to Buckingham Palace, walking distance from St. James Park and Pall Mall’s renowned gentlemen’s clubs, and a quiet refuge between the bustle of Trafalgar Square and bright lights of the West End, every inch of this destination oozes Franco-Britannique charm and splendour. The St James Bar’s cosy and seductive elegance takes inspiration from parfumierdesigner Coco Chanel's 1920's Paris apartment. This apartment above the Chanel shop in Rue Cambon has been preserved exactly as Coco left it on her death in 1971, overflowing with gold trim, crystal chandeliers, oriental antiques, art deco furnishings and a uniquely mirrored staircase where Coco would apparently sit and watch her fashion shows happening downstairs in reflection, whilst completely hidden from view. The bar is festooned with Coco’s favoured birds, camellias, and bronze statues. Sit at the long bar or curl up on comfy brocaded sofas beneath the towering ceiling painting of the ‘rooster-headed gentleman’ and enjoy un grand choix of original, vintage and signature cocktails mixed by keen and knowledgeable staff. Alternatively, ask the Bar’s Champagne Angel to help you navigate the extensive champagne and sparkling wine list. If you’re feeling peckish, there’s an all day menu of The delectable Jacques Rose with Alessio, Sofitel-St James Bar
bites, main dishes and sharing plates with a distinct Franglais twist. St James Bar’s most popular drink is its signature 1921, dedicated to the birth year of Coco’s most famous perfume, Chanel No 5. A sweet and respectful combination of jasmine, rose water, lime and cranberry juices, finished with a spritz of Bergamot mist from a classic perfume bottle, it can only be described as magnifique. By contrast, the Barbaresque is most definitely a man’s drink, a stylish blend of rum, Curacao liqueur, lemon and a touch of nutmeg. Other stand out cocktails include the Vieux Carre, combining rye whiskey, cognac, sweet vermouth, Benedictine and Peychaud bitters and created in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1938; Paris 75, made with gin, Cointreau, lemon and sage sorbet topped with champagne and Jacques Rose, a delectable version of the classic Jack Rose, made famous by author and drinks aficionado, Ernest Hemingway. This one’s made with Calvados, a traditional liqueur of fresh Normandy apples and pears, fine Moet & Chandon champagne and a scoop of handmade grenadine and lime sorbet. This highly enjoyable 2-in-1 cocktail journey begins with slow, sumptuous sips of Calvados-enriched champagne; when you can’t bear waiting any longer, stir in the rich, dark, sorbet mound and sip again! Le Balcon-Sofitel St James Bar, Waterloo Place Cocktails from £9, Mocktails £8.50 www.thebalconlondon.com/stjamesbar 4. THE SPICE IS RIGHT: THE CINNAMON CLUB Just over 10 years ago, the Cinnamon Club’s Founding Father and Executive Chef, Vivek Singh, set out on a passionate mission to convert an old Victorian library in a musty corner of Westminster into a top class restaurant which would transform and redefine Indian food in the UK. Since then, the overwhelmingly successful Cinnamon Club has won umpteen awards, attracts a thoroughly international clientele of more than 100,000 visitors each year, including a generous sprinkling of celebrities, royals and politicians from nearby Houses of Parliament, and is regarded as one of the world’s finest
Turning up the heat with Cinnamon Club's fiery winter cocktails
Indian restaurants. There’s now a Cinnamon Soho, Cinnamon Kitchen and four Cinnamon Club cookbooks. The Club’s innovative spirit is alive and well in its subterranean cocktail bar, where you can savour a range of spice-infused cocktails and an Asian flavoured ambience. New Year 2014 is ushered in with a fiery winter cocktail menu created by head mixologist Gabor Onufer, a perfectly formed selection of 15 deliciously spiced drinks, thoughtfully conceived and thoroughly original. Unlike many other bars, the Club doesn’t rely on overuse of sugar, salt or heavy flavourings in its cocktails; instead, tastes are encouraged to play with the palate and let underlying flavours through. Take the extraordinary La Fiesta, for instance, a fragrant, fresh and fruity gathering of Grand Marnier, orange marmalade, lime juice, dandelion bitters and rosebud teainfused Olmeca Reposado tequila. The indulgent Golden Brown is a richly delicious mix of cognac, apricot ‘shrub’ (apricot honey, Sauvignon Blanc and spiced rum), coffee liqueur, a dash of exotic Cynar and a flotilla of gold leaf. Ten celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Club in style, blending vodka, crème de figue, orange sherbet, lime and a top up of ginger beer. Champagne lovers will want to try Southbank Royale with its smooth, alluring scent of cucumber and mint and a surprising sharpness when tasted. If you’re in the mood for a total heatwave experience, Don’t Mess with Naga is for you, a heady combination of Olmeca Plata tequila, caramel, lime juice, pear, green tea, cinnamon and Naga Bitter, made with the world’s hottest chillies. On first approach, you’ll welcome its fresh, citrusy-sweet scent, but this bouquet completely belies the spicy Margarita which soon greets the palate, followed by an explosive whoosh of chilli in the mouth. There are also some tasty non-alcoholic options like Very Berry Lassi and Apple & Cucumber Fizz. Club cocktails are brilliantly matched with gorgeous nibbles and sharing plates like crisp whitebait with carom seed and chilli served with masala mayonnaise, garlic and herb naan or shrimps with a chilli and apricot glaze. Although the bar’s a destination in its own right, it’s only a short upstairs climb (or wobble, if you’ve messed with Naga) to the restaurant for the remarkable full-on Cinnamon Club experience, one we can’t recommend highly enough. Cinnamon Club also offers monthly Cocktail Masterclasses, giving guests a chance to learn and try the tricks of the trade while mixing signature cocktails under the watchful eye of its expert bartenders. The Cinnamon Club, Old Westminster Library Cocktails £10-12, Mocktails £6 www.cinnamonclub.com
Pisco Passionate, Ceviche's marvellous Miguel
5. A PASSION FOR PISCO: CEVICHE Pisco, Peru’s national drink and dating back to the 16th century, is a flavourful and potent brandy distilled from premium local grapes. It also has an important place in American cocktail history, introduced during the Gold Rush era via San Francisco, where it became an instant hit. Pisco Punch was an early classic cocktail. Travel forward in time to 21st century Soho, London, where Anglo-Peruvian Martin Morales has been busy importing his passion for pisco and Peruvian cuisine. Starting with a Tweet (“does anyone care about Peruvian food?”) and a humble pop-up, Martin opened Ceviche in 2012, Europe’s first Peruvian pisco bar and restaurant. It’s been a runaway success. A second enterprise, Andina, opened a few weeks ago in Shoreditch to similarly rave reviews. Mixing London creativity and Lima flavour and flair, everything at Ceviche has been thought through carefully and designed with Martin’s motto in mind: “Aqui se cocina con cariño” (Here we cook with love and care). The result is a joyous celebration of all things Peruvian, from the room colours, furnishings and music to the ‘Hero Wall’, posters, photos, artifacts and infused pisco display. Ceviche’s charming head barman Miguel shared with us his simple but winning cocktail philosophy: start with a deep respect for traditional recipes, then add some gentle tweaks, twists and inspirations. Stand out cocktails include top customer favourite, the Pisco Sour, made with Pisco Quebranta, lime juice, sugar syrup, egg white and Amargo bitters, while Soho is true Anglo-Peruvian fusion, combining the fresh Britishness of elderflower and cucumber with an Andes grown kick of Limo chilli-infused pisco. Black Butterfly honours the flavours of British springtime; a delicious, uplifting blend of blueberries, wild nettle cordial and lavender-infused pisco, it helped Miguel gain a place in the Young British Foodies
finals. Ceviche’s adventurous and healthy mocktails are also highly recommended. Cocktails are thoughtfully matched with incredible edibles from Ceviche’s kitchen. Adapted from time-honoured Peruvian recipes or specially created by Martin and his devoted team of chefs, these include nibbles like Cancha (savoury Peruvian corn kernels) and Chifles (plaintain crisps) as well as mouthwatering salads, ceviches, grilled anticuchos and hot recuerdos (the Lomo Saltado is a must). Be sure to save some room for extraordinary desserts like Peruvian chocolate-orange mousse, lucuma fruit cheesecake and lime tarte with chilli ice cream. Ceviche also likes to spread the joy with its popular food and cocktail Masterclasses. Ceviche, Soho Cocktails £7-8, Mocktails £4.50 www.cevicheuk.com 6. SOUTHBANK SUAVE: SKYLON Radical, shocking and futuristic when it first appeared on London’s South Bank in 1951 postwar-austere Britain, the Skylon Tower became the symbol of the forward-looking Festival of Britain and a modern British world to come. Dramatic as it appeared by day, by night its piercing 250 foot beam of light transformed London’s recently wartime blacked-out skyline. Sadly, the Skylon was demolished the following year due to political wrangling. Not quite so radical but still an impressive and adventurous marvel is the Skylon Restaurant and Bar, opened in 2007 and occupying a spectacular window-on-the-waterworld perch inside the Royal Festival Hall. Minutes from its namesake’s original Thamesside site, Skylon has been gathering awards for taste, style and design from the start and is a favourite with many A-list celebrities. Skylon Bar is all about creating perfect classic cocktails, reinvented with a twist to suit today’s palate. Award-winning head barman Nebojsa Kutlesic and his expert team, (notably the fabulous Fabio), take their art very seriously. Located on the river and so close to nature it’s not surprising to find Skylon’s cocktail menu looks to the weather and changes with the seasons. On a cold, wet, winter evening, Nebosja’s famed Deer Hunter provides a comforting belly-warmer of aged Scotch whisky, plum sake, Manzanilla Sherry and chocolate bitters, while Timber is an anti-freeze of rum,
Choice cocktails and a riverside view, The Skylon
Campari and quinquina. The Philosopher offers an aromatic delight of cardamom, lemon and thyme-infused Gin Mare stirred with Canton ginger liqueur and wild nettle cordial. In Side Effect, fine Normandy Calvados meets appley cider in a gingery, appley, minty mug of maelstrom over crushed ice. Skylon is also renowned for some of London’s best Martinis and Manhattans, and its astonishing range of Bellinis, that wondrous champagne–based favourite of Ernest Hemingway, including Raspberry and Lychee, Lemon Ginger and Royal Coffee. There’s an unbeatable selection of dessert cocktails as well as some memorable mocktails, like Mojito-style Virgin Southern Ginger and the refreshing Berry Blast, both served long over crushed ice. If that peckish feeling sets in, Skylon has some excellent small dishes and sharing platters from head chef Adam Gray’s innovative kitchen, celebrating the best of British fish, cheese, charcuterie and baking. For more serious dining, it’s a few steps from the bar to Skylon’s Grill or Restaurant. Monday Masterclasses offer guests an extra ‘wow’, with free lessons from Skylon’s spirited bar team- guests pay only the price of their cocktails. Skylon, Royal Festival Hall Cocktails from £12, Mocktails £6 www.skylon-restaurant.co.uk/bar 7. ONE FOR THE ROAD: GNH BAR Passing through Kings Cross-St Pancras station en route to that naughty weekend in Paris? Back from some nasty Euro-business in Brussels? Or just in need of uplifting refreshment to break the rush hour commute back to the ‘burbs? If so, you’ll find it’s an easy step back in time to the Belle Epoque environs of the GNH Bar. With its dramatic chandeliers, polished pewter bar, beautiful cut-glass mirrors and black and white tiled floors, this recently re-designed bar in the recently refurbished Great Northern Hotel oozes style and sophistication, echoing classic railway bars of times past. The GNH’s cocktail list celebrates the ‘bon’ of the voyage, with signature drinks like 1854, an evocative blend of smoked pineapple syrup, crushed cardamom, Woodford Reserve and Noilly Prat intended to transport you back to the original smoke and coal-filled station of
All the 'bon' of the voyage, GNH Bar
the Victorian age; the Lady Violet, a tall and elegant drink made with elderflower vodka, champagne and Chambord raspberry liqueur commemorating the world’s first Ladies Only smoking room, revolutionary when opened at St Pancras a century ago, and Last Call, an easy-to-drink union of El Jimador tequila, brandy, fresh pear, a lick of pink grapefruit and basil crushed ice, perfect for when there’s just enough time for one more. There’s also an attractive range of classics like Cosmopolitan, Manhattan, Espresso Martini and Caipirinha. Couple your drinks with cocktail-friendly sweet and savoury bites to suit all appetites and schedules. There’s succulent garlic prawns, smoky sourdough and a choice selection of oysters, smoked salmon and other delicacies to please seafood lovers and golden Oscietra caviar for the high rollers. If you can but manage a quick pitstop pleasure, we recommend the Oriental Express. This chilli and lychee Martini-style drink introduces itself with a wave of refreshing lychee, followed by a swift, sharp poke in the palate from the chilli. Next stop, hangover! Almost impossible to believe that only a thin velvet curtain divides you from one of the busiest train stations on the planet. Travellers with a little more leisure time may wish to make the short commute upstairs for more substantial temptations and watch the world go by at sister restaurant Plum & Spilt Milk. Great Northern Hotel, King's Cross-St Pancras Station. Cocktails from £9, Mocktails from £5 www.GNHLondon.com 8. BAMBOO COOL: INAMO ST JAMES Inamo St James is an innovative Oriental fusion cocktail bar and restaurant in the heart of London, minutes from West End theatres, shops and sightseeing hotspots. Its relaxed ambience, seasonal offers, central location and unique futuristic feel combine to make Inamo a popular and enjoyable choice. On entering, you’ll be convinced you’ve entered a bamboo forest and yes, that really is a Japanese garden growing up the back wall. Inamo boasts the world’s first interactive food ordering system, using the latest in overhead projection technology. This means you place your order from an interactive table menu, design your own virtual tablecloth, play games while you wait and use the ‘Chef Cam’ to watch chefs prepare your food. With all that cool table technology, a delicious daily-changing menu of sushi, satay, noodle dishes and house favourites like Japanese Gyoza dumplings or steamed dim sum with vegetables, meat or seafood and lashings of mango-chilli relish, plus an equally fabulous range of exotic cocktails and fresh and fruity mocktails to match, it’s not surprising that
Bamboo Cool, Inamo St James
Inamo attracts guests of all ages and tastes. Liquid pleasures can be ordered at the table or in the bar. The cocktail menu changes seasonally and makes the most of Inamo’s Pan-Asian possibilities, including liberal use of Japanese Sake (rice wine), exotic spices and tropical fruits. It recently celebrated its 5th anniversary with some especially stylish cocktails created by head bartender Sokol Jakaj, such as Japanese Whisper, Tropical Storm and Sake Blossom. Champagne lovers will head straight for Prucia Fizz, an uplifting combo of plum liqueur and prosecco, or Sol Levante - Rising Sun to you and me, a seductive blend of champagne, kiwi liqueur, pomegranate, and lemongrass. Martini fans will delight in a choice which includes Lychee Martini, Sake Martini and White Chocolate Martini. For something bolder, try the Inamo, which comes with a ‘hot and spicy’ warning. A unique blend of Mandarin orange, chilli syrup vodka and onion, this is not a drink for the fainthearted. Inamo St James, Lower Regent Street Cocktails from £7.50, Mocktails £5 www.inamo-stjames.com 9. RHAPSODY IN BLUE: THE BLUE BAR With its stylish fusion of the modern and the traditional, the Berkeley Hotel’s Blue Bar is a shining example of all that’s best in British design. Located in one of Knightsbridge’s favourite celebrity hangouts, it was lovingly created by David Collins, design genius behind many of London’s best bars and restaurants and who sadly died last year. The Blue Bar’s most outstanding design feature is its striking blue colour scheme, known as Lutyens Blue. In harmony with its cool design, the Blue Bar’s cocktails are all about classics with innovation, using the finest ingredients, imaginative twists and a passion for perfection. Get in touch with your natural self with cocktails from its Season Atelier range, such as Firelog, Winter Garden, Falling Leaf and Down the Rabbit Hole, making the most of earthy ingredients like eucalyptus, mint, lime leaf, plum, liquorice and rosemary. For special occasions there’s a superb choice of creative champagne cocktails like tongue-tingly Lemon Meringue or refreshing Rose’s Delight. You can also choose from over 50 different whiskies, a wide range of champagnes and selected
Kind of Blue: Stefano at the Blue Bar, Berkeley Hotel
wines by the glass. The full range of drinks are complemented by some great savoury and sweet tapas-style dishes. Nothing is too much trouble for the Blue Bar’s devoted band of bartenders, whether it's the creation of bespoke drinks to suit a mood or occasion, or a guest’s personal request for a classic favourite. The iconic Blue Bar leather shaker and other exclusively designed bar and glassware are also available for purchase, so you can recreate that stylish Blue Bar experience for the folks back home. The Blue Bar, Berkeley Hotel, Knightsbridge Cocktails from £16 www.the-berkeley.co.uk 10. RELAXED REFINEMENT: THE ROSEWOOD BAR Last, but by no means least, treat yourself to an evening of cocktails at the ultra-luxurious
Rosewood Bar. Rosewood Hotel Group has spared no expense in transforming an historic Edwardian building in Holborn, originally global headquarters of Pearl Assurance, into London’s newest super hotel. The magnificent frontage and grand carriageway leading to the hotel’s intimate courtyard entrance would have you believe you were arriving at a country manor house rather than an urban hostelry on the cusp between the City and the West End. Rosewood’s guiding ethos is a sense of place, so, this being London, the bar celebrates the best of British with locally brewed beer, Kentish bubbles from Nyetimber Vineyard, Scottish whiskies and a complementary range of Anglo-Indian curries and snacks. Its cocktail list has been carefully curated and wittily named, using the finest ingredients sourced directly from producers wherever possible. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting the Lord Chancellor, Rosewood Bar’s take on the classic champagne cocktail, gainfully employing Calvados, crème de peche and a plethora of Nyetimber bubbles over an absinthe-soaked sugar cube, while vodka and Victorian lemonade-based Seine River Fizz was a sparkling blend of ginger, lime and basil dashed with elderflower foam. American connections are dutifully honoured with offerings like San Francisco-born Tommy’s
Relaxed refinement, the Rosewood Hotel Bar
Margarita and Pisco Punch, gin and vermouthbased Martinez and George Washington’s favourite, rum-rich Fish House Punch. The bar’s warm and vibrant décor is the work of renowned designer Martin Brudnizki. Ultra-comfy seating, antique books, Edwardian collectabilia and liberal use of wood, leather and low lighting, give it the cosy feel of a traditional English gentlemen’s club– minus pipe and slippers. The roaring fire at one end and long, comfortable bar at the other completes the look, while live jazz on tap every night of the week adds that extra ‘wow’ factor. The Rosewood Hotel and Bar, Holborn Cocktails from £10.50, Mocktails £7.00 www.rosewoodhotels.com/london This is the latest in our featured series of Top Tens for Americans in Britain. A special thanks to our devoted tribe of tasters and aperitif accomplices: Ivor, Amanda, Josh, Toby, Ariel, Jeremy and Damian. Hard work guys, but worth it! If you’ve got a hot Top Ten tip to share with our readers, contact Judith at firstname.lastname@example.org
You are cordially invited to
Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition on
Monday 3rd February 2014 10.00am - 5.00pm at
Hotel Russell, 1-8 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 5BE
This event is FREE TO ATTEND
Come along and meet our exhibitors who have products and services that support expatriates and their families. There are also free seminars running throughout the day. You will need to pre-register for the seminars as places are limited so please email email@example.com For further information on this event please call Helen Elliott on 020 8661 0186
Hotel Review The Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel
he Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel is situated a few minutes from Bathâ€™s historic centre, with its history, Roman Baths, bath stone buildings and country feel. The hotel is set in beautiful grounds and the building is steeped in history. The original house which forms the centre of the present Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel was built in 1835 by General Augustus Andrews who had retired from the Indian Army. He named the house Vellore after the Indian city of Vellore, a place probably associated with a high point in his military career and the name given to the main restaurant in the hotel. The building, in Greek revival style, possibly the work of John Pinch the younger, was completed in 1836. Large sums of money were spent on landscaping the seven acres of gardens with exotic trees and shrubs, and building an elaborate grotto, extensive conservatories and hot houses. After the deaths of General and Mrs Andrews the house was sold in 1860 to Reverend Charles Kemble, Rector of Bath Abbey, who lived in the house with his wife,
three sons and seven daughters - known as the seven alternative curates. In 1878 Vellore was sold again to the newly formed Bath College who used the site to provide the city with a fine boysâ€™ school. The North and South Pavilions, and linking Colonnade, were then added on to service the requirements of the 100 or so pupils. In 1890-91 the Chapel was built behind the Colonnade. Financial problems caused the school to close in 1909 and in 1912 the building opened its doors as The Spa Hotel offering "spacious and tastefully appointed public rooms, tennis, putting, croquet, clock golf, also running hot and cold (softened) water and radiators in all rooms." The Chapel was turned into a ballroom and the Colonnade was glazed. In 1939, at 48-hours notice, the hotel was requisitioned by the Admiralty who used the building for planning and administration purposes throughout the war. Winston
Churchill, the wartime Prime Minister, visited for high-level discussions. The building was relinquished only in 1948 and re-opened for a short time as a hotel, but was sold again in 1950 to the South West Regional Hospital Board, and became the Spa Nurses Home for the staff of the two local hospitals. The nurses lived in considerable luxury as the fixtures and fittings of the former hotel were included in the sale. The poor condition of the building and high running costs forced the Health Authority to sell the building in 1985. Various schemes were considered for its future, but Forte's proposals for an elegant five-star hotel were finally accepted and a refurbishment programme was set in motion. The renovations, which took three years to complete at a cost of ÂŁ22 million, restored the building to its former glory, and The Bath Spa Hotel opened to its first guests in January 1990.
The hotel became The Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel in 2001 and in 2006 was rejuvenated and relaunched, to include The Spa and Darlington Court, a private building of butler-led service rooms and suites. The hotel boasts 129 rooms, many of which have breath-taking views of Bath. There are several dining options within the hotel. The fine dining restaurant, Vellore, was once the magnificent ballroom of the original house, and is an elegant and inviting
hotel restaurant where we enjoyed one of the best meals we have ever had in a hotel, and has soaring columns and a canopied outdoor terrace that can be enjoyed in the warmer months. The menus combine the best in traditional and modern English fare with fine seasonal ingredients and are complemented by an impressive wine list. The newly refurbished Colonnade and Rotunda Bars offer beautiful surroundings with frescoed walls and 2-storey windows.
During our stay, we indulged ourselves with a hot stone massage and deep cleansing massage in the spa, both of which were incredibly relaxing and just what we needed after a long drive and half an hour in the indoor swimming pool. The hotel also has an outdoor hydropool, sauna, steam room and well equipped fitness centre. The grounds of the hotel are stunning, and well worth taking a stroll around during your stay. The Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel is about a mile from Pulteney Bridge, 1.5 miles from Bath Abbey, the Roman Baths, Theatre Royal Bath, Jane Austen Centre, and Thermae Spa Bath. We walked into Bathâ€™s city centre, which for shoppers has a large range of boutique shops and coffee shops as well as the stores you would expect to find in a high street. We also enjoyed a lovely Afternoon Tea in the famous Pump Room which we would highly recommend. Whilst listening to a String Trio we enjoyed a glass of champagne, smoked salmon blini, a trifle shot, chocolate cake, fruit tart, macaroon, profiterole and of course, tea, scones, jam, and clotted cream. A treat not to be missed if you are staying in, or visiting Bath. n For further information please visit: www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk or telephone: 01225 444424 For further information on The Pump Room, please call 01225 444477 or visit www.searcys.co.uk/venues/pump-room-restaurant
Property Focus On Battersea & Nine Elms - The Future Home Of The US Embassy
attersea is remarkably different today to how it was in the 17th century. This residential area on the south bank of the Thames was then a market garden, producing fruit and vegetables to feed London as well as plants and flowers. Fields gave way to industry during the Industrial Revolution when huge swathes of land were developed as railways, workshops to service trains and related businesses and streets of terraced houses were constructed for those working for the railways and other riverside industries. These included Prices Candle factory (now a riverside development), Garton's Glucose factory, flour mills, breweries as well as the Nine Elms Gas Works.
Battersea suffered badly during the Blitz as German bombers targeted the railways lines and, using Battersea Power Station as a marker to turn back, off loaded unused bombs here. Today bombsites have been filled in, the terraces gentrified and this residential area is now a highly desirable place to live with property prices rising dramatically year on year. Work is now underway in east Battersea, an area called Nine Elms, a 195 hectare riverside stretch of land east of Chelsea Bridge and Battersea Park which is being regenerated and is already having a highly positive impact on the existing residential area. Nine Elms will become an ultra modern new riverside town with a high street, 16,000 new homes, offices, Embassies (including the American Embassy), new parks, schools, a leisure centre with sports pitches and art galleries. This is currently the largest regeneration project in Europe, made up by 20 interconnecting development sites, including Battersea Power Station, which will include the construction of a new spurt of London Underground and the opening of two new tube stations at Nine Elms and Battersea. A continuous green corridor will sweep through the district from west to east, providing a beautifully landscaped, green and car-free pathway from Battersea Power Station all the way to Vauxhall Cross. This will link up to Battersea Park, which has been the lungs
of Battersea since it was opened in 1858. Battersea Park is a big draw for residents in Battersea. It covers 200 acres between Chelsea and Albert Bridges and is a place for residents to relax and enjoy the many sports facilities on offer here from the tennis courts, bowls, football, hockey and rugby pitches, a running track, boules and croquet, jogging trails as well as the charming lakes, zoo, children’s playground and numerous events hosted here throughout the year such as Guy Fawkes Fireworks, the Affordable Art Fair and the Policeman’s Ball. The Peace pagoda is perhaps the park’s most recognised landmarks, which was offered to the people of London by the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Order in 1984 as part of Greater London Council (GLC) Peace Year. Battersea is a true residential neighbourhood with a vibrant mix of established residents, new families and young professionals. Architecturally, there is a wonderful choice with fine Victorian mansion blocks along Prince of Wales Drive, substantial three/four storey family houses on Albert Bridge Road, charming Victorian terraces, the occasional converted school, plentiful flats in Victorian conversions, as well as modern riverside apartments. The area has an abundance of highly rated schools which are a considerable draw for families. Local state primaries include the ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rated Chesterton Primary School, Falconbrook Primary and Christchurch Primary. For independent schools, Newton Prep School in Nine Elms is often referred to as South London’s leading Prep School and Thomas’ School on Battersea High Street near Battersea Square is another excellent private school. Northcote Road, which is a short walk from Clapham Junction, is Battersea’s main shopping and restaurant hub with a pleasing mix of independent boutiques, cafés and restaurants, small chains, an antique emporium and a Saturday street market. Another charming enclave is Battersea
Square, a historic cobbled area home to several bars and restaurants which hosts an annual Summer and Christmas Carol concert and is the location for Gordon Ramsayâ€™s new neighbourhood restaurant, London House, due to open by the end of 2013. Transport is excellent with multiple bus routes across the Thames to Chelsea and beyond, to neighbouring Clapham and to Clapham Junction, Britainâ€™s busiest railway station where trains to Waterloo and Victoria stations take 10 and 8 minutes. The area is also served by Battersea Park and Queenstown Road stations which are just one stop from Victoria and Waterloo respectively. Property prices have seen a marked transformation over the past 10 years doubling in ten years. Most recently we have seen a marked trend of families moving from Chelsea seeking better value and larger properties across the river. Property prices have risen over 30% between August 2012 and 2013 accelerated by the ripple effect of people moving out from prime Central London, the shortage of available property on the market and the anticipation of the Nine Elms redevelopment. This year John D Wood & Co. and has sold a period flat
overlooking Battersea Park for one thousand pounds a square foot which historically has been the holy grail of price points. Whatever it is you are looking for in your residential area of London you will be well served in Battersea. Its central location, abundance of outside space, excellent schools, good shopping, varied and beautiful property
as well as the potential uplift to be gained from the redevelopment of Nine Elms, one thing is for sure, the future is bright for Battersea. n John D Wood & Co. Battersea office has both a lettings and sales department and would be delighted to help you with your property search in the area. Please call the office on 020 7228 0174.
UK Sports Our Quarterly Overview Of UK Sports
s we approach the end of 2013 we assess England’s soccer chances in the World Cup finals in Brazil next summer and the chances of our cricket team retaining the ‘Ashes’ in Australia. Soccer After qualifying for the World Cup finals in Brazil with victories over the Ukraine and Poland at Wembley, England have been drawn to play Uruguay, Costa Rica and Italy in Group D. It could have been better but it could have been worse - but not much worse! To be drawn against a South American side and a Central American team will, in terms of climatic conditions, be severe tests and Italy, although European like England, are always strong opponents, like Germany, when it comes to World Cup finals. Having watched most of England’s qualifying matches it is difficult to be confident of England’s chances of success. We do not see the technical skills in the England
team that match the ball playing abilities of other countries. The friendly matches against Chile and Germany in November, both of which were lost on our ’home’ ground at Wembley, demonstrated a continuing lack of technique. Chile, in particular, looked years ahead of England technically and tactically, and in Uruguay and Costa Rica we are likely to find the same style of play. It is true that England did experiment with some new young players in those friendly matches and, in Wiltshire (Arsenal), Barkley (Everton), Lallana and Rodriguez (both Southampton and yes, both English), there is good promise for the future, but England will need to adapt to the hot and humid climate of Brazil and England’s style of high tempo and long ball chasing does not look suited to those conditions. Technical control of the ball, precise passing and retaining possession of the ball will win the day in Brazil and those attributes, we are sorry to say, still look beyond England’s capabilities. England’s first game will be against Italy on Saturday 14 June in Manaus, 3,554 miles from the team’s HQ in Rio de Janeiro. This match was originally scheduled for a 9pm kick off (2am in Britain) when the temperature in this Amazon area would be a cool 22C, albeit with humidity at 80 per cent. However, the television rights-holders in both England and Italy wanted an earlier start and FIFA brought the kick off time forward by three hours to 6pm (11pm in Britain) so England could enjoy playing in a hotter environment! Energy retention as well as ball retention will now be even more vital over the ninety minutes of the game, and one fears that the Italians will again show that they are past masters at both. England then travel to Sao Paulo to play Uruguay on Thursday 19 June, another 416 miles from the team HQ. England have played Uruguay ten times, winning three, drawing three and losing four. Liverpool’s Luis Suarez will be a constant threat and his strike partnership with Edinson Cavani will give England’s defenders much to think about. Finally, England play Costa Rica on Tuesday 24 June in, of all places, Belo Horizonte. Not only is this ground another 444 miles from the team’s HQ but it is the ground where England famously lost a World Cup final match to the United States of America in 1950! Now this was a time when England were a dominant international team and the United States soccer was in its infancy - a massive shock defeat for England. Will the spectre of 1950 return to haunt England once again? Our predictions are that England will lose to Italy and Uruguay, draw with Costa Rica and be on an early flight home. However, we hope we will be proved wrong and that we eat humble pie in the Autumn 2014 edition of
American in Britain! The final Group matches in the European Champions League have just been completed and Manchester United and Chelsea both finished top of their Groups with fourteen and twelve points respectively. Arsenal and Manchester City came second in their Groups with twelve and fifteen points respectively and will face one of the Group winners, other than a team from their own country or the winners of their Group, in the Round of 16 - the first knockout round. Arsenal and Manchester City will, therefore, be drawn against one of Bayern Munich (not Manchester City), Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris St. Germain, Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund (not Arsenal). A difficult proposition whomever they draw, but at least they are all Western European teams so no long journeys to Eastern Europe. The luck of the draw in the Group stage can be demonstrated by some of the final ‘league’ points secured for qualification to the Round of 16. Galatasaray qualified with seven points, Zenit St. Petersburg with six and AC Milan with nine whilst Napoli (in Arsenal’s ‘Group of Death’) were eliminated with twelve points and Benfica were eliminated with ten. The draw for the Round of 16 will be equally critical. In the UEFA Europa Cup both Tottenham Hotspur and Swansea qualified for the last 32, the former with a 100% Group record. Wigan Athletic failed to qualify; needing to win their last Group match away to Moribor, and having taken a goal lead, they lost 2-1. Teams that finished in third place in the UEFA Champions League Group stage will now join the Europa Cup. This will improve the quality of the competition enormously. In the Premiership we could be looking forward to a very exciting season. Already there have been a number of upsets with less fancied sides taking points from the league’s strongest teams. At the time of writing it is Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Everton who lead the way. Manchester United, the current title holders, are struggling to find the consistency that accompanied the Ferguson years, and it may be difficult for them to even make the top four this season which would mean no European Champions League football next season. The third round of the FA Cup, when teams from the Premiership and Championship leagues enter the competition, has been drawn with a few major clashes, the biggest being the match between North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. Four other all Premiership ties of note are Manchester United at home to Swansea, Norwich City at home to Fulham, Newcastle United against Cardiff City and West Bromwich Albion at
home to Crystal Palace. All matches will be played on the weekend of 4 and 5 January. Spare a thought for the non-league teams who make it through the preliminary rounds, and rounds one and two, and who dream of an away match against one of the Premiership big guns, not with much thought of winning, but definitely with the thought of a big pay day. Grimsby are at home to Huddersfield, Macclesfield are at home to Sheffield Wednesday and Kidderminster host Peterborough. Let’s hope one or more of them can progress and that big day out in the fourth round. Cricket Well, it just goes to show what jolly good sports the England cricketers are. Having thrashed the Australians in the last three ‘Ashes’ Test Series, twice in England and once in Australia, the lads clearly felt that the Aussies needed a bit of encouragement. Having fired a reminder to the Aussies in their first innings in the first Test at Brisbane when the English bowlers had the Aussies at 132 runs for 6 wickets on an excellent batting pitch, England clearly decided that enough was enough and allowed the seventh wicket
to add 114 runs before dismissing the whole team for only 295 runs. Unaccustomed to good sportsmanship, the Australians launched into a verbal tirade of “sledging” (a technical term for aggressive and abusive behaviour towards opposing batsmen), the Australian captain (who had, by the way, been dismissed for just one run) even telling England’s nice fast bowler, James Anderson, to “get ready for a broken arm” when he came out to bat! And one of England’s key batsman, Jonathon Trott, has returned to England with a stress-related illness. It is surprising that the whole England team haven’t returned home yet! So, what can one say about the state of the current Australian cricket team? Well, regrettably, we suppose one has to say that they are, at the time of writing, leading the five Test match series by two matches to nil. Only one more win for Australia or two draws and the ‘Ashes’ will have been lost - disaster! We will report further in the next issue of American in Britain - briefly if the ‘Ashes’ are lost, but fully and extensively if England teach this uncouth Australian team some good old fashioned sporting manners and they retain that important little urn of ashes! Here’s to a great sporting 2014! n
American In Britain would like to wish all our clients and readers a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2014!
Pre-order Your Copy of
The 2014 Expatriate’s Guide to Living in the UK
For New American Families Who Have Recently Relocated, Or Are Relocating To The UK This annual Guide is in its 12th year of publication and is a handy source of information for your reference. The Guide offers invaluable information on important matters whilst moving to, or living in the UK including banking, driving, education, Embassies & High Commissions in the UK, expatriate clubs, healthcare, lettings, pet transportation, serviced apartments, taxation, and travel. To pre-order your complimentary copy of this Guide, please email Damian Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org, and provide your name and address. The Guide will be printed and mailed in April 2014.
The 2014 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition Monday 3rd February, Hotel Russell, Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 5BE
FREE SEMINAR PROGRAMME 10.15am — Third Culture Kids In September 2013, the Daily Telegraph reported on a British Council survey that found over half of young Britains aged 18-24 wished they had at some point studied or worked overseas. The experience of living in a new country can be a tremendous advantage for children who are given the skills to adapt successfully to new languages and cultures. This session for parents, educators, and other professionals who are working with internationallymobile families with children of all ages will address some of the challenges and benefits of a childhood abroad and how, properly managed, the experience can enhance their future educational and career opportunities. – Hosted by Mary Langford, Langford International Education Consultancy.
11.15am — Dual Career- Making It Possible
Dual career can have a significant impact on an international assignment From the decision to accept an assignment to finding a career in the UK many factors can influence this process. Join Geraldine McKenrick, FOCUS career consultant, for a discussion on the challenges and opportunities that accompanying spouses face when seeking employment in the UK.
12.30pm — Taxation Issues Arising In Respect Of US Individuals Moving To The UK
This will cover both employee/employer assignee situations and US individuals coming to the UK. Hosted by Andrew Bailey & Scott Wickham, BDO LLP
1.45pm — Immigration
Hosted by Ferguson Snell, this seminar will be a practical session providing advice on the latest Immigration developments and the implications for businesses and will cover: Immigration Policies Updates, Global Immigration Management, Compliance and Risk Management, and United Kingdom Sponsor Licencing and Management. If you have an immigration enquiry that you would like our consultants to cover on the day please email your enquiry in advance to email@example.com.
To register your place for any or all of these FREE seminars, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Designed in Britain Louisa Keating Talks About Her Company And How They Can Help Make Your New House Into A Stylish Home
Once you have pinpointed an area where you want to live, chosen a neighbourhood, decided whether to rent or buy, your thoughts will more than likely turn to creating a home where you feel comfortable, that is personal and reflects who you are. This can be a hugely daunting task not knowing how to go about doing this in unfamiliar surroundings, or where to start and the best way to find the things you need. Even when you have lived somewhere for a while these things can still be difficult to tackle. What you need is an expert, someone who not only speaks your language and understands what you want, but also has extensive knowledge of local resources and the best insider secrets at their fingertips, be it boutique art galleries in Notting Hill to specialist upholstery workshops in Chelsea. Enter Atlantic Interior Design. Atlantic Interior Design was founded fifteen years ago by Louisa Keating, who herself moved to London from the US over 20 years ago. Originally from Michigan, Louisa attended Smith College in Massachusetts
studying languages and arts. Her love of languages translated into frequent trips to Europe where she fell in love with the elegant interiors and mix of design styles in London. A year abroad working in commodities in the City of London was soon surpassed by a growing obsession for interiors and a love of London’s vibrant and diverse design scene. Louisa studied interior design in Chelsea, with particular interest in fine detailing, and has never looked back. Louisa heads a talented and enthusiastic design team based from their interiors studio in Notting Hill. The design team’s commissions come almost exclusively through recommendation from existing clients, but Louisa is keen to stress there is no formula. “Comfort and luxury are key factors for all our clients, but each design is individually tailored.” One minute the designers may be helping a client move in by positioning their existing furniture and art brought from abroad, another shopping with a client for art and accessories, or delivering a complete
oving home can be very emotional even at the best of times, but especially so if you are moving to a new country. We are all familiar with the excitement, expectation and anticipation we bring with us and the various challenges this unique experience holds. One important factor in making the transition successful is creating a place in your new country that you can call home. 37
furnishings scheme for an unfurnished home, to standing in wellie boots and a hardhat in mud on a construction site discussing architectural plans. Atlantic was selected by The Sunday Times as one of Britainâ€™s top 30 interiors designers in 2013 and it is not hard to see why. The companyâ€™s designs lean towards being more contemporary, but importantly respect the heritage and architectural detailing of British homes, mixing classic elements such as beautiful antiques and vintage pieces with more streamlined and elegant furniture. â€œWe create a very simple palette for walls, floors and curtains, and then layer in beautiful upholstery and stunning furniture finished with texture and subtle colour in soft furnishings, art and accessories.â€? Projects in the last year included furnishing a coupleâ€™s townhouse in Kensington, designs for a mews house in Chelsea, a complete re-design of a busy family home in Hampstead and adding finishing touches to a house in Surrey. One key to the companyâ€™s success is Louisaâ€™s enviable team of suppliers who she has carefully assembled over the last 15 years. The designs the team create are supported by skilled British craftsmen and women who represent the best in their trades: curtain makers, upholsterers, quilters, fine furniture makers, carpenters, and
lighting specialists. â€œThere is a real pedigree of fine craftsmanship in Britain that we want to support. Their attention to detail at every level and quality of finish are important in making our designs stand out and giving clients something truly unique.â€? Being from the US herself, Louisa is well versed in helping expat clients create the same comfort and convenience they are accustomed to at home here in the UK. Living in Britain may not differ as much as other places in the world, but it still has its cultural differences and eccentricities all the same. â€œBathrooms without electrical sockets are still one of our clientsâ€™ biggest adjustments!â€? Louisa sees it as the teamâ€™s main objective to make the design process an enjoyable one for their clients, a
voyage of discovering Britain while helping clients translate their ideas and wishes. The homes Atlantic create are distinctly elegant and luxurious, but also importantly practical and comfortable where no detail is too small or overlooked. â€œIt is our clients that make what we do the most interesting and rewarding. Our most successful interiors are those where the client takes that leap of faith â€“ the extra step to do something unique and new, and invariably they are thrilled with the results.â€? n Atlantic Interior Design Limited Member BIID (British Institute of Interior Design) www.atlanticinteriordesign.com email@example.com T: +44 (0)20 7243 6364
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Americans Ditch US Citizenship As New Tax Law Looms by Richard Martinez
n increasing number of Americans citizens who reside outside US are giving up their US citizenship - largely, it is believed, due to a new tax law, known as FATCA, that comes into effect next year.
Purportedly designed as a tool to counteract tax evasion, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or ‘FATCA’, has resulted in additional reporting requirements for all US citizens overseas. It will also mean substantial compliance obligations for all non-US financial institutions worldwide. FATCA critics insist that it will do little, if anything, to curb the serious issue of tax evasion. A total of 1,131 people gave up their American passports for good in the second quarter of this year, compared with just 189 the same period in 2012. According to the Federal Register, overall in the first half of 2013, 1,810 Americans turned their back on their U.S citizenship, against just 649 in the first six months of the year before. Whilst it is a small proportion of the estimated six million Americans overseas, it is still a considerable rise – indeed, it’s a staggering six-fold increase. And, say experts, the numbers are expected to soar further. Nigel Green, the founder and chief executive of deVere Group, which has over 70,000 mainly expatriate clients across 100 countries and more than $9billion under advisement, comments: “As the July 1 2014 FATCA rollout approaches, and the full scope of the legislation becomes ever more evident, I fully expect a growing number of American clients to report that they would consider renouncing their citizenship of the United States. It’s not a decision they will take lightly but one on which many more, I suspect, will take decisive action.” His observations follow a survey carried out by his firm, which found that two thirds of Americans who live outside the US are tempted to renounce their US citizenship in response to FATCA. In the international poll, more than 400 of American expats answered the question: ‘Would you consider voluntarily relinquishing your US citizenship due to the impact of FATCA?’ Overall, 68 per cent of those polled said that they had ‘actively considered it’, ‘are thinking about it,’ or ‘have explored the options of it.’ 17 per cent said they would not consider relinquishing their US citizenship and 15 per cent did not know. Of the poll’s findings, Mr Green, says: “This is a remarkably high figure. However, I am not too surprised as it is our experience that Americans – at home and abroad - are becoming increasingly aware of the far-reaching, unintended adverse affects of FATCA. “More and more of our internationally-based American clients are now telling us, usually with a heavy heart, that they would be tempted to give-up their US citizenship to avoid what they feel is the unfair, complex and oppressive burden of FATCA. “FATCA is a huge imposition on ordinary
Americans who happen to live and/or work outside the US and will involve significantly more expensive and laborious reporting requirements. In addition, due to the onerous and costly impact of FATCA, many non-US financial institutions will no longer work with Americans - even if they have been clients for decades - which can make life outside the US ‘challenging’ to say the least.” Renouncing one’s citizenship is not a decision that most Americans would take lightly, and deVere’s chief executive urges anyone who is considering to seek independent, specialist cross-border advice before initiating the procedure. He explains: “Unsurprisingly, most Americans, in our experience, find the prospect of giving up their US citizenship extremely emotional. It is something they are loathed to do and it is considered a last resort move. “As such, in the first instance, I would urge those in this situation to explore all the available planning options that can be used to potentially mitigate some of the adverse affects of FATCA. “This is especially important as there are certain established federal regulations aimed at discouraging Americans from renouncing their citizenship for tax reasons. These complex rules can include hefty ‘exit taxes’ and/or ‘gift taxes’, although there are many exceptions that can be applied.” Many observers say that more and more Americans are considering giving up their US passport because the tactic has recently been flagged-up by some high-profile names who themselves have adopted the strategy. Arguably the biggest names include Facebook co-founder, Eduardo Saverin, who has become a tax resident of Singapore; legendary singer Tina Turner who is now tax resident of Switzerland; and Denise Rich, the Grammy-nominated songwriter, top Democratic donor and socialite, who last year moved to London. All three of these personalities have declined to comment on whether their ‘transitions’ are related to tax or not, but it seems, according to many pundits, extremely likely that this is so. For instance, had the 31 year-old billionaire Facebook co-founder kept his US passport, he would now paying up to 40 per cent in income tax, whereas in Singapore he is liable for half of this. In addition, in his current location, Saverin will be exempt from paying capital gains tax on his investment. Similarly, by giving up her US passport, Denise Rich, the former wife of pardoned billionaire oil trader Marc Rich, is likely to save tens of millions of dollars or more, according to tax lawyers. n www.devere-group.com 39
Bringing Sparkle To The UK From America K
atherine Shiatis came to London in 2001 in search of adventure. She soon fell in love with London, married a Brit and they now live here with their two daughters. Katherine was a teacher in New York and went on to become the Head of Lower School at a London private girls school before taking time off for maternity leave. In order to spend more time with her daughters, Katherine decided to teach part-time.
Every summer, Katherine and her family travel to the States to spend time with her American family and friends on the East Coast. One summer, she was invited to a Stella & Dot trunk show and so the story began. She had never seen anything to match this fashionable and affordable jewellery and decided to buy several pieces. Whenever she wore the jewellery she would receive compliment after compliment. Katherine learned that Stella & Dot was coming to the UK. She decided to take a peek, and in October 2011 she became a founding stylist. This meant she was one of the first to bring the incredible, media-loved brand to the UK. Katherine has experienced incredible success with Stella & Dot and has therefore decided to make it a full-time career. She loves the flexibility, which allows her to organise her work around her family and social life. She arranges 4-6 trunk shows a month (a Trunk Show being a ‘pop-up’ boutique in someone’s home) and has gone on to sponsor over 80 other women in four countries (UK, USA, Germany and France), all of whom were keen to start their own business as a jewellery entrepreneur. For some of her stylists this is their main business, for others it is part-time and tailored to fit around their other work commitments or their family life. Regardless, they are generally smart women looking for a way to either supplement their income, or find a way to work flexibly around their other commitments, and Stella & Dot has been the answer! Katherine has been promoted to Associate Director and Founding leader in the UK. In 2012, she was presented with the Company’s most prestigious award for Spirit of Leadership – a huge honour voted for by fellow Stylists to recognise someone who has not only gone above and beyond to support other Stylists but also always leads by example and with grace. "I love my job with S&D! It is better than my cup of coffee in the morning! I jump up and can’t wait to start my day. I love a challenge, the jewellery but most of all I love the community of women! I joined at the very beginning…I had never done anything like this before. I am a teacher and a mum…NOT in the world of sales. I heard the ethos of the company and a voice inside my head said “Just give it a try!" I now cannot imagine my life without S&D!" “Stella & Dot, an Inc 500 Fastest-Growing Company, is a social selling company that creates flexible opportunities for women to be 'work from home' entrepreneurs. We believe everyone deserves great style, fun and opportunity in their everyday lives, and we're dedicated to providing it in a personal way. That's why we sell our line exclusively through friendly Stella & Dot Stylists online and at in
home trunk shows. Customers and hostesses adore the style, and each Stylist is able to build their own flexible, modern business on a foundation of irresistible product and exceedingly personal service. Go ahead and indulge your friends in a little girl time and shopping by hosting a private party. And don't be surprised if you enjoy the experience and the rewards so much you decide to join us as a Stylist. We'd love to have you!” The Times, Wall Street Journal and The Mail on Sunday have praised Stella & Dot for our innovative social shopping concept which brings together the best of ecommerce, social media, personal service and passionate earning to create the ultimate home based business for today's modern woman. 'I love London and my life here and, as an American living abroad, I was always looking for connections and deeper roots in a country that did not seem familiar. I was looking for a sense of community. Stella & Dot has provided me with an opportunity to meet and connect with other women in a meaningful way and build true friendships.' For Americans who live in England, Stella & Dot is an intriguing opportunity. And if you ever decide to return to America, your business can travel back across the pond with you. Katherine's future goal? 'I am aiming to be a Director and beyond. I want to provide a positive role model for my daughters, doing something that I love whilst still being there for them 100%. After all, they only have one childhood and I only have one chance to share their life and have a front row seat in their journey.' Should you like further information feel free to be in touch with Katherine. Whether you are interested in purchasing the latest on-trend style, hosting a trunk show or even starting your own fashion business, Katherine will be there to help you along your way. Katherine _Shiatis@me.com www.stelladot.co.uk/katherineshiaits
Voted One Of Britainâ€™s Top 30 Interior Designers 2013
Atlantic Interior Design Limited Studio 23, Shaftesbury Centre 85 Barlby Road, London W10 6BN T: +44 (0)20 7243 6364 F: +44 (0)20 7243 1774 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.atlanticinteriordesign.com
Arts & Antiques The Cheapside Hoard: London’s Lost Jewels by Abby Cronin
Emerald Watch Courtesy of the Museum of London
major commercial thoroughfare in the City of London. Today it is one of the City’s modern financial centres, but from the late 15th up to the 17th century it was known as Goldsmith’s Row, the hub of the goldsmiths’ trade when tenements and shops were occupied by retail and manufacturing goldsmiths. Why has it taken one hundred years for this extraordinary cache of jewels to go on display to the public? The most reliable account highlights the role of ‘Stony Jack’, better known as George Fabian Lawrence (18621939). It seems Stony Jack had a career as a pawnbroker, dealer and collector of antiquities and was sometimes an employee of both the Guildhall and London museums. But he was also well known for his dealings with navvies and it was when the navvies turned to Stony
teeped in mystery, magic and history, the discovery of the Cheapside Hoard in 1912 is best described as ‘striking gold’. Currently on view at the Museum of London, this is the story of chance discovery, which happened when buildings dating back to1667 were being demolished at 30-32 Cheapside in the City of London. Workmen broke through a brick cellar with their picks and shovels and noticed something glistening in the soil. The glints turned out to be a remarkable cache of some 500 extraordinary jewels and gemstones dating from the 17th century and some 1300 years back to the Byzantine period. Today the Cheapside Hoard is recognised as the most important cache of Elizabethan and early Stuart jewellery in the world. Historically, Cheapside has always been a
Signed Gilt Watch Courtesy of the Museum of London
Jack and spilt the cache of Cheapside Hoard jewels on the floor that he recognised how precious this stash was. He “set about washing off the soil and, gradually, tangled chains of enamelled gold, cameos, intaglios, carbuncles, assorted gems and hardstones, rings and pendants were revealed in all their brilliant splendour”. (*1) In due course he turned the jewels over to the new London Museum, now the Museum of London. Subsequently other items were bought by the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum. After some sixty years, however, the thorny matter of ownership caused much debate. Finally, in 1976 the Hoard was given to the new Museum of London, a combination of the Guildhall Museum and London Museum. Curator Hazel Forsyth has described the collection as a “time capsule of craft skill and global trade”. Years of research, scholarship and professional conservation have gone into uncovering the details and stories embedded in these exquisite jewels. Forsyth and her colleagues have studied the “brooches and necklaces, rings and chains, pearls and rubies, scent bottles and fan holders, two carved gems which date back 1,300 years to Byzantium – and a watch set into a hollow carved out of one stupendous emerald which was originally the size of an apple.”(*2) Preparation for the exhibition has been an enormous task, and visitors will marvel when they see the myriad display of exquisite jewels delicately presented in a series of themed vitrines. Magnifying glasses are close to hand so that everyone will be able to get a close-up view of the complex details of the design and construction of the jewels. There is even a full-size scale model of a goldsmiths’ workshop in the first gallery. 43
Several high tech videos set in the walls provide insight into the multistage construction of selected jewels. Gallery walls are lined with portraits of 17th-century wealthy and mainly titled men and women dressed in fashions of the day. They show how sparkling jewels were displayed on garments made of rich textiles. The portrait (c 1620) of Elizabeth Wriothesley, Countess of Southampton is especially illustrative of how jewels were worn. Elizabeth is portrayed in elaborate attire with pearls threaded on her lace coif, tiered ruby or garnet earrings, a diamond-set letter S on her chain and finally a bracelet and a ring on the small finger of her right hand. One of the highlights in this vast hoard of magnificent jewels and stones is the emeraldcased watch, a timepiece which reflects the global trade in gemstones (pictured). The emerald was probably sourced in South America or possibly acquired in Asia when Colombian emeralds were sent to India and Burma. The emeralds were possibly cut in Seville or Lisbon and then conveyed to Geneva. Finally, it is likely that the stones were cut in London. This is a unique piece, as far as is known. Another highlight is the Salamander brooch, the signature piece featured in the publicity material for this exhibition. Set with Colombian emeralds and Indian diamonds, the legs and underparts are covered in opaque enamel speckled with black and brown enamel dots—representing the animal’s scaly flesh(*2). It is known as a symbol of the resurrection. Salamanders and lizards were thought to have a special place in visual and decorative arts of the period. These jewels were especially fashionable across Europe, but particularly in Spain. Several survive and one was recovered from the 1588 wreck of the Spanish Armada ship La Girona. Other outstanding pieces from the Hoard include the Ferlite watch, the Stafford
Stafford Intaglio Courtesy of the Museum of London 44
Salamander Brooch Courtesy of the Museum of London
Intaglio, a pearl pendant, and the scent bottle. Dating pieces presents enormous difficulties because none were ever marked or hallmarked. So the curatorial team had very little indication of how old the pieces in the hoard were. With the Ferlite watch, however, fortunately the maker’s name was engraved on it. This signature identified the watchmaker as Gautier Ferlite, who had moved from London to Geneva where he became master of the company. This information helped to date the watch from 1610-1620. Another extraordinary piece of dating evidence was discovered on the tiny cornelian damaged seal. It is known to be the heraldic badge of Lord Viscount Stafford, who was created Viscount in 1640 (pictured). Pearls, universally loved, were found in a number of Hoard pieces, but the pearl wirework pendant (pictured) was a very popular design in the 1630s. What is particularly important here, however, is how making the wirework involved a complex multistage process. Meticulous craftsmanship was required and at least 27 separate processes
were needed to produce one pendant (*3). You can see a video of the stages of this process which shows the step-by-step sequence of its construction. © Frederic Edwin Church. Niagara Falls 1867. Courtesy of the Gallery. While it is impossible toNational name the most spectacular piece in the Hoard, the scent bottle (pictured below) deserves special attention. Here craftsmanship is simply magnificent. This vessel was designed to either rest on its base or hang from a pendant chain. Made from gold and set with an abundance of gemstones, it is exceptional. The jewels may have been chosen for their metaphysical significance because rubies, diamonds and opals were thought to have magical-even therapeutic-qualities. Forsyth writes, “The Cheapside Hoard scent bottle is particularly distinctive because it is so richly bejewelled on an enamel ground…. the only one known of its type….” (*4). Although meticulous research has gone into the first presentation of the Cheapside Hoard, the mystery of why the Hoard was buried and never retrieved remains unanswered. Unable to find definitive answers, we are
Pendant Pearl Cage Courtesy of the Museum of London
Scent bottle Courtesy of the Museum of London
left with few possible clues. Was the treasure buried beneath the cellars at 30-32 Cheapside when the Civil War (1642-1651) broke out? Perhaps craftsmen-soldiers left off working in the goldsmith’s trade and went off to war –never to return. Further speculation centres on the role the plague may have played. Fear of getting the plague may have driven people from London, possibly burying the treasure and intending to retrieve it once the disease had passed. But a more plausible explanation is that the Hoard was buried in the cellars beneath the floors in Cheapside and when Cheapside was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666, nothing of the buildings remained and buildings which were built after the Fire left cellars untouched for three centuries. To date, there is no definitive answer. As Forsyth speculates in her brilliant catalogue, “Rather like the salamander, which contemporaries believed could be nourished by and withstand fire, the Hoard survived the fire and post-fire rebuilding”. (*5) This is a truly magical exhibit. It is open
to the public until 27th April 2014. Make a date to visit the Museum of London located at 150 London Wall. You won’t be disappointed. http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/ london-wall/visiting-us/getting-here/ Notes: 1. P.9 Forsyth, H. The Cheapside Hoard: London’s Lost Jewels. Philip Weston Publishers, 2013 2. P.220-Forsyth. Catalogue 3. p. 83. Forsyth. Catalogue 4. p. 94. Forsyth. Catalogue 5. p..222 Forsyth. Catalogue *You Tube have several videos discussing The Cheapside Hoard: London's Lost Jewels *http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=kS2gr_x2kSo *You Tube: Curator discussing Cheapside Hoard with Shaun Leane The Hidden Jewels of the Cheapside Hoard - Secret Knowledge *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lbEg3-nBO0 Contact: Abby Cronin email@example.com Website: www.abbycronin.co.uk
Grape Pendant Courtesy of the Museum of London
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Visa rules for travel to the United States by non-US citizens can be confusing. It can be difficult to know whether or not you need a visa or simply a travel authorisation (ESTA) to travel to the United States on routine business or holiday. You never need both a visa and a travel authorisation for normal tourist travel – it’s one or the other. For further information on the difference between ESTA and travelling with a visa, see below:
ESTA All passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are required to have an approved travel authorisation (ESTA) prior to travelling to the United States by air or sea, in addition to having a valid passport. Even non-ticketed infants are required to have an approved travel authorisation, if they do not have a visa for travel to the United States. You may apply for ESTA at any time prior to travel to the United States but the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recommends that you submit the application at least 72 hours prior to travel. For more information and to apply for ESTA, visit: www.esta.cbp.dhs.gov The process for obtaining a travel authorisation is as follows:
Is a travel authorisation a visa? No, an approved travel authorisation is not a visa. It does not meet the legal or regulatory requirements to serve in lieu of a United States visa when one is required by law. Individuals who possess a valid visa will still be able to travel to the United States on that visa for the purpose for which it was issued. Individuals travelling on valid visas are not required to apply for a travel authorisation. Unless revoked, travel authorisations are valid for two years from the date of authorisation, or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. You can check the status of your travel authorisation by logging into your account on the ESTA website.
VISAS Anyone who is not eligible to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), or is not exempt from the visa requirement, or whose registration has been denied under ESTA will need a visa to enter the United States. This includes travellers who are in transit through the United States to another country. Please note: We recommend that travellers who have been arrested and/or convicted of an offense apply for a visa. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not apply for US visa law. For information on the visa application process or to try our “visa wizard” to help you decide if you should apply for a visa, visit: www.london.usembassy.gov/niv/index.html
Published on Jan 2, 2014
The winter 2014 issue of American in Britain magazine features reviews of Strangers On A Train, From Here To Eternity and Jeeves & Wooster i...