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PERRIER-JOUËT, THE ALLURING CHAMPAGNE Since its foundation in 1811, the champagne house Perrier-Jouët has crafted elegant, floral wines of rare finesse with a Chardonnay hallmark. The elegance of the cuvees echoes that of the Art Nouveau anemones adorning the Belle Epoque bottle and offers moments of pure delight and beauty. www.perrier-jouet.com

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Cover Image: CIP’s at Cipriani, Venice

PUBLISHER’S NOTES WHAT DOES LIFE MEAN TO YOU? It’s not until you really start travelling and absorbing the lives of others that you can truly appreciate what it is that you have or understand what the hell is going on. The numerous people that stroll in and out of our lives, the way in which they affect us similarly how it is when we affect theirs. This year’s Classic Lifestyle LIFE Edition saw us travel to nine vastly different countries, covering close to 90,000 kilometres. What became increasingly evident were the varying contrasts of lifestyles and cultures from the extreme rich to the life threatening under privileged. As the minority in the Middle East continue to aggressively disrupt in an attempt to dismantle our way of LIFE, we continue to pull together forming unlikely alliances. Who would of thought countries from the Middle East would stand and fight along side those of the West and demand a sense of servility from its neighbours. And to see our youth pick up and join the fight against their country, families and friends, its total madness! Year on year we hope to see some improvement in our behaviour, unfortunately it appears our progress gets some what hampered along the way. If travelling isn’t tough enough, health checks are now becoming more prevalent and the world is teetering on the edge of viral devastation with the Ebola epidemic. Shouldn’t we be concentrating more on education and helping those affected? What is it that we can do to help fight the cause rather than panic and do nothing? When I saw the alarming destruction caused by global warming in Alaska from the decks of the Silver Seas at the mountainous

face of the Hubbard Glacier, I began to wonder… how would this eventually affect our LIFE! You’ll be pleased to know that along our travels there was a lot of LIFE too celebrate, as we were fortunate enough to meet some remarkably inspirational people, young and old who touched our lives. Whether it was rafting on the white water rapids in Juneau, meditating peacefully at the Golden Palace or simply enjoying the view on the Grand Canal in Venice, it was truly humbling. When I ask friends what LIFE means to them, opinions vary dramatically as you could imagine. However, the most significant point that continually reoccurred was that travel and friendships were top of the list. In finishing, I would like to encourage all of us to take a good long look, not only at our own lives but of those around us. Make a concerted effort to be part of the solution and not the problem. For me spending 80 days on the road has given me the most unforgettable LIFE’s lesson, one of gratitude. I’m hoping that you enjoy our journey and are inspired enough to undertake your own LIFE’s journey. Life wasn’t meant to be easy! PS: Whilst traveling this year I was saddened to learn of the tragic passing of my good friend William Lee, an inspirational man who’s passion for LIFE was deeply infectious. William my dear friend, I would like to dedicate this Classic LIFE Edition to you and may your memory forever live strong. We shall never forget you!

Publisher Phil Harte - Harte International Consultancy Produced by Nude Publishing, a division of Nude Creative Pty Ltd www.nudepublishing.com.au

Nick

Nude Creative

Art Direction, Editorial & Production Nude Creative hello@nudecreative.com.au www.nudecreative.com.au Food and Wine Director Max Alfieri Wine Specialist Nick Blair Staff Photographer Danielle Harte

Danielle

Feature Writers Nicole Lenoir-Jourdan Rae Blair Sandra Sully Danielle Harte

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International Sales phil@harteinternational.com

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Nicole

Sandra

Australian Office PO Box 856, Sanctuary Cove Queensland, 4212, Australia +61 (0)420 977 959

Classic Lifestyle Magazine is published by Nude Creative ABN 92 148 963 240, on behalf of Harte International Consultancy Dubai UAE. Nüde Creative & Harte International Consultancy Dubai UAE use due care and diligence in the preparation of this magazine but are not responsible for any mistakes, misprints, omissions or typographical errors. Nude Creative & Harte International Consultancy Dubai UAE print advertisements provided to the publisher but give no warranty and make no representation as to the truth, accuracy or sufficiency of any description, photograph or statement. Nude Creative & Harte International Consultancy Dubai UAE accept no liability for any loss which may be suffered by any person who relies either wholly, or in part, upon any description, photograph or statement contained herein. Nude Creative & Harte International Consultancy Dubai UAE reserve the right to refuse any advertisement for any reason. ©Copyright – no part of Classic Lifestyle Magazine may be reproduced in part or in whole without the written permission of the publisher. No spam. Email addresses are published for professional communications only and do not constitute an invitation to send unsolicited emails.

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A Fortunate Life 25 Years ago I found what was to become one of my favourite eateries and over time build a wonderful friendship with a pair of equally wonderful brothers.

Recognised as a benchmark in the restaurant industry and one of the founders of extraordinary Chinese Cuisine in Australia William Lee will be sadly missed.

William and Stanly Lee were the co-owners of Lees Fortuna Court at Crows Nest, Sydney and a few months ago after multiple heart surgeries and several other debilitating operations William passed away.

Last week I dropped in on Stanley and the amazing team at Lee’s Fortuna and as usual the lamb pancakes were a big hit and the salt and pepper prawns were just as good as ever. William can rest easy knowing that everything is in safe hands.

Stanley and William Lee


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Travel Features

A WINTER WONDERLAND Surrounded by a glistening emerald lake, the Victoria Glacier and rugged mountain ranges, you will be astonished at the sheer grandeur of this hotel.

286 HEAVENLY PAIRINGS

No visit to San Francisco is complete without visiting St Francis Winery and Vineyard in the heart of Sonoma Valley. Voted as the #1 Restaurant Food and Wine pairing by Open Table. This is a must!

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JOURNEY ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS Travel the railroad from London to Venice taking in the sights and sounds, beauty and splendor of this magical train ride.

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SILVER SHADOW IS GOLD

A VENETIAN HAVEN FOR FAMOUS NEWLY-WEDS

This is what Earth must have looked like before the human footprint. Immense forecasts as far as the eye can see. An ice-age wilderness, bigger, bolder and more beautiful than you can imagine.

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This glorious hotel located on the tip of the Giudeca Island in Venice, recently celebrated the wedding of the year…find out who!

346 ICONIC ITALIAN LUXURY Legendary fashion icon Giorgio Armani shares his exuberant flair and style in the opulent Armani Hotel, Milano.

HAMILTON ISLAND’S JEWEL OF THE WHITSUNDAYS Discover Australia’s ultimate getaway. A place to surrender, relax and soak up the sun.

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UPMARKET ADDRESS DOWNTOWN

Indulge in Emaar’s premier property showcasing sophisticated elegance, fine dining and spectacular entertainment. Surrounded by the world’s largest shopping mall and tallest building, you won’t want to leave.

THE LIFE EDITION | 2015

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T H E

U P S IDE


contents Women on Top

179 ON THE RUN Meet Maria Nordstrom, the newly appointed Managing Director of Technogym Australia. Her role and vision as a global Fitness Industry leader will uplift you.

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A FRESH PERSPECTIVE

Enjoying a behind the scenes look with passionate photographer Danielle Harte, as she shares her Around the World in 80 Days experience.

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LUCK OF THE IRISH Discover why Caroline Houston, Emaar’s General Manager of the Address Downtown Hotel is taking the lead and flying high. Is it ‘Luck of the Irish’ or just pure grit and determination that drives her?

165 132

VIKKI AUSTRALIA

Vikki’s passion for resort wear began in her younger years when she was given the opportunity to travel the world with her parents. Enjoy this vibrant up-and-coming fashion designer’s dreams and aspirations for her latest range.

UPSIDE WITH JODIE MEARES Tanned, slim and incredibly beautiful, when Jodhi Meares enters a room heads turn, men and women alike, wrench their necks to glimpse the petite beauty as she breezes by, and why wouldn’t they?

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240 A SHORT BLACK

The intellectually dynamic television presenter Sandra Sully enlightens us with her latest venture and vision for her future.

312 ALPHA-H RADIATES

THE WESTIN MELBOURNE

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Looking to stay somewhere memorable whilst in Melbourne? Look no further than the opulent Westin Hotel with General Manager Debra Watts.

ROBBY X AND HER OBSESSION “I’ve dreamt about making this record for as long as I can remember and have treasured every moment of doing what I love to do most – make music.”

Owner and beauty expert Michelle Doherty has enjoyed tremendous success with her signature skin brand Alpha-H. Enjoy an intimate Q & A and find out how she stays on top of her game.

THE LIFE EDITION | 2015

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EXPRESS YOUR PASSION IN NEW WAYS

EOS 7D MARK II SHOOT AT 10 FRAMES PER SECOND WITH THIS SHARPER, FASTER, FEATURE-PACKED CAMERA. Watch Canon Master Mark Horsburgh put the EOS 7D Mark II to the test in New Zealand. See the ямБlm at canon.com.au


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Around the world in 80 days

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Timeless elegance of india

Where life Happens

Marvel at the majestic Taj Mahal, The Golden Temple and unforgettable Wagha Border Ceremony.

Explore Dubai’s iconic playground with global giant Emaar and their signature Address Properties.

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Setting the Scene in San Francisco We take a detailed look at San Francisco’s award winning attractions.

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Alask a’s The Wild Frantier

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Untouched, unparralled and unrivalled…words to describe this true wonder of the world.

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Canada Majestic Beauty

Step on board The Rocky Mountaineer for a train ride from Lake Louise to Vancouver and enjoy the ‘Passage to the West’.

THE LIFE EDITION | 2015

Milano picture perfect Explore the worlds fashion capital, discover ancient cathedrals and find the lastest dining hostpots.

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CORSICA Exclusively Yours We travel exclusively to the South of France and travel first-class on the luxurious Star Clipper.

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#artofcelebration Enjoy Responsibly


contents Food and Wine

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STEEL FIST IN A VELVET GLOVE

MAGNIFICO CAPRESE... SWEET SALTED

A ‘Mollydooker’ is colloquially known in Australia as someone who is left-handed. As both winemakers, Sarah and Sparky Marquis are ‘Mollydookers’ the name was fitting. Left-handed they might be, but when it comes to winemaking they each definitely don’t have two left-feet.

Executive Chef Andrea Aprea from the VUN restaurant at the exclusive Park Hyatt Milan, shows his true culinary flair.

251 NICK’S NOTES

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Wine expert Nick Blair provides us with an informative overview of his pick of varietal wines.

AIMING FOR PERFECTION The bucolic Yarra Valley is the home to one of Australia’s most exciting winery developments, Levantine Hill Estate. In 2007, after a four-year global search, Elias and Colleen Jreissati found the perfect vineyard location to establish their new wine estate.

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CICCHETTI BYRON BAY

DEPTH OF CHARACTER

It’s fine dining meets Byron, silver service meets surf. Cicchetti was designed to bring a refined Italian meal to the cruisy culture of its surroundings.

Danniel Amadio reveals the secrets behind the award-wining wines sourced from vineyards nestled in the beautiful Adelaide Hills.

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FRENCHY’S

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This glorious ‘Le Petie Maison’ is filled with a rich tapestry of French culture and Parisian ambience. Nestled on top of Balmorals Military base overlooking the Sydney Harbour, enjoy the best of French cuisine.

Join wine expert Chris Silva on a V.I.P Tour of the Sonoma Valley Vineyard in San Francisco and discover why the Open Table voted it as the #1 Restaurant in America.

THE LIFE EDITION | 2015

HEAVENLY PAIRINGS Tate-Tatin

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www.lenovo.com.au


The robust growth of the economy and Dubai’s status as a business and leisure hub catalyse the growth of the city’s hospitality sector. The city’s remarkable airline connectivity and accessibility, and its world-class retail and tourism experiences means its hospitality sector is poised for even stronger growth in the coming years. Emaar Hospitality Group has been at the forefront in driving the growth of the city’s hospitality sector by offering a strong roster of world-class properties.

Philippe Zuber Chief Operating Officer Emaar Hospitality Group

“Led by the concerted efforts of the Government, Dubai is today one of the world’s leading tourism and leisure destinations, on course to achieve its Tourism Vision 2020 to welcome over 20 million annual visitors by the turn of the decade.”

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A modern brand that focuses on a ‘one size fits one’ strategy, which sees guest benefits as the priority, The Address Hotels + Resorts is the flagship hotel brand of Emaar that offers the ultimate experience of hospitality luxury. Positioning its messaging as ‘Where Life Happens’, The Address Hotels + Resorts offer a more personal and approachable experience to guests in a lifestyle environment, whether it be business, leisure or group travellers. The Address chooses central locations to offer its customers the best in entertainment, leisure and overall convenience. Emaar Hospitality Group also owns and operates Vida Hotels and Resorts, a refreshingly different hotel concept for the new generation of business executives, entrepreneurs and leisure travellers. Billed as ‘an urban hub where inspiring minds stay, play and connect’, Vida Hotels and Resorts bring inspiring simplicity, sophisticated energy and intuitive style. Emaar Hospitality Group also owns and manages a diversified portfolio of assets including serviced residences, golf retreats, a polo and equestrian club, lifestyle dining outlets and the Dubai Marina Yacht Club. The company envisages being the premium provider of extraordinary hospitality experiences for visitors across the spectrum by drawing on Dubai’s positive growth. The company is also expanding its reputation globally through management agreements by The Address Hotels + Resorts to operate world-class properties in Egypt and Turkey, among others.

THE LIFE EDITION | 2015


THE CENTRE OF NOW DOWNTOWN DUBAI

THE CENTRE OF NOW DOWNTOWN DUBAI ‘The Centre of Now’ in Downtown Dubai is the flagship mega-development by Emaar Properties, who are renowned for shaping the future through world-class real estate, mall and hospitality property. A centre for tourism, Downtown Dubai has several platinum hotels including the world’s first Armani Hotel and Emaar’s Address, Vida and Manzil Hotels. WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

Downtown Dubai is a thriving city hub with a unique mix of residential towers and commercial precincts. Located at its centre is Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination, and The Dubai Fountain, add to the development’s list of must see attractions, while Souk Al Bahar, an Arabesque shopping and dining out destination, further broadens its appeal to visitors. The Opera District, highlighted by the majestic 2000-seat Dubai Opera venue and myriad of luxury hotels and residences, is a brand-new addition. Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, the vibrant thoroughfare dotted with cafes and retail outlets, also hosts colourful events that bring the community together. A new announcement has also seen co-developers Dubai Holding and Emaar Properties launch their new big project on the horizon at

THE LIFE EDITION | 2015

Dubai Creek Harbour; a 1,482-acre site including a pair of towers that they hope will be the world’s tallest twinned skyscrapers. The area planned for Dubai Creek Harbour is three times the size of Emaar’s current Downtown Dubai development, which is home to the company’s Burj Khalifa. Its location would be next to the ‘Ras Al Khor’ wetlands on the city’s waterfront at The Lagoons. With six other structures planned in addition to the twin skyscrapers, the project will also include retail, luxury hotels, and an estimated 39,000 residential units. Emaar have taken grandeur and customer service to a whole new level, with guaranteed sustainability establishing a new benchmark within the global hospitality marketplace. With an impressive list of award-winning properties and developments, we look forward to seeing the Emaar brand becoming Dubai’s global giant.

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UP MARKET ADDRESS DOWNTOWN

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THE LIFE EDITION | 2015


UP MARKET ADDRESS DOWNTOWN

UP MARKET ADDRESS

DOWNTOWN THE ADDRESS DOWNTOWN DUBAI WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

We can talk about a hotel property having it all, but it’s often difficult to find one that offers the right package every time. Emaar’s iconic The Address Downtown property is as close as it gets. This premium 63-storey landmark hotel is positioned in the heart of Downtown Dubai’s thriving metropolis. It is perfectly located, perched above the picturesque dancing fountains, overlooking the remarkable Burj Khalifa, and meters away from the world’s largest shopping destination, the Dubai Mall. The Address Downtown Dubai is the epitome of luxurious style and dining excellence with its grand entrance crowned with design elements reminiscent of the art deco era. Its award-winning interior design is inspired by regional landscapes while ref lecting a sense of grandeur. The rooms are decorated with a rich tapestry of golden textures and feature spacious marbled bathrooms. A recent addition is the interactive ‘eLifestye’ room service and iPad installed to allow guests to research and organise their dining and leisure independently. When there’s a celebration in town, hotel guests enjoy a privileged ‘birds-eye view’. The precinct often resembles a Hollywood set, with lasers and fi reworks a regular feature, and even Tom Cruise has been seen abseiling down the face of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. The Address Downtown has really grown into a world-class property. I have been fortunate to have stayed there several times and have no hesitation in highly recommending it. Dubai’s social scene thrives

THE LIFE EDITION | 2015

here, offering everything from an excellent cup of coffee to fabulous brunches, exquisite dinners and the best late night venues.

DINING One of the most difficult decisions you will encounter is where to dine, as there are seven award-winning dining experiences on offer including two outside overlooking the serene infinity lap pool - Calabar celebrating a Latino South American infusion whilst Zeta boasts a more tranquil traditional Asian Seafood Cuisine. We also had a chance to sample the newly-opened ‘Cut by Wolfgang Puck’, a signature steak house. No expense has been spared in this establishment, with seating for 150-plus guests. The views are magnificent and the menu is as unique as its fit-out. A word of caution given the serving size, the chocolate soufflé is decadent and best enjoyed shared with others. We chose to dine at Fazaris, offering modern Asian, Italian and European cuisine located on the ground floor. Chef De Cuisine Massimiliano Sperli spoilt us with two of his home grown favourites firstly the Vongoli made with fresh tagliatelle accompanied by a clam and white wine broth followed with a delicious spinach and ricotta stuffed ravioli in a tomato and onion-based sauce. Followed by desserts which were a treat on their own with a selection of tiramisu, chocolate gateau, carrot cake and fresh fruit…the result was exquisite. With a full belly, we visited the signature Cigar Bar before heading to the electric atmosphere of Neos, the star-studded nightclub located on the 60th floor. What a night!

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UP MARKET ADDRESS DOWNTOWN

HIGHLIGHT

MENTION

No stay is complete at The Address Downtown without a day of pampering at the Spa and Wellness Centre. Danielle indulged in the Ultimate Diamond Experience, a three-hour extravaganza infused with sparkling gems for a touch of pure glamour! The treatment began with a full-body scrub featuring real crushed diamonds before special magnets remove minerals and unlock energies that revitalize the body. Next, a relaxing massage to soothe the muscles and lastly a pampering facial to gently contour the skin….pure heaven! I, however, enjoyed a therapeutic fullbody 90-minute deep tissue massage and steam to help revitalize the body. This spa treatment will have you feeling a million dollars…trust me!

So what is the number one ingredient, outside of location, that is critical in the success or failure of a hotel? Well, to put it simply, it is the level of commitment to customer service and attention to detail. It is pleasing to see that The Address Downtown has raised the bar with its guaranteed impeccable service and dedication from all staff members. I attribute this kind of improvement to the Hotel Manager, Caroline Houston, as she has led by example. With the quality reputation of the Downtown property as Dubai’s Business hub, it makes the choice of Emaar’s flagship property an easy one.

The Address Downtown Dubai Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard Downtown Dubai, UAE T: +971 4 436 8888 www.theaddress.com

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UP MARKET ADDRESS DOWNTOWN

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LUCK OF THE IRISH CAROLINE JANE HOUSTON

Caroline Jane Houston 26 | CLASSIC LIFESTYLE

THE LIFE EDITION | 2015


LUCK OF THE IRISH CAROLINE JANE HOUSTON

LUCK OF THE IRISH WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

The hotel industry has become arguably one of the most demanding industries to undertake as a career path, but it will also become the most rewarding, given the path is strategically planned. Of all those I’ve met, there is no one more strategic or driven than Caroline Jane Houston, General Manager of the flagship Emaar property, The Address Downtown Dubai. A dynamic hotelier with natural enthusiasm and creativity for all aspects incorporated in hospitality, Caroline Jane’s career has moved seamlessly from her food and beverage origins to the greater scope of hotel management. She has specific expertise in revenue management, successful space utilisation and ensuring guest satisfaction, driven by both business and service quality. Caroline Jane is a fantastic communicator, and leads by example with her consistently outstanding results. She has international experience in iconic boutique hotels, grand palaces and resort complexes.

Caroline Jane’s focus on a professional basis echoes her ethos of life: to ensure that the people in her professional life enjoy themselves. Over the past several years, it has been my pleasure to watch Caroline Jane reach those dizzy heights of General Manager, and throughout this journey I have witnessed this remarkably polished and exceptionally professional Irish “Pocket Rocket” capture both the hearts and minds of the many thousands of guests that call her hotel home. You will fi nd it common practice to see “CJ” buzzing around the lobby welcoming corporate travellers, politicians and celebrities alike; everyone receives her professional attention equally, which has become her signature comportment. I managed to tie CJ down for a coffee and a chat last week as we were preparing to open the latest, highly anticipated restaurant and bar in Dubai, Zeta.

1.

What gave you the start into hospitality? Growing up in Ireland, where warmth and hospitality runs in the blood of its people, very much drew me to the industry. Although I was academic, I wanted to study a profession that was outside the box, one that would open up so many opportunities. A great placement at world-renowned The Gleneagles was perfect, as at such an exceptional resort you learnt so many aspects of the business whilst having fun, making so many new friends (many of whom are lifelong friends) and being in an environment of iconic luxury at every touch point.

3.

You have a twin with whom you’ve worked in the same field for most of your working life. Will you come back in the same property together again? Ideally we would love to work together again. We had so much fun at places like The Gleneagles, Boca Raton Resort and Club and The Savoy. Now that we are at this level, we would need to find a very unique environment that could accommodate us both. This certainly is not impossible, as with the different facets of the business and us each having certain specialties, it would be completely unique. We could end up in business ourselves, which would be very exciting.

2.

How difficult has it been climbing the ladder to where you are today? Easy in that I have loved the opportunities, hotels and resorts that I have worked in. Of course, that makes the work life so much easier - having opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. It can often be hard to excel as a woman in a maledominated industry, so one must always be at the top of their game to be accepted at this level.

4.

How gratifying is it to be the only female in the Emaar group to reach GM level and to take on the responsibility of running their flagship property? Incredibly rewarding and satisfying. It also lets the entire team see that through hard work and determination anything is possible, and that one can reach for the stars and achieve their goals if they really set their mind to it.

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ARABIAN PALATIAL ELEGANCE THE PALACE DOWNTOWN DUBAI

ARABIAN

PALATIAL

Elegance

Located as the centerpiece of Old Town Dubai, The Palace sits on the edge of the Dancing Fountains within a ‘sand wedge’ of the stunning Burj Khalifa. The hotel stands apart for its highly individualistic architecture; the five-level captivating symbol of Middle Eastern elegance and style simply greets guests without any pomp and ceremony. But when the doors open there’s a very warm welcome to a sophisticated boutique hotel. WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

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ARABIAN PALATIAL ELEGANCE THE PALACE DOWNTOWN DUBAI

The rooms are sumptuous and provide all the comforts of home. They are decorated in Middle Eastern themes, rich in colour and regional textures, and Arabian touches add authentic detail to each room’s design. Every room has a private balcony that overlooks The Dubai Fountain, The Old Town or Burj Lake, and a personal butler service is assigned to every suite. The immediate impression is that this is a quality place to stay, and our first priority was to check out the spa for some relaxation therapy. The Palace Downtown’s spa and wellness centre is arguably one of Dubai’s most exotic spas. The amazing steam room was all tiled in jet black and was oozing with aromas of eucalyptus and lavender. We booked into the spa’s private suite for an 80-minute deep tissue couples’ massage. Combined with body scrubs infused with uplifting coriander and refreshing Moroccan mint, our muscles, joints and skin tone were happily re-energized…heaven!

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DINING With the evening upon us, we escaped to a romantic table for two on the water’s edge, and front and centre to the spectacular water fountain show, surrounded by the fabulous ‘Festival of Lights’. Executive Chef Gabriel Fernando joined our table to delight us with his menu and signature dishes from the traditional Argentina Grill, Asado. Renowned for cooking cuts of meat using the open grill in the centre of the restaurant, I had to have the marbled rib eye, but it was the incredible roasted baby lamb that ended up being the hit. Danielle enjoyed crispy skin sea bass with squid and pea risotto. Our waiter, Arpu, knew every inch of the menu and insisted we order a trio of desserts – which met very little resistance from us. At 11:30 pm, as we polished off the last of our dinner from our perfect vantage spot, the fountains continued to dance in front of us, and the incredible light show began.

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ARABIAN PALATIAL ELEGANCE THE PALACE DOWNTOWN DUBAI

HIGHLIGHT On our last night at the Palace, the General Manager, Michael Sorgenfrey, invited us to attend his weekly Fountain Cocktail function. This is an opportunity for the Emaar Executive Team to meet with the hotel’s VIP guests. We were greeted in the hotel lobby and escorted to a secluded terrace area reserved for only the most special of occasions. The venue located directly across from the iconic Burj Khalifa overlooking the spectacular water fountains was simply breathtaking. Guests rejoiced at the extraordinary selection of regional Thai and Arabic cuisine with Executive Chef Gabriel Fernando at the helm, barbecuing, sautéing and flambéing the night away. With fresh Cuban cigars being rolled out before

our very eyes, the talk of the evening was who would have the front row seats for the opening of Andre Boccelli’s live performance at the new Opera House and Cultural Precinct. With 2020 around the corner, there definitely are exciting times ahead for Dubai and The Palace. A treasure not to be missed!

RECOMMENDATION High Tea Arabic Style – Enjoy a delicious spread of Arabia-inspired sweet treats, date cake, velvet chocolate pancakes, rose petal cheesecake, camel-milk pistachio crème brulee, mammoul cookies and cardamom scones with clotted cream and date jam.

To book your next Stay: The Palace Downtown Dubai, Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard Downtown Dubai, UAE T: +971 4 428 7806 | www.theaddress.com

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MARINA MAGIC THE ADDRESS DUBAI MARINA

MARINA MAGIC With a stunning waterfront location, staying at the Address Dubai Marina places you amongst luxury yachts, hip restaurants and lounges, a shopping mecca and Dubai’s gorgeous beaches. The waterfront lifestyle is a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle and bright lights of mid-Downtown but there’s action aplenty here.

WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

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MARINA MAGIC THE ADDRESS DUBAI MARINA

On Thursday and Friday nights, the hotel’s pool-deck becomes standing room thanks to the popularity of the hotel’s restaurant, Shades. The hotel features 200 guest rooms and suites offered over five categories. All have brilliant views of either the city or the marina. The rooms are beautifully furnished and have a calming and sophisticated décor. Complimentary WiFi, gourmet tea and coffee and a fully stocked minibar are also available. The beds are very comfortable and come with a selection of pillow choices by Müehldorfer. The ensuites are first class and stocked with handpicked Charlotte Rhys toiletries, making it a comfortable place to stay. After we checked in and dealt with some emails in the Business Centre, we grabbed a light lunch by the pool. This is a pretty special place to be – the 50-metre long outdoor infinity pool is located on the fourth floor and is constructed in an elevated position. Lunching on the pool-deck, we enjoyed a spectacular view of the yachts in the marina and beyond. The Address properties are renowned for their spa facilities and the spa

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at The Address Dubai Marina stepped up to the plate. We could choose from a complete menu of signature treatments offered in their 12 treatment rooms; all feature luxurious shower facilities and peaceful views of the marina. We opted for an 80-minute unforgettable Thai massage. On Thursday and Friday nights, the hotel’s pool-deck becomes standing room thanks to the popularity of the hotel’s restaurant, Shades. We were keen to check out what the fuss was about and spent a couple of hours on a very cool lounge devouring our own personal BBQ of prawns and eye fillet, whilst enjoying the view of the city’s lights. The other dining options at the hotel included the lounges: Kambaa (where light lunches and afternoon tea are served), Blends (which is not only a lounge, but also has a dedicated cigar room and a stylish cocktail area) and the Club Lounge (which is an exclusive lounge for Club room guests and provides all day dining).

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MARINA MAGIC THE ADDRESS DUBAI MARINA

DINING

OTHER THINGS TO DO

We booked in for dinner at the hotel’s signature restaurant, Mazina. The sweeping views of the marina, the rich timbers, high ceilings and statement lighting created a stunning impression, but it was the food that took centre stage. The bustling show kitchens serve an eclectic variety of Asian, Arabic and European dishes, all cooked in front of the guests. We met up with Chef Trevor Green, who devised a very simple and delicious meal for us of fresh prawn, crab and avocado salad, followed by a main course of succulent veal chop. At his insistence, and with very little resistance from us, we ended the meal with a sensational chocolate fondant and freshly baked apple tart.

• The hotel is directly linked to the Dubai Marina Mall – with 160 stores, making it a shopper’s paradise. • It’s a short stroll away from the Marina Walk at Jumeirah beach, which is perfect for swimming and water sports. • Charter a yacht from the Dubai Marina Yacht Club. • Grab a frozen yogurt and take in a movie. From check-in to check-out, we were very well looked after by the staff. Tranquil by day and electric by night, alongside the white sand beaches of the Arabian Gulf, the Dubai Marina is a place where shopping, dining, entertainment and nightlife flow at an exciting pace.

To book your next Stay: The Address Dubai Marina, Dubai Marina, UAE www.theaddress.com/en/hotels/the-address-dubai-marina

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THE GOLF’S BEST ADDRESS ADDRESS MONTGOMERIE DUBAI

Golf’s BEST

ADDRESS

THE ADDRESS MONTGOMERIE DUBAI WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

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THE GOLF’S BEST ADDRESS ADDRESS MONTGOMERIE DUBAI

Every golf course in the world claims to have all the components to qualify themselves as ‘world-class’. Whether that’s true depends on who you speak with. Club members usually have a bias for their own club, and truly seasoned golf nuts can be quite esoteric about what makes a course ‘world-class’. The truly great golf courses are not determined by how fast the greens are running, or whether bent grass is more superior than 328 – who cares? For my money, the truly great courses are those that deliver the total experience. Here’s where the Address Montgomerie in Dubai comes in. At this venue you’ll fi nd the region’s most highly respected golf-coaching academy – The Academy by Troon Golf, as well as the spectacular US $24 million clubhouse, which includes a boutique hotel on-premise. These are located with a stunning championship golf course designed by Colin Montgomerie OBE in association with Desmond Muirhead. The 18-hole par 72 course covers 265 acres, which consist of 123 acres

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of turf, 49 acres of man-made lakes (a total of 14 lakes), 93 acres of landscaped gardens and is scattered with 81 large bunkers. On 26 January 2014, we selected ‘the Monty’ for our Australia Day Qantas Classic Golf event and invited our top 120 customers to attend. Whilst the venue and all it has to offer is superb, what made the experience world-class was the staff. We were impressed by the eagerness of the team to ensure all guests had a day to remember. What added the real icing on the cake was the delicious taste sensations served up by Executive Chef, Neeraj Pyaneeandee and his team. The Monty has it all - 5 star accommodation only 75 metres from the first tee, meeting rooms, a business centre, wellness spa and a fully equipped gym. This made running the event very easy, as we didn’t need to transfer guests from their accommodation to the course, and their every need was catered for in the one location. The Australia Day Qantas Classic Golf Day ran exactly as expected, with the weather a lovely 75 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.

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THE GOLF’S BEST ADDRESS ADDRESS MONTGOMERIE DUBAI

The 120 happy golfers played around the course in four and a half hours in the morning which was perfect, as Dubai can become a touch warm as the day gets on. Everyone agreed that the Monty was a great course to play – that’s a bonus! I’ve been back to the Address Montgomerie since that event and spent a couple of days there. It is such a pleasure to play a round of golf in the morning, and enjoy the spa treatments in the afternoon. For dinner I caught up with Chef Neeraj at Nineteen, where we sat and enjoyed the amazing views and chatted about the menu prepared in their show

kitchen. Chef Neeraj had prepared a magnificent five-course degustation menu which featured beautifully flavoured cranberry infused foie gras, a piece of crispy skinned Australian glacier fish, a 200-gram rare portion of Aussie rib eye with a magical port-reduction, and finished with a freshly made frozen yogurt and a deconstructed lemon meringue tart. Even if you aren’t a big fan of the flying Scotsman, Colin Montgomerie, you must congratulate him and Desmond Muirhead on their signature layout. Along with The Address Hotels, this course shows what it truly means to be world-class.

To book your next Stay: The Address Montgomerie Dubai, Emirates Hills - Dubai - United Arab Emirates T: +971 4 390 5600 | www.theaddress.com

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HAMILTON ON INSPIRED ISLAND THE URBAN JEWEL CHIC OF VIDA THE WHITSUNDAYS DOWNTOWN TSU

INSPIRED URBAN CHIC There’s a buzz around town following the recent announcement of Expo 2020 being staged in Dubai. The host venue for the event (currently under construction) stretches from Dubai Trade Centre to Jebel Ali, and is a 438-hectare site that includes a dedicated gated 150-hectare Expo area and a surrounding residential, hospitality and logistics zone. As the city gears up to receive some 300,000 Expo visitors, we wanted to highlight in this edition some of the Emirate’s luxury hospitality and high-end accommodation destinations on offer.

WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

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INSPIRED URBAN CHIC VIDA DOWNTOWN

TO BOOK YOUR NEXT STAY Vida Downtown Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, The Old Town, Downtown Dubai, UAE T: +971 4 428 6888 www.vida-hotels.com

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INSPIRED URBAN CHIC VIDA DOWNTOWN

One of Emaar’s five award-winning properties is Vida – meaning ‘life’ in Spanish – and this property is nestled in the Old Town precinct of Dubai. With its mantra being ‘freedom, intuition, inspiration and responsibility’, this trendy property has an unprecedented level of urban sophistication targeting the new younger generation of business executives, entrepreneurs, and hip leisure travellers. Renowned for its commitment to innovation, Vida’s first impression is a good one. The impressive lobby lounge featured oversized chairs and sofas in a neutral palette, a stylish hi-tech internet bar, cascading double-height floor to ceiling cream silk curtains and entire wall features displaying antique maps and vintage travel paraphernalia. This was all offset with the fresh scent of exotic flowers adorning the crystal chandeliers, with the end result making us feel instantly alive and inspired. The Vida Downtown property offers 156 deluxe rooms including 10 premier suites, each with a fresh neutral, yet calming interior. Spacious in its design, the rooms include complimentary Wi-Fi and 42-inch flat screen hotel interactive TVs. Located on the lower floor are four meeting rooms, which can host up to 180 delegates, and a tranquil breakfast and dining area. Not wanting to miss a thing, our two-day visit to Vida was jam-packed with reviews, interviews, tastings, gym workouts and, of course, treating ourselves to the hidden oasis of tranquil four-poster day beds with a cocktail or two down by the pool.

DINING After hearing many ‘whispers’ about Vida Downtown being Dubai’s latest ‘in’ place, we were very interested to see what the dining experiences would be like. We booked into Le Serre Bistro and Boulangerie. Le Serre is encased in a beautiful two-story glass facade, and offers a traditional Parisian boulangerie on the ground floor and a bistro on the first floor. The menu is the creation of flamboyant Nigerian-born chef, Izu Ani. With our close friends, Mark and Zoe, joining us for the evening, the Bistro Manager, Brad Warnock, escorted us to our table where we were to be taken on an unforgettable French dining experience. The ambience of Le Serre is elegantly chic, with an abundance of white and cream upholstered furnishings and walls, which are offset by a rich chocolate floor – probably not a place to take your children with dirty fingers. Our menu was left completely up to the discretion of the chefs, who bedazzled us with their creativity. Our entrees, a feast of many, began with lentils mixed with a combination of roasted hazelnuts, carrots, onions and a fabulous lemon dressing, which converted me to a lover of the usually boring lentil. Then came the fresh garden peas with garlic croutons and a white balsamic dressing, a pizza with cherry tomatoes, goat cheese and delicious caramelized onions, caprese with mozzarella (to die for!) and a sublime tuna carpaccio. If it were even possible, our main meals ramped up the taste sensations with succulent veal chops, hand-made fettuccini with lobster, grilled Chilean sea bass and slow cooked beef ribs. As Le Serre’s boulangerie is so well regarded, we could not pass up the opportunity to try the desserts, but after such a feast we decided to share only two selections. That was not to be, however, and out came lemon meringue, baked apple tart, passion-fruit cheesecake, crème brûlée and the most mind-blowing baked chocolate mousse I have ever tasted. Fully sated and hardly able to move, we managed to escape to the lounge for an espresso and to talk through the French culinary masterpiece we had just enjoyed. Our experience overall was extraordinary, and we agreed that Le Serre is arguably Dubai’s finest French restaurant.

RECOMMENDATION Friday’s Urban Picnic Brunch: On arrival you will receive your very own picnic basket, blanket and complimentary glass of champagne. Enjoy a selection of fresh salads, wraps, sandwiches, cheese and crackers, pizza and mouthwatering desserts! Be adventurous and spread out on your blanket on the grass around the pool area - you won’t be disappointed! Every Friday from 1:00 – 5:00 pm.

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The all-new Audi TT


Premiered globally at the Geneva Motor Show, the third iteration of Audi’s iconic TT coupe pays homage to the original, but undeniably puts a fresh face on a timeless design. More masculine and aggressive, the distinctive ‘Singleframe’ grille is wider and flatter, with the four rings relocated from the grille to the bonnet, hinting at similarities to the R8 supercar.

If the driver is feeling up for a brisk, fun drive, she or he can bring the speedo and rev counter to the fore on the screen by calling up the Classic view. In Infotainment mode, the virtual instruments are smaller, freeing up screen space for other functions, such as the navigation map. In the Audi TTS there is a third mode - Sport - where the centrally positioned rev counter dominates.

Flat and aggressive headlights grab your attention, featuring pioneering Audi Matrix LED technology. The Matrix LED headlights consist of 12 LEDs and include dynamic turn signals that light up sequentially in the direction in which the driver is steering.

Controls can be accessed via the multifunctional steering wheel or by using the revised and simplified Audi’s MMI terminal on the centre console. Two toggle switches activate the navigation/map, telephone, radio and media menus. There are two buttons on both sides of the central rotary pushbutton, supplemented by a main menu and a back button.

Proportionally, the TT is the same length and height as the second generation model, but with a slightly extended wheelbase, which push the four wheels out into the corners of the car – though Audi ultra lightweight construction means a car that is 50kg lighter than the previous model.

Standard gear includes an MMI Navigation system with large flash memory, two card readers, Bluetooth interface and DVD drive. A Bang & Olufsen sound system with 14 channel amplifier and 12 loudspeakers is also available.

Australian specification is yet to be confirmed, but both front-wheel and quattro drive will be available and there are a number of powerplants under consideration, including a 169kW/370Nm 2.0 TFSI engine. A 2.0 TFSI petrol engine producing 228kW and 380Nm will see duty in the TTS. Revolutionary changes have been made inside the cabin. Behind the flat bottomed sports steering wheel is a new 12.3-inch highresolution digital display of remarkable clarity which has been hailed as a breakthrough in the transfer of information to the driver. Audi has banished the traditional infotainment screen from the centre of the fascia, consolidating all of the necessary gauges in the one large virtual cockpit digital display.

For the first time in the Audi TT, natural voice controls are used enabling simple commands – such as “I want to talk to Narelle” or “Take me to Sydney”. With Audi drive select, the driver can choose between comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency and individual modes. In fuel-saving efficiency mode, Audi drive select influences the air conditioning and the startstop system too. Audi has done the hard yards to give driving enthusiasts a characterfilled machine that is more user friendly than its predecessors and yet is more responsive and dynamically appealing than ever. The way a contemporary sports car should be.


A FASHIONISTA’S ADDRESS THE ADDRESS DUBAI MALL

A FASHIONISTA’S ADDRESS THE ADDRESS DUBAI MALL The Address Dubai Mall is housed within the stylish 42-story elliptical Emaar Tower, and located in the exclusive Downtown Dubai area. Bolted onto the world’s largest shopping destination, the Dubai Mall, this Address property has cornered the market in providing the ultimate shopping and luxury accommodation destination I have ever seen to date. WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

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A FASHIONISTA’S ADDRESS THE ADDRESS DUBAI MALL

With 244 signature rooms and suites offering three upbeat restaurants and lounges, a luxurious spa and wellness facilities and convenient business amenities, The Address Dubai Mall offers a quintessential luxurious experience. The contemporary entrance proudly embraces its Arabic culture featuring stunning marble floors, decorative Arabic wall geometrics, high ceilings and luminous candlelit lanterns. However, fashionistas from around the world might consider the real jewel in the crown to be the direct entrance to Bloomingdales. It was like an open invitation to King Solomon’s cave luring you into a mystical shoppers heaven … very clever! Our efficient check-in was made more enjoyable thanks to Dubai’s friendliest receptionist, Mary, who treated us like long-lost relatives. Her vibrant and enthusiastic manner was infectious as she proudly escorted us up to our Premier Suite and gave us a detailed rundown of our schedule over the next two days and of the hotel’s facilities.

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HIGHLIGHTS With a daily gym workout always high on the agenda, we decided to check out the facilities. As we approached the gym reception, a welcoming “Good morning Mr Phil!” came echoing down the hallway. The brief to the staff was to ensure nothing was left to chance for our visit, as our photo was placed at every check-in area. The gymnasium was more than impressive with an extensive range of technogym equipment including their treadmills, ellipticals and free weights. After a challenging cardio workout, we adjourned to the upper deck to soak in some much needed sun and plunge in for a swim at the striking Olympic-sized pool.

DINING Dinner at the fabulous Al Fresco Cabana Restaurant was booked for 7:00pm and we invited close friends Sarah-Jane and James to

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A FASHIONISTA’S ADDRESS THE ADDRESS DUBAI MALL

share an evening ‘under the stars’. Upon arrival, we were escorted out to the pool and then lead to a magical oasis in our own private cabana, set exquisitely for four. A stunning environment topped off with views of the awesome Burj Khalifa. Executive Chef, Jagat Kumara, proceeded to intrigue and delight us with his colorful seven-course culinary menu, all paired with international wines carefully matched to the food by the sommelier. Dessert continued the theme of a true degustation style menu and we enjoyed a sublime deconstructed Pavlova accompanied with soft pink marshmallow, marzipan, fresh cream and berries. Superb evening!

MUST DO

succumbed and set off to explore Dubai’s Fashion Mecca, with the first stop, of course, being Bloomingdales, which was the first store to open outside of the USA in 2010. With an incredible number of iconic international stores all under the one roof, we were tempted with the latest men and women’s fashions, featuring designer brands including Alexander McQueen, Salvatore Ferragamo and Tom Ford. With an abundance of beauty products, perfumes, accessories, shoes, handbags and homewares, there truly are many opulent choices here. And retail therapy isn’t the only thing on offer – as we also checked out the Dubai Aquarium (one of the largest tanks in the world at 51 metres high), the ice-skating rink, toured the Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building) and finally lunched at our favorite Italian Restaurant, Eataly!

Walking past the private entrance to Bloomingdales every day, one can’t help but feel the irresistible pull to visit the Dubai Mall. We

The Address Dubai Mall T: +971 4 888 3444 | www.theaddress.com

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SIMILAR TO PHILEAS FOGG’S JOURNEY, DANIELLE AND I TOOK UP THE CHALLENGE THIS YEAR TO TRAVEL THE GLOBE IN 80 DAYS AND KEEP A JOURNAL COVERING SOME OF THE WORLD’S MOST LUXURIOUS DESTINATIONS. Beginning and ending in Dubai, we reviewed 22 hotels and resorts, one winery, one train ride, three scenic boat tours, 11 spa retreats, a temple and 42 restaurants. Our vision was to critique

the overall quality, customer service and value of these experiences so that our readers could, with confidence, ultimately plan and schedule some special ‘bucket list’ destinations of their own.


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POPULATION: CAPTIAL CITY: CURRENCY: OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: TIME ZONE:

2.1 million Abu Dhabi Dirham English, Arabic GST (Gulf Standard Time) which is UTC/GMT +4 hours (7 hours behind Sydney)

DUBAI WHERE

Life HAPPENS Words by Phil Harte

med, the h Moham ik e h S f o ited Arab he vision of the Un t n e id s re blishing Vice P upon esta d e s a b is irate Emirates, Arab Em e th in h it ew here excellenc ought, ‘w th e w o S e of Dubai. y than th ur journe o rt ta s ’ You may ce to e world? th better pla f o e tr ubai is hical cen thing in D geograp ry e v e t a over the ced th mewhat o s have noti – d n ra opping lmingly g iggest sh b , g in overwhe d il bu re. This its tallest rchitectu a rt top – with -a e th fowever, d state-o nation, h ti s e d malls an rn aste Middle-E eclectic impress. strives to ly p im s e quit

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Snapshot of Dubai WHERE IS IT SITUATED? Dubai is located along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf on the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The emirate of Dubai shares borders with Abu Dhabi in the south, Sharjah in the northeast and the Sultanate of Oman in the southeast. Dubai is one of the seven emirates of the UAE, which includes Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain, with Dubai being the most populated city of the emirates. WHEN SHOULD YOU TRAVEL? Dubai has a tropical desert climate, so plan your trip away from the summer months of June through to September as it can be extremely hot, both humid and very dry, with an average high around 40 °C (104 °F). Winter, however, is warm and short with an average high of 23 °C (73 °F) and overnight lows of 14 °C (57 °F). HOW DO YOU GET THERE? FLIGHTS – Sydney to Dubai Recommended Carrier: Qantas

The Address Downtown

The Address Montgomerie

The Address Marina

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During our stay in Dubai, we marveled at Emaar’s stable of signature properties including the newly refurbished urban chic Vida Hotel, The Address Dubai Mall, The Address Downtown, The Palace, The Address Marina and finally the boutique Montgomerie, which hosts a stunning 18-hole golf course. Spending two weeks immersed in all of Emaar’s glory, we enjoyed elegantly appointed accommodation, outstanding cuisine, stylish bars and restaurants, heavenly spa retreats and unforgettable gym workouts. What became strikingly clear, however, was the uncompromising levels of luxury and unparalleled detail to customer service. All of the Emaar properties continue to deliver a distinctive offering but still manage to showcase a unique charm in their own specific way. Whether it was dining at Le Serre or having a cocktail at Asado, the Argentinian Steak House, we found it difficult to decide on a favourite. There is no doubt that with the intended growth of the Address brand, guests will enjoy this level of opulence on a global scale with properties soon opening at the Address Masai Mara in Kenya, Egypt and Turkey. My review of our stay in Dubai can be found on pages 43 (Vida), 49 (Address Dubai Mall), 22 (Address Downtown), 29 (The Palace), 33 (Address Marina), and 39 (The Montgomerie). Next stop Delhi!

The Address Dubai Mall

s n o easit

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Vida

Vida 156 Guest rooms including 10 suites

The Palace 242 Guest rooms including 81 lavish suites

Address Dubai Mall 244 Signature rooms and suites

Address Marina 200 Stylish rooms and suites

Address Downtown 63 Stories featuring 196 lavish rooms and 626 serviced residences

The Montgomerie 21 Boutique guestrooms overlooking the Montgomerie Golf Course

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the tour of guided tanding a a t u o ith .S Khalifa tories tall, plete w is com wer, the Burj s it 0 is 6 v 1 o to h and est To 1. N ig ll h a tribute T s ’s e ’s World 8 metr e Arab world d 2 n 8 a l a g n e th erin phenom g building is engine of the odern m ikin ss f tr re o s g e is th f pro ienc acon o and sc e t r b a c e li o th b - a sym dle East. design Mid largest ic m a n world’s able, e th new dy f o nimagin e u n o e is th i Mall asing k, Reel showc e Duba , ice rin , coffee m 2. Th ping centres, iu r a qu blic shop door a ners a Repu g an in as, Seg al dress desig m e in includin C n t o n ti e a rn inm Enterta staurants, inte . w re o , s h s p o d sh ntain u nowne fo r te o well re r hours with tw and wa , s ti fo n tla ily i and A light the fam nd dining e a ild Wad 3. W r parks, will d es, features id r r ! s wate te a r the kid cular w specta must fo A . s e c n experie

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POPULATION: CAPTIAL CITY: CURRENCY: OFFICIAL LANGUAGE/ RELIGION: TIME ZONE:

1.3 billion Indian Rupee Dirham 82% Hindu, 11.7% Islam, 4% Sikhism, 0.9% Christianity, 0.2% Buddhism. IST (India Standard Time) UTC/GMT +5:30 hours (51/2 hours behind Sydney)

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INDIA

THE TIMELESS ELEGANCE OF INDIA Words by Phil Harte

L

anding in Delhi is always an adventure with a population of over 1.3 billion; you’d swear they are all in the airport. This organized chaos simply provides, for the most part, a gracious and hospitable culture, which co-habitats without any real issues. With an early morning drive to the Taj Mahal, we had three hours to take in the sights of rural India and thankfully travelled the new freeway with direct access to Agra. On arrival, I didn’t know whether to drop to my knees and pray, or just to stand back and soak it up – this is the true wonder of the world. I chose the latter, and over the next few hours we took a private tour listening to and becoming immersed in the history. Learning how the entire building was a love story in itself.

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Snapshot of INDIA WHERE IS IT SITUATED? India is located in south Asia and is bordered by Pakistan in the west, China and Nepal in the north-to-north eastern part, Bhutan in the northeast and Burma in the west. WHEN SHOULD YOU TRAVEL? India is a large country with diverse regions and weather patterns. The height and size of the Himalayas stop cold winds from reaching most of India so winters remain warm and summers can be very hot. The majority of India is tropical and is affected by three main seasons - summer, winter and monsoon. In general, the best time to holiday in India is from October to March. HOW DO YOU GET THERE? Flight Details: Dubai to Delhi return Flight Time: Approximately 3.5 hrs. Recommended Carrier: Emirates From Australia recommended Carrier: Qantas - Dubai. Connect to Emirates

M S Dhoni

Mummy Sharma

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It was incredible to learn the Taj Mahal was built between 1632 to 1635 on a peaceful site on the banks of river Yamuna, by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved third wife Mumtaz Maha. Standing an incredible 171 metres high, it took more than 22,000 labourers and 2,000 elephants to construct this white marble mausoleum, stunning gardens and enchanting water feature. How could we ever forget the iconic image, taken so many years ago, of Lady Diana sitting alone peacefully on the steps of the Taj Mahal, contemplating and absorbing the sheer magnitude of this historical beauty? This simply is a must see experience. Next we visited The Harmandir Sahib, better known as the Golden Temple, located some 450 kilometers (270 miles) northwest of Delhi, in Amritsar. Regarded as the holiest temple for the Sikh religion, visitors are blown away by the magnificent, aweinspiring golden shrine. Surrounded by a manmade lake, the temple is visited by thousands of pilgrims, irrespective of cast, creed or race, who line up quietly to seek spiritual solace and religious fulfi llment without any hindrance. The temple is open twenty-four hours and unites human brotherhood and equality with its spiritually uplift ing ambience, which automatically transcends you to a place of inner-peace and tranquility. We next headed off to the Indian-Pakistani border to take in the spectacle of the Wagha Border Ceremony. Th is ceremony takes place every evening before sunset on the Grand Trunk Road, which was the only road link between these two countries before the opening of the Aman Setu in Kashmir in 1999. The ceremony starts with a blustering parade

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by the soldiers from both the sides, and ends up in the perfectly coordinated lowering of the two nations’ flags; it is called the beating retreat border ceremony on the international level. One jawan (infantryman) stands at attention on each side of the gate. As the sun sets, the iron gates at the border are opened and the two flags are lowered simultaneously. The flags are folded and the ceremony ends with a retreat that involves a brusque handshake between soldiers from either side, followed by the closing of the gates again. The spectacle of the ceremony attracts many visitors from both sides of the border, as well as international tourists. It’s strongly advised that you arrange VIP tickets prior online, as this ritual is performed every day and it is standing room only. The atmosphere is electrifying, I promise you won’t be disappointed! With the excitement of the day still fresh in our minds, we slowly made our way back to Delhi via train, where we had a scheduled photo shoot with Indian Cricket Captain and Spartan Ambassador (Mahendra Singh) MS Dhoni. Cricket in India is the nation’s pride, and everyone, young and old, play the game. MS Dhoni, who has over three million Twitter followers, recently played in the side which won the One Day International (ODI) series against England 3-1, and in my opinion, is a national treasure all on his own! However in demand this elite sportsman is, he delivers a fi rst class attitude both on and off the field and is a true ambassador for his country and the Spartan brand.

Batman at Bukhara

Pakistani Border

Dhoni Spartan Shoot

My review of accommodation and dining in India can be found on page 298 (ITC Maurya Delhi). Next, we head to Australia to visit Melbourne and Sydney.

ns o s a Re isit to v

a i d In 1. Visit the Taj Mahal - The world’s most iconic building, built between 1632 and 1653, is an architectural wonder offering incredible sights surrounded by breathtaking gardens. Location: Agra Uttar Pradesh Transportation: Depart at 5:00 am to beat the traffic with a private driver is a must. The drive is long (6 hours return) so it is advisable to take a little packed lunch to nibble along the way. 2. Visit the Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple) – Regarded as the holiest temple for the Sikh religion, a place of worship and prayer for thousands of pilgrims from all over the world. Location: Some 450 kilometers (270 miles) northwest of Delhi, in Amritsar Travel: Our expedition began with a five-hour train ride to Jalundar then a private car journey two hours drive to Amritsar. 3. See the Wagha Border Ceremony, Pakistan vs India - Soldiers stand off every day at sunset as a ‘battle’ is waged on the Pakistan-Indian border at Wagah. Travel: Private car will take you approximately 1.5 hours.

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EF 24 - 70MM F/2.8L II USM THE ZOOM LENS THAT BRINGS YOUR CREATIVE HORIZONS CLOSER Taken on tour by Danielle Harte in Delhi, India


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THE GRACEFUL CITY OF

21-25 MELBOURNE VICTORIA

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t is always a treat to spend time in the vibrant city of Melbourne. Known for hosting a range of world-class events, such as the Melbourne Cup horse race, Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, the Australian Open Tennis and, both held at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Boxing Day cricket test and the AFL Grand Final. It is a city that flexes its sporting muscles whilst promoting an active arts culture. The most ‘European’ city in Australia in style, it is known as the Garden State and it is graceful and elegant, but it is always fun discovering the city’s hidden laneways and markets, and enjoying the superb coffee and the diverse cuisines. My review of our stay at the Westin Melbourne can be found on page 274. Next stop Sydney.

Snapshot of Melbourne WHERE IS IT SITUATED? Melbourne is the capital of Victoria, Australia, and is located on the large natural bay of Port Phillip, with its City Centre situated at the northernmost point of the bay – near to the estuary of the Yarra River. WHEN SHOULD YOU TRAVEL? Summer/Christmas/School Holidays from December through to February are always busy with average maximum temperatures around 24-26 °C (76-78 °F). Winter months, from June through to August, can be cold with average maximum temperatures around 14-15 °C (57-59 °F). HOW DO YOU GET THERE? Qantas/Jetstar offer inter-state flights. Melbourne to Sydney one-way flight ranges from $89 to $150.

POPULATION:

4.35 million and is the fastest growing capital within Australia CAPITAL CITY: Melbourne is the capital city of Victoria CURRENCY: Australian Dollars OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: English

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n f hidde maze o xclusive a is e e lbourn bars, ck 1. Me ays, opulent he-beaten-tra w t e lan up d off ants an you can soak , taste restaur s e r d e n grou es. H boutiqu it the sporting e scene, ,h and win rks culture ic food ander the pa m a n y w r o the d n till daw ards. dance lev u o b ’s fy the city y a and lea quare, jo S n n e io d t n a ce, a Feder a ade. p it s is l a V m pro en ultur 2. a c d k il r K a t landm the S nswick beer on sunset nky Bru . fu n o p ro reet ill you d et Chapel St ros and t p o h k ist ar 3. S afes, b or upm in ank’s c Street b uisines h c t f u o o r S u r o e t d Wan world . Fitzroy d get a bars an ichmond and ,R Carlton

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SYDNEY SIMPLE & IRRESISTIBLE

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lying into Sydney, the city and the sparkling harbour provide one of the most spectacular sights from the air. With an early morning touchdown at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport, we then made our way across the iconic Harbour Bridge with our eyes glued to the majestic view of the Sydney Opera House below. It is easy to see why Sydney is one of the world’s most loved and treasured cities. Filled with a vibrant infectious energy, this multi-cultural city offers a diversity of dining and shopping experiences, arts and crafts, markets, theme parks and idyllic beaches. With our family reunited at our North Sydney home, it was time to unwind and relax at our favourite Thai Restaurant Simple & Irresistible. A happy coincidence was that our visit overlapped with that of our old and dear friend Gerard Butler, who was in town filming his latest movie The God’s of Egypt, so he joined us for dinner. Always an entertaining character, Gerry delighted us with his stories and shared his hectic work schedule at Fox Studios, playing the part of a mystical devious villain with Australia’s favourite actor or Geoffrey Rush. Never a dull moment in that man’s life!

rd and

Gera Ryley,

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Geofre

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A long weekend is never long enough in Sydney, but thanks to the Four Seasons, it made our final look at our home city even more spectacular.

Next we booked in for a couple of days stay at the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel, which is perched neatly in the Rocks district overlooking the magical Sydney Harbour. Talk about location! This elegant yet contemporary property personifies a depth of reliability, trust and connection with its guests. With over 50 years experience in the industry, a staggering 93 properties in 38 countries, it is simple to see why they are one of the leaders in global hospitality excellence. We thoroughly enjoyed our dining experience at the hotel’s Woods Restaurant, where our attention was quickly drawn to the exposed kitchen featuring a wood-fired pizza oven and grill, creating a very intimate and welcoming atmosphere. With a visible live herb wall, a grand hand-hewn wood block and adjoining bar, our taste buds were ready to be tantalized by the traditional menu before us. Entrée included wood fired prawns, fennel, finger lime and sesame and the main dish being Wagu rump cap, accompanied with blackened garlic and mushrooms. Our dessert was a delicious coffee meringue, peanut butter cream and banana gelato- sensational! A long weekend is never long enough in Sydney, but thanks to the Four Seasons, it made our final look at our home city even more spectacular. Our next destination: Los Angeles and San Francisco.

s n o avsisit e R o ney t 3 yd S

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1.

For those who love shopping, a visit to the Queen Victoria Building in the heart of Sydney’s CBD is a must – providing the opportunity to shop for designer brands in one of Australia’s most beautiful and historic buildings. If you’re looking for unique souvenirs, spend some time at one of Sydney’s markets, which happen every weekend throughout the city and surrounding suburbs.

2.

Of course, no visit to Sydney is complete without a trip to the beach. Bondi Beach is a popular tourist destination not just because of its crisp white sand and stunning setting, but because it showcases the city’s urban beach lifestyle. Manly Beach is a scenic ferry ride across the harbour and a great place to learn how to surf.

3.

To get a feel for the rich history behind Sydney, a guided tour is a great place to start. You can even tour the Sydney Harbour Bridge – by climbing it!

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Snapshot of Sydney

Simply IRRESISTIBLE

WHERE IS IT SITUATED? Sydney is the capital of New South Wales and is situated on Australia’s southeast coast along the Tasman Sea. Sydney was established in 1788 at Sydney Cove by Captain Arthur Phillip, of the First Fleet and the city was built on hills surrounding one of the world’s largest natural harbours, Port Jackson, which is commonly known as Sydney Harbour.

POPULATION: CAPTIAL CITY:

4.76 million Sydney is the capital city of New South Wales CURRENCY: Australian Dollars OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: English

Words by Phil Harte

WHEN SHOULD YOU TRAVEL? Easter break in the autumn months from March through to May are always delightful. Summer/Christmas/School Holidays from December through to February are always busy with average maximum temperatures around 25 °C (77 °F). Winter months from June through to August can be cool with average maximum temperatures ranging from 16-17 °C (61-64 °F). HOW DO YOU GET THERE? Qantas/Jetstar offer inter-state flights with a one-way fare Melbourne to Sydney ranging from approximately $89 to $150. HIGHLIGHTS Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach, Hyde Park, the Royal Botanical Gardens, The Rocks, Luna Park, Queen Victoria Building, Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb.

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QANTAS FIRST CLASS LOUNGE

HIGH FLYER The flight from Sydney to Los Angeles is around 14 hours long, so it helps to prepare for such a journey by starting out in Sydney International Airport’s Qantas First Class Lounge. It is reassuring to know that the Qantas A380 is also preparing for its journey below, with a professional team of highly skilled experts. Being a ‘six-movie flight’, we purposely arrive at the airport three hours before our flight departs so we can relax and indulge in either a massage, facial or simply order from the à la carte menu. The kitchen is run by Rockpool’s Neil Perry, so you know the menu will be special. My favourite dishes include the salt and pepper calamari, followed by the minute steak, or perhaps the chicken schnitzel finished with a delicious bowl of vanilla ice cream and chocolate topping. When we board our flight, we enter the upper deck of the A380 to be greeted by the fabulous 6’6” Qantas capsules that will ultimately ensure a peaceful night’s sleep. This tremendous experience is something everyone needs to enjoy, at least once!


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POPULATION: CURRENCY: OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: TIME ZONE:

3,792,621 American Dollar English and Spanish Pacific Standard Time (PST) which is UTC/GMT -8 hours (and 19 hours behind Sydney)

LOS ANGELES THE

Bold and Beautiful g rly mornin ith an ea City of wn in The touchdo it’ out igh-tailed ‘h e w , ls e Ang eat the port to b of the air 405 dreaded e th n o h e rus ld and th more ‘Bo g in th e o n p ro rty There is xclusive p e e th highway. g n ri deo than ente y Hills, Ro e rl e v e B Beautiful’ ated in tage, loc ollywood The Mon his true H T . e v ri D se built non s a purpo re and Can tu a fe is sh tyle oas ntains, lu vintage-s water fou h it w r e ie ic v ws. geth panoram Piazza to r la u c ta d spec lawns an

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Snapshot of Los Angeles WHERE IS IT SITUATED? Los Angeles, officially the ‘City of Los Angeles’ is the most popular city in the US state of California and the second-most popular in the USA. LA/Los Angeles is located in Southern California and has a land area of 469 square miles and is on the west side of the United States of America, a 45 minute plane trip to Vegas and six hours from New York City. WHEN SHOULD YOU TRAVEL? LA is a sunshine city all year round, as it has an average of only 35 rainy days a year! The average maximum temperature during the summer months of June to August is 26-29 °C (78-84 °F). However, through the winter and fall months (December to May) the average maximum temperatures range from 20-24 °C (68-74 °F). HOW DO YOU GET THERE? To get to the City of Angels from any international destination, the best and quickest way is the fly. The average flight time from Brisbane or Sydney is 13-15 hours using Qantas.

Montage Beverley Hills

Chef Freddy Vargas Scarpetta Sofitel Los Angeles

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Spaghetti Napoli

Danielle Harte, Chef Blin, Sunita Sing

Sofitel Los Angeles

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The venue for our first evening’s meal, Scarpetta Restaurant, was voted by Esquire magazine as one of the ‘Best New Restaurants’ in town. With expectations high, we were welcomed by the Executive Chef Freddy Vargas and shown to our special seating organised in the busy kitchen arena. With a glass of wine in tow, we dined like royalty sampling the juicy seared sea scallops, spaghetti with traditional tomato and basil, spiced duck breast with English peas, pancetta, caramelized onions and pickled mustard seed relish. Is it any wonder why this restaurant is doing so well?

With the glitz and glamour of the Oscars still fresh in the air, we popped into the elegantly appointed Four Seasons Hotel located between Beverley Hills and West Hollywood for lunch with good friends General Manager Mehdi Eftekari and Kim Kessler Director of Public Relations. Their signature restaurant, Culina (from the Latin word ‘kitchen’), showcases the intersection of traditional and modern Italian. Using only the freshest local produce we indulged in a tender home made lobster, shrimp and yellow tail linguini with a delicious dessert of fresh berries

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accompanied with home made ice-cream. The service here is spectacular and the food amazing. Well worth a try.

3 Reasons

As we arrived at our next destination the LA Sofitel, we were met with a heavily accented ‘Bonjour!’ from General Manger Eric Lemaire. LA Food Critic and family friend Sunita Singh was waiting for us and was chatting with Executive Chef Marius Blin. Marius had prepared a really cool picnic-style brunch for us, comprising of an inspirational spread of local ingredients with a refreshing focus on low-calorie, gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian selections, including an open faced sandwich served on freshly baked sourdough with honey balsamic mushroom, grilled eggplant, agro dolce mini pepper and spring fava bean puree. For appetizers, a tuna carpaccio served with a truffle brush was delicious, but the winner for me was the gourmet Black Angus burger served with tomato concasse, wild arugula, caramelized onion, and fries. For dessert it was the traditional Affogato using almond milk ice cream, coconut almond cookie and espresso- superb!

1.

To visit one of the most seen places on the big screen - the Hollywood sign. Also to potentially see some of your favourite actors of all times walking down the streets of LA. Explore hundreds of streets, shops and coffee places which will blow your mind!

2.

We were also able to indulge in some traditional Hollywood glamour, through an invitation to attend a magazine launch. LA’s finest turned out, red carpet, paparazzi, and enough silicone to seal a 100-story apartment block- a fantastic night.

Visit Universal Studios home to one of the largest movie sets, where you are allowed to see and touch some of the costumes.

3.

Experience Tinseltown glamour at TCL Chinese Theatre or the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which has honoured celebrities for over 50 years. Be dazzled by the lights, music and atmosphere of LA!

Being located across from Southern California’s premier fashion destination, the Beverley Center, meant that shopping was always a draw, and with the views of the Hollywood sign from our hotel and being minutes from the Boulevard, everything we wanted to do was within easy reach. Next stop, San Francisco.

to visit

Los Angeles

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December. recorded in 0mm ) °F 7 (2 ly 1 re of -3°C re, with on temperatu y is very ra it c e th in s. Snowfall inter month UATED? ble in the w nty of IT ra u u S o s C a IT e d n m IS a WHERE lly the ‘City RE? the San isco, officia GET THE ational ern end of h rt o n San Franc e DO YOU any intern st th o n m W o o -m O fr is d H n o ’, o c o c c is is the fly. the se Francis San Franc ickest way et to San ia. San u la. It is also g q u rn YC s o d To lif in n a n a e t C s P f 1h 20m, N the be state o Francisco stination, f the USA. city in the erica, LA is e o r n d m a d jo A c n a ri e in m e h rn d it m te gA from w populate in the wes h 35m usin dney is 13 Travelling is located Vegas is 1 Sy d n m a o fr Francisco m 0 e 2 m is 6h flight ti EL? e V e g A th ra R f e T ct flight. o v e a t U ir a e ULD YO ich is a d lines. Th stically th h ir ri O A w H te , c S ane s ra N te a u E h WH ters 5 Min ney, Brisb ate is c ist mild win ours and 4 s from Syd isco’s clim o h c ta m n n ir a ra e F Q th n r: f a S cool use o Carrie use of the mer’ beca Preferred ‘cool-sum ever, beca erate w p urne o o m H lb . te e rs s e M w mm and , this allo g n n a ri e u c and dry su D O . c n riatio f the Pacifi perature va rnia creates currents o a little tem lifo w a llo C a t in a hot air swings th ths, rising n om the o fr m s r d e in m w the sum t draws a th a ate, which re a G n sure e Golde th h g a low pres fog, u ro winds and ific High th ristic cool nge te North Pac c ra ra re a h tu c tempera e city’s m u im x a te creates th em re a win r an averag ver if you a e h w o but leaving H ). e to go wit (66-68 °F ry is the tim 4-16 °C a ru of 19-20°C b e F of 1 ecember ture range person, D m tempera record low u a im x n a e e m b average ere has th h g u o h – alt (57-60 °F)

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POPULATION: CURRENCY: OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: TIME ZONE:

825,863. American Dollar English PaciямБc Standard Time (PST) which is UTC/GMT -8 hours (and 19 hours behind Sydney)

SAN FRANCISCO SETTING THE SCENE

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Phil with Chris Silva

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For over four decades St. Francis has become renowned for elevating both the quality and style of Sonoma Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon.

N

o visit is complete to San Francisco without a drive north to indulge in an unforgettable experience of food and wine pairing at the prestigious St. Francis Winery and Vineyards in the heart of Sonoma Valley. For over four decades St. Francis has become renowned for elevating both the quality and style of Sonoma Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. Met by CEO and dear friend Chris Silva, we were treated to a V.I.P tour of the St. Francis winery and vineyards absorbing the delicate process of how, when and why wines come to be! Impressive is an under statement, so much precision goes into each and every stage you will be left truly amazed. Next we were ushered along with several special guests to the Tuscan styled main tasting rooms for a seasonally inspired menu and a selection of perfectly paired wines. Voted #1 Restaurant in America by Open Table Chef Jones prepared a Smoked Sonoma Duck breast accompanied with grilled radicchio and Asian pear parsnip, puree fried parsnip, green pe pepper corn sauce served with a 2012 old vines Zinfandel, infandel, unforgettable. unforgetta

s n o s aisit e R 3 to v Sanisco c Fran 1. Golden Gate Bridge Haven’t you ever wondered where that amazing bright red bridge was as shown in all of the box office movies? Now it is your turn to drive over it or see it with your very own eyes! Thousands of people drive over it everyday and now you can too! 2. Visit the infamous Alcatraz Island and the old abandoned prison. Seeing this abandoned prison is such an unforgettable experience, to see and wonder what really happened within those walls; who they were and what they had done? Take a trip down into a harsh period of time and explore. 3. Chinatown district - Get your inner Asian on! Become amazed with the amazing replica of the real China town!

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Cavallo Point Resort

Cavallo Point Resort

Cavallo Point Resort

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W our morning run under our belts, it was time to drive south With stopping off literally under the pillions of the Golden Gate Bridge, st vvisiting a sleepy little town called Sausalito. Cavallo Point Lodge is located on Fort Baker, a former U.S. Army post base active during lo the Second World War, which was an extraordinary reclaimed th parcel of land that has been given the ultimate make over. p This luxury lodge clearly falls into the retreat category showcasing impeccable historic accommodation - formerly officer’s residences, im a new batch of eco-friendly modern residence style accommodation, an exclusive spa retreat and gymnasium, spacious gardens ti aand stunning panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay. We dined at their signature restaurant Murray Circle under Executive Chef Justin Everett who highlighted refined modern Northern Californian cuisine. An exclusive art exhibition was on show, activities including bike riding and hiking, there seemed to be a very tranquil serenity in the air even though the military ambience still lingers proudly. Sailing on San Francisco Bay was definitely a stand out experience. Imagine for a moment flying at break-neck speed, sitting on top one of the world’s fastest Americas Cup sailboats. Well, I did it and lived to tell the story! After we boarded the USA 76 Captained by Brad Webb, we calmly sailed to the far end of the San Francisco Bay taking in the magnificent city skyline. Suddenly, as the sailboat turned the crew threw us a quick smile and we were off ! The entire boat turned on its side, and we were called to the grinders, water pouring in, it was all hands on deck. I now have a small taste of what the sailors on the ‘Sydney to Hobart’ race go through, with our heart pumping and a strong wind in our hair! The thrill of this ride cannot be explained, as we flew from one side of the bay to the other, circling the famed Alcatraz Island and navigating our way under the Gold Gate Bridge. Take it from me you must book in as soon as you arrive to San Francisco. It is breathtaking!

Alcatraz Island

ACsailingSF.com

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WELCOME FOUR SEASONS SAN FRANCISCO

Next it was time to drive throughout the Streets of San Francisco to visit the heart and soul to one of its signature flag ship properties, The Four Seasons located at 736 Market St. Strategically positioned in the thriving metropolis, surrounded by all the designer stores and brands, trams fi lled with tourists and city-siders you will feel spoilt for choice. Th is elegant contemporary property showcases luxurious accommodation, an impressive array of beauty and spa treatments, cafes an outstanding gymnasium facility. Located on the ground floor, you have the options of playing basketball or volleyball, swimming in the lap pool, running on the latest treadmill, cross trainer or working out on the latest hi-tec weights equipment. We dinned at MKT Restaurant located on the fift h-floor with stunning panoramic views of Market Street and Downtown. With an Apple Martini in hand from the urban-chic cocktail bar, we indulged in a culinary delight from Executive Chef Mark Richardson. Using only the freshest of ingredients from the local markets we enjoyed ultra-creative handcrafted plates of strawberry fi lled yellow tail, butter encrusted halibut, California white sea bass, brandt farm rib eye, slow cooked leg of lamb and Atlantic salmon with fava beans.

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With an early 6.00am wake up on another day, we leisurely walked down to the farmers’ markets located on at Pier 11, absorbing the waft ing aroma of freshly brewed coffee, croissants, amazing herb gardens and fish mongers setting up for the day. Dining locally has always been a highlight for us, so what better time to sample three of San Francisco’s best. First stop Scoma’s Seafood restaurant located down by Fisherman’s Wharf on Pier 47. General Manager Nick McGreevy warmly greeted us and shared the vision of Scoma’s Restaurant; originally a family operated business opened by brothers Al and Joe Scoma since 1965. For the next two hours we indulged in the famous Scoma’s crab cakes, BBQ garlic crab, shrimps followed by the pan-seared halibut with savory tapenade, fettuccini with smoked salmon and my favorite grilled lobster. What set this seafood establishment apart from its rivals are their uncompromising levels of quality acquiring the freshest seafood daily using with their own trailers. Enjoy! Our second restaurant saw us spending a few hours with Giovanni R. Zocca, the chef and owner of Pinocchio’s, a traditional Italian Trattoria located on 401 Columbus Ave. We nearly had to run for our lives as Giovanni kept bringing out dish after dish of his traditional flavours. His authentic homecooked Italian dishes included the linguini bolognaise, the spinach ravioli, egg plant parmigiana and delicious tiramisu and affogato. The friendly staff and ambience make this restaurant a stand out, enjoy and tell them Phil sent you. Lastly, it was Johns Grill located around the corner from Four Seasons at 63 Ellis Street in downtown. This well-known establishment opened in 1908, and since has been famous for the Maltese Falcon. With historic memorabilia framed on the walls of the restaurant with significant milestones of San Francisco and infamous celebrities, you feel as though you have stepped back in time. This traditional steak menu offers a classic cuisine featuring the medium rare T-bone and a crab Louis salad. If you are looking for a change of pace, this is definitely the place.

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The Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay Resort stayed true to form with a classic Hampton’s style ambience and modern contemporary interiors.

Mother’s Day Sunday morning and what would the day be without a token game of golf, so it was off to the famous Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay Resort located 30 minutes south of San Francisco. Our fi rst impression was a mirror image of the highlands of Turnberry Scotland, complete with a castle, razor sharp cliffs and two world-class golf courses. Our day was fi lled with many highs and lows combatting traditional gale force winds and waves crashing, however it wasn’t until the approach on the 18th hole, that with a trusty 7 iron to the green, I miraculously pitched it to within two feet of the pin a token par! What a shot, now I knew a return was imminent. As per reputation, The Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay Resort stayed true to form with a classic Hampton’s style ambience and modern contemporary interiors. With the winter breeze in full fl ight outside, the hotel was abuzz with Mothers Day celebrations and we found ourselves nestled in the warmth by the fireplace of restaurant Navio chatting with Executive Chef Kevin Tanaka, the day could not of been better. With a six-course degustation menu and wine parings to match, we enjoyed the house made smoked pumpkin ravioli, squid ink pasta, the Lobster bisque, Dungeness crab cakes, cast iron seafood bake and butter braised salmon. With our bellies full we decided to head outside to enjoy a soothing hot chocolate with marshmallow’s accompanied with a cuddly blanket. Sitting back on the terrace enjoying the open fire pit, the spectacular panoramic views, we knew we had experience something quiet remarkable.

Chef Tanaka

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With the early morning sun rising from the north we ventured back into San Francisco to marvel and stay at the newly refurbished Grand Hyatt in busy downtown located at 345 Stockton Street. This stylish urban contemporary property sits prominently on Union Square and features eye-catching pieces of art filled with an explosion of color, texture and 3 – D futuristic symbolism. Our room spacious with simple sophisticated décor has spectacular views of the intrinsic city and San Francisco Bay. General Manager Michael Jokovich and his friendly team encapsulate an authentic sense of pride that automatically makes you feel totally relaxed. Our evening was spent at their signature restaurant One Up a warm, comfortable gathering spot where you can enjoy wine, cocktails and tasty American bistro classics with a San Francisco twist. Executive Chef Kevin Villalovos sources local fresh produce and ingredients and combines traditional cooking methods with contemporary hearth ovens to craft each dish for you! His northern California flavours will blow you away! Canada and Alaska – here we come!

MIchael Jokovich and Chef Villalovos

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EF 24 - 70MM F/2.8L II USM THE ZOOM LENS THAT BRINGS YOUR CREATIVE HORIZONS CLOSER Taken on tour by Danielle Harte in Cavallo Point, San Francisco


CANADA & ALASKA

POPULATION: Capital City: CURRENCY: OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: TIME ZONE:

35,427,524 Ottawa Canadian Dollar (CAD) English and French Pacific Time Zone (UTC -8 hours), Mountain Time Zone (UTC – 5 hours), Central Time Zone (UTC – 6 hours), Eastern Time Zone (UTC -5 hours), Atlantic Time Zone (UTC – 4 hours), Newfoundland Time Zone (UTC -3.5 hours)

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CANADA MAJESTIC BEAUTY W

ith an early morning flight from San Francisco to Calgary, we couldn’t wait for our next adventure with an overnight stay at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Banff National Park – Alberta (see my review on page 150) and then boarding the luxurious award winning Rocky Mountaineer Train (see my review on page 152).

Snapshot of Can ada

WHERE IS IT SITUATED? Canada is situ ated on the to p northern bo America, a co rder of the U untry consistin nited States g of ten prov Canada at 9. of inces and thre 98 million sq e territories. uare meters, country by to is the world’s tal area and th second-larges e fourth-larges t t country by WHEN SHO land mass. ULD YOU T RAVEL? The weather varies across Canada - as southern part most Canadia s of the coun ns live in the try, they som temperatures etimes get th of the USA. Th e weather e subarctic or weather is te arctic in the no mperate in th e south to rth. The Canadia n summers av erage from 20 make sure yo - 30°C. If you u bring light cl love summer othing but also chillier days an s, a coat or swea d nights. If yo ter for those u have a family snow, or you’ who haven’t re a person w been to the ho loves the place to go! cold, wet snow Snow can ea , Canada is th sily start snow late April wee e ing as early as ks. Sometim October until es you can ge sure you dres the t days of belo s well for the w 0°C, so m inside and th ake e outside! HOW DO YO U GET THE RE? If you live or are visiting w ithin Americ the border an a you could d into Canad easily drive a, or if you ha get you to C past te long drives anada from an - fly. $700 w yw up to 5 – 8 ho here in Amer ill ica, whilst d urs+ depend riving will take ing on where To get to Can in America yo ada from an y internationa u are staying. and quickes l destination, t way is to fl y. The averag the best Canada com e flight time es to 19 hour from Sydney s and 50 min over and a la to utes - that in yover time. cludes a stop Preferred Car rier: Qantas - Vancouver

T HE THE

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haven’t our family eezing y r o u o y ! If , fr 1. Snow ced the amazingly e to go! us c x e r e experien anoth is is th , cold ice is a gara Falls ia N rfalls s ll a ra F iring wate p s n -i e 2. Niaga w three a Canada’s series of border of e th n o tes’ New situated nited Sta U e th d n d the Ontario a ften calle o is It . s e World’. York state pital of th a C n o o ‘Honeym in the - Located tional rk a P l a n Na Natio the Banff 3. Banff f Alberta, national o t e c rs fi in v pro nada’s a C ly n o ’s t Park is no o one of the nation rks. ls a ational pa n d e park, but it is v d most ry and largest an reathtaking scene b ry year The park’s many tourists eve w ay, wildlife dra ns-Canada Highw ra T ark. along the ugh the p ro th s e s s which pa

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The Fairmont Chate au La ke Louise lived up to our expectatio stole our last glimps ns, and we e of Lake Louise as we boarded the Rocky M on its flagship route ou ntaineer ‘First Passage to the West’, bound for Va travelled for two days nc ou ver. We past glacier-fed river s and lakes, and the ev spectacu lar scener y er-changing of the Coast, Colum bia and Rock y Mou the majestic Iron Se ntains. As rpent slithered away tra velling throughout our crew of Shino M the day, urozono, Yannick Ja nssens, Bernardo Ba Tracey Marts provid mberg and ed a surprising amou nt of relevant inform our journey, in parti ation about cular some insight in to the wide variety including spots for of wild life, the bears, eagles, elk and deer. The high were the Jaws of Deat lig hts for us h Gorge, Hell’s Gate and the Hoodoos, a and clay formed aft un ique rock er the end of the ice age. It is easy to see why this award winning, lu xurious train has sevent h World Trav received its el Award as ‘World ’s Leading Travel Ex Train’. As we said ou pe rience by r sad farewells on ou r approach into Vanc over whelmed with ou ve r, we felt our experience, and grateful for the large photos, newfound fri portfolio of ends and a sense that we’d just experienced quite extraordinary something .

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With our 80-day trip just hitting past the ha lf-way mark, we ventured into Va nc ouver, home to more th an two mi llion people and recently host to the 2010 Ol ym pic Ga mes. The Fa irmont Pacifi c Ri m Hotel, the mo st remarkable five star luxur y hotel in Va ncouver, locate d in the hear t of Coal Ha rbour wi th breathtak ing vie ws of the North Shore Mou ntains, Sta nley Pa rk, was to be ou r ret reat for the next few da ys (see my rev iew on page 156). It is sometimes the small things that ma ke th e big gest impact, and this is certainly the case here, with fused elements of both Asian and No rth America n cu ltu re and cascading waterfal ls at the entra nce, very Feng Shui. After checking into our fabulous co rner suite we fina lis ed all our meetings and dinner reservati ons then decided to hit the road for a 10 kilometer bike ride around Sta nle y park- just what the body needed!

Chef Darren Bro

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SI LVERSEA’S SIG NATU R E ST YLE ALL-INCLUSIVE LUXURY

YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO EXPERIENCE THE EXTRAORDINARY The world of Silversea. It is a world of European elegance and sophistication. All-inclusive, highly personalised and breathtaking in scope. With eight intimate ships, travelling to all seven continents, we can take you almost anywhere in the world exploring secluded, rarely seen harbours. Enjoy uncompromising service, exquisite dining and the company of welltravelled, international guests. Travel is the elixir of life at Silversea and every cruise is a voyage of discovery. Come explore the possibilities.

OUR ALL-INCLUSIVE LIFESTYLE Intimate ships from 296 to 540 guests All ocean-view suites, over 85% with private verandas Butler service for every suite, every guest Complimentary wine, Champagne and spirits In-suite bar with your beverage choices Open-seating restaurant with menu selections by Relais & Châteaux A choice of speciality restaurants Included gratuities

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POPULATION: CAPITAL CITY: CURRENCY: OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: TIME ZONE:

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735,132 Juneau US Dollar English, native (eskimo-Aleut and other native languages) Alaskan Time Zone (UTC -9 hours)

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ALASKA THE

WILD FRONTIER With our time in Vancouver drawing to a close, it was time to embark on our first maiden voyage on the high seas on The Silverseas cruises to a remote land where caribou outnumber people, and where glaciers and raging rivers rival towering mountains for sheer spectacle; Seward, Alaska.

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5 6 0 6 D? the ITUATE is situated in IS IT S h on the ic E g h R n w ri E , e WH S State ntinent - bord U t state a e is e larg s n co a th Alaska c ri ated is e a m k st A Alas is domin y m o n northwe kon, Canada. o c Yu s. nd its e state of USA by area a shing industrie fi e d th n a in s h a wit lg il, natura ? by the o climate RAVEL YOU T e arctic th D L to mers. U r O a SH ool sum uth is simil c , a rt k o s WHEN h la o ate in A rs and s west, s The clim very cold winte laska - north, r te A in , s w g with lon er varies acros r, the average C. With ° ath Howeve 6 to -52 The we utheast. e between -4 yer up and o s e th rang and ou la from ture can e sure y tempera peratures, mak nths can range some o m c m ll pa k mer those te tures sti ly! Sum ra e rm a p w m dress ose te ights. , with th cooler n 17-33°C es for those loth winter c

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Boarding the Silver Shadow was seamless, as the dock was positioned directly across from our hotel within walking distance. For the next eight days we would explore the ports of Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau, Skagway, the Hubbard Glacier and finally Seward, Anchorage (see my review on page 110). Disembarking the ship, it was off to the gangway to board the train, the Seaward Express, completely glass roofed bound for Anchorage. Our ride was a final picturesque reminder of this rugged last frontier, with moose grazing and a handful of glaciers framing our train’s dome, ensuring that our memories have been forever engrained with awe inspiring images of this remarkable land.

s n o s ea it

3 R to vis

a k s a Al 1. For the wildlife! Alaska’s largest island is home to the world’s largest bear species, with also rare bald eagles and elk. Imagine looking outside of your window and seeing one of those. 2. Awe inspiring scenery! Coming face to face with ice glaciers, you will listen to the noisy show and how it creaks, groans and showers around you. 3. Also for you shopaholics; tax free shopping!

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POPULATION: Capital City: CURRENCY: OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: TIME ZONE:

5,264,000 Lombardy Euro Italian, Spanish Central European Time (UTC/GMT +1 hour) which is 10 hours behind Sydney

WHERE IS IT SITUATED? Milan is situated in Italy and is the second most popular city. It is located in the north-western section of the Po Valley, approximately half-way between the river Po to the south and the first reliefs of the Alps with the great lakes (Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugarno) to the north, the Ticino river to the west and the Adda to the east. WHEN SHOULD YOU TRAVEL? Italy’s climate is predominantly Mediterranean: Alpine in the far north; hot and dry in the south. Winter in Milan is relatively mild but foggy, with average maximum temperatures ranging from 6-9 °C (43-48 °F), so don’t forget to bring your favorite winter jacket! Summer can be very humid with brief thunderstorms; average maximum temperatures range from 26-28 °C (79-83 °F).33°C, with those temperatures still pack some winter clothes for those cooler nights. HOW DO YOU GET THERE? To get to the Milan from any international destination, the best and quickest way is to fly. Preferred Carrier Qantas

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1 7 6 6 MILANO

PICTURE PERFECT

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o arrive in Milan, we had a four-hour train ride from Seward to Anchorage, a threehour flight from Anchorage to Seattle, a ten-hour flight from Seattle to London, a two-hour flight to Italy, and then a one and a half hour train trip into Milan - that’s some serious jet setting! From below freezing conditions to 30 degrees celsius, from scarfs, jackets and ear-muffs to pulling out the mambos, skirts, t-shirts and open shoes. Finally we had reached our desired destination in the Fashion Capital of the world, Milano.

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o n a l Mi

rdo Leona r. e l b i uppe incred e the The Last S e S 1. ci’s e da Vin e of th world r u t c e it is e arch t of th 2. Th dings is ou a Scala buil of L the a tour down (take ), walking little re Theat and finding e shops, s ffe street es and co ere for u th boutiq ave been h h c whi rs! 0 yea lways 5 r e v e is a it is o r e h t ife her nightl o do whet s e h T t b 3. thing or clu some nts, bars ! d e ra bor restau l never be il you w

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Our first accommodation was in the exclusive Park Hyatt located in the heart of Milan. See my review of this fabulous property on page 204. On the Saturday evening, little did we know that it was a public holiday and a rock concert of gigantic proportions was manifesting a mere 100 meters from the lobby, so of course we became engulfed in the swelling mosh pit with some 10,000 people singing and dancing to Italian pop! Oh, what a town! For the next two days we indulged in endless shopping, exploring the enchanting history and the medieval architecture, churches, cathedrals, and the magnificent traditional Milano style. When in Italy, no trip is complete without a journey to Lake Como, a small train ride to Bellagio. Shaped like an upside down ‘Y’, each branch of the lake holds a town: Como, Lecco and Colico. Bellagio is a medieval town adorned with 18th century villas, elegant gardens, shops, boutiques and restaurants. For lunch we dined at Restorante La Bilacus, which served us the world’s best Capresse and Linguine con Code di Gambero with wild king prawns. The fi nest of dining straight from its origins. Next, we took a two-hour boat ride from Bellagio down the Lake to Como, renowned for its old medieval churches. It became crystal clear why George Clooney moved here, as the scenery left us speechless. The picturesque beauty was synonymous to the serenity of an artist’s canvas – words cannot explain this magical setting. A short train ride back to Milan allowed us to ponder the day, not a lot said, just moments of content, silent reflection.

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For our last three nights in Milan, we stayed at the opulent Armani Hotel, a 95-guestroom property with each design element personally designed by fashion icon Giorgio Armani (see my review on page 346). Similar to the sister property in Dubai, Giorgio captures the true essence of elegance achieved through the synergies of a home collection, ranging from furniture to accessories, textiles and decorative objects blending together to form a sophisticated atmosphere. Milan is one of those infectious, spellbinding and mystical cities that, as night falls, you seem to start looking for excuses to stay a little longer. Enjoy! Now onto Monaco and Corsica – the home straight!

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Emiliano Balisconi & Alessandro Salvatico, Ristorante, Armani Hotel Milan

Late night selfie

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POPULATION: Capital City: CURRENCY: OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: TIME ZONE:

322,120 Ajaccio Euro French and Corsican Central European Time (CET) (UTC/GMT +1 hour) which is 10 hours behind Sydney

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? HERE GET T U O her by Y DO ay is eit ance w l a HOW ic m Fr t econo etween ith he mos with ferries b y, or flying w T a ? e D S E il n ir a T a a tia, d A e s r n g a U o a SIT ratin iterr io, B boat ica ope orts at Ajacc ir France E IS IT nd in the Med west of Italy, s r R o E C H A W d irp la and is an is main a d Calvi. on is locate , and north d Corsica to France. It orsica’s Bonifacio) an Paris and Ly ts n C la s in in a ta r m g n h m a in u h o e ig g c o fr fl (n n n l na hts ith m belo e Fre Figari und flig Figari. Seaso s, rdinia w , forming a st of th ro a a rS e a f th e o t y u so ep nd nte land has rts exc aux, Lille, Na f the isla alian is e all airpo of the It p two-thirds o stia or rd a to o B B u from urg to o te b a r rly from s e a making in. p tr o s regula light and S a ie h fl e ? c s L o u le E ls o g sin RAV rts. F Mulh nce a YOU T rices fall, the in airpo t should Air Fra a . D io m L c ’s c U ica bu Aja the p SHO r is to Cors n route unds WHEN ds disappear, x; Septembe ondon depending o red po e L d th n la w u g re h ro in y r y le ll r u a p a D n u v . fi The c o a ac costs Corsic eriod s locals re that fractiou t time to visit the busiest p f be mo t o n c o s fe . ed a tious Dubai. the per regard und trip ntas ery cau March is v a ro it Q e r : b r e summ I would ber to early d Carrie ear, so is can m Preferre - Nice of the y s. Mid-Nove t rain, and th sica s an or wd Emirate the cro some signific e next, as C s ee ion to th erature does s one reg e sea’. Temp e altitude, m o fr vary in th on th ne ountain ending is ‘a m iderably dep rsica enjoys fi s o n um vary co even winter C rage maxim (56e r, v e a v -14 °C n the howe een 13 ys whe a tw e d b y n sun rise to ratures ast. tempe co e on th 57 °F) 104 | CLASSIC LIFESTYLE

Mo n ac o

Harbo ur THE LIFE EDITION | 2015


France Italy

STAR FLYER

CORSICA EXCLUSIVELY YOURS

A

s we walked through to Monaco’s Marina, the h l d extreme t lth off thi sheer opulence and wealth this historical city simply takes your breath away.

Filled with a royal grandeur, luxury designer boats and a buzz still fresh in the air from the Formula One Grand Prix staged a few days ago, we happily strolled down to the docks for registration and boarded our Star Clipper Sailing boat, set for our 6-night adventure around Corsica (see my review of the Star Clipper on page 184). One of the standout features on the Star Clipper is that there are no rigid schedules. You are free to do as you wish with your days – and evenings. Each day you are given a detailed itinerary so you can plan accordingly, or simply laze onboard and take full advantage of sunbathing out by one of the pools, read a book, send emails in the library or sit leisurely at the bar and enjoy the view. Entertainment was always plentiful with local performers onboard to give

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passengers an authentic taste of the local music and arts.

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DAY 1 ILE ROUSSE – FIGARI BEACH This sleepy little town, bordered by shady trees, outdoor cafes and endless winding streets of adorable boutique shops, was divine. A rundown old railway track traced the outskirts, a group of old men were smiling openly as they enjoyed a relaxing game of Petanque, and a majestic white lighthouse stood proudly in the distance, guarding the treasure before us.

DAY 2 BONIFACIO We were awoken to the scuffle of guests running for their cameras and iPads to photograph the cascading chalky cliffs, the historical old castles and coastal ruins. The town of Bonafacio was intriguing with stories of sunken ships, lighthouses, cemeteries, coffee shops and natural beauty. We couldn’t wait to explore!

DAY 3 PORTO Porto offered up the pleasures of the seaside and the mountains all in one. Among its many attractions were picturesque houses built from local red stone, a Genoese tower set on top of a rock at the mouth of the Porto river, and bountiful Eucalyptus forests. It’s no wonder that this little resort attracts so many visitors.

DAY 4 PORQUEROLLES/ SANARY SUR MER Sailing through the night, we arrived at the French Riviera consisting of Porquerolles and Port Cros. These two beautiful islands are situated just

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off the coast near Toulon and Hyeres, not far from St Tropez. Despite their proximity to the French Riviera, they are far removed from the mass tourism of the mainland and are a mountain biker’s paradise. There are no built up resorts or cars, and even smoking is forbidden outside the village so as not to endanger the forest. Our second stop saw us embark on a small fishing village between Marseille and Toulon, Sanary Sur Mer. Among its attractions was a 13th century clock tower that had housed the Frederic Dumas diving museum (1913-1991), which worked closely with Jacques Cousteau. It was in Sanary Sur Mer that we elected to stroll the streets, sample the many French culinary eateries, admire local art exhibitions and do some last-minute shopping. As the time ticked over to 9:00pm, we boarded watching the sky turn an ultra shade of turquoise blue, with the Star Clipper in front of us lit up like a Christmas tree. It was if a canvas had been laid across the Mediterranean Sea.

DAY 5 ST TROPEZ Until 1958, Saint Tropez was just a quaint yet charming village; then came legendary power couple Brigitte Bardot and Roger Vadim, whose fame and glamour changed St Tropez beyond all recognition. The shopping here is as exclusive as the name, and though a touch on the expensive-side, you can fi nd bargains if you really look. A great place fi lled with a friendly culture, historical churches and charming patisseries.

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Phil and Star Clipper Founder Mikael Krafft

That evening we were spoilt as everyone joined an enchanting evening at the Captain’s table, reminiscing over the highlights from the past couple of days and our planned journey home.

DAY 6 CANNES As the temperature soared to 36 °C, it was as hot as hell and it wasn’t even the peak of summer! With a Norwegian Cruise liner parked beside us with over 6,000 passengers off loading, we quickly made our way across to pound the pavement and explore the city renowned for the infamous Cannes Film Festival. With our radar on the lookout for a few celebrities, we strolled for a few hours. We stopped at the nearest Italian eatery for lunch and had a leisurely glass of wine and spaghetti Bolognese. Unfortunately, Cannes didn’t reach the dizzy heights of glamour that we had expected, and it seemed a little overcrowded and tired. The mystique was hard to find, but perhaps in hindsight we’d come to appreciate the more secluded towns we’d visited prior, with little and no fuss. Or maybe we had hit a wall on our epic 80-day trip. Our last evening, however, was memorably uplifting as we wined, dined and danced under the stars with our new mates, and no doubt lifetime friends.

our trip on the Star Clipper so special was undoubtedly the people we met along the way, and the kindness and hospitality shown throughout by Captain Mariusz Szalek and the entire staff. With our leisurely transfer from Monaco to Nice skirting the coastline, we pondered on all those romantic movie scenes that would have chosen this exact same route. The luxurious surroundings, the intimate beaches, the exclusive boutique villas sitting high on the hill tops; Monaco will always be remembered for its uncompromising splendour. Unfortunately, there are no flights out of Monaco, only from Nice, so we spent a day just catching up on emails and collating the thousands of images that made up this journey of a lifetime. We did, however, manage to visit the fresh farmers’ markets and locate a local pub to watch the Aussie Rugby boys thrash the French in a Rugby Test Match. Bitter sweet, especially p y seeingg we were in France!

alek

ain Mariusz Sz

Phil and Capt

DAY 7 MONACO - NICE As we enjoyed our last croissant at breakfast overlooking the golden sunset of the Monaco Harbour, there was a mixed bag of emotions, as we knew we had just experienced something extraordinary. What made

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Dennis Bedard, Phil and Michael Stephens

e m o ay H g 80 d n r i u d o f ht to Hea leg o a flig

st n th our la on us wi ct flight o y l l a p e u r i Fin s d ey wa d then a nd . n jo urn a i bou , a w b o u was r h 80) D ment Heat 3 h s A i ( l F2 sn’ t comp the Q of ac now it wa uld e s n o ep se on us. I k ogg w ss to F A de s n a o e il cce t up ay Ph had no a t. thrus w e th e d b oa h n y l a s t l a c i exa ia ra lled, the trave avelling v d, of u e o v r a h tr of hp only om e e bot flying r we wer t to visit s s in the u n ve Howe t we set o destinatio , and e a e h e fram y carryfact t st exclusiv m i t l d o ecifie ly with on the m p s a in ing world so surpris id our we d d by ge. e a r i g p g s u u on -l e n in n’t yo e o b D e . I FE leap you ’v o ur L So if , take the y e k ta al journ ’s time to t i e? think ng voyag gi chan

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ey n d y S ia d n I i Duba cisco n a r F an S s e l nge A s o lan L i M ska a l A ver u o c n a -V ai b u D ca ere! h e - Corsi r e u wh o Wish y

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SILVER SHADOW IS GOLD

IS GOLD WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

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SILVER SHADOW IS GOLD

This is what Earth must have looked like before the human footprint. Immense forests as far as the eye can see. Glaciers advancing and retreating in an endless cycle of rebirth. An ice-age wilderness, bigger, bolder and more beautiful than you can imagine. Diamondblue icebergs, rushing mountain streams, waterfalls and flowers of every colour. Alaska’s Inside Passage – we were about to tick a big item off our bucket list.

Discovering Alaska’s Inside Passage has been on our list for such a long time, but we weren’t what you’d call a ‘cruise-holiday’ couple. We long remained conscious of the old saying that cruising is for the ‘newly-wed and over-fed. Along with the prospect of living ‘cheek by jowl’ with 3000 other holidaymakers, and standing in endless queues for the buffet, we had deemed this vacation genre big turn-off. But we had heard only good reports about the boutique Silversea Cruises and their award-winning, all-suite luxury and trademark intimate ambience. It sounded like we had found the perfect way to see the Inside Passage. On boarding in Vancouver, we were astounded with the 186-metre, 28,000ton beauty called Silver Shadow, which was our home for the next six nights. The Alaskan portion of the Inside Passage extends 800 kilometres from north to south and 160 kilometres from east to west. The area encompasses 1,000 islands, 24,000 kilometres of shoreline and thousands of coves and bays. We couldn’t wait to get started.

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The Captain, Cruise Director and Executive Chef greeted us when we boarded. Following a champagne check-in process, we were taken to our suite, where our own personal butler greeted us. The accommodation onboard is everything you would expect from a 5-star hotel: a sumptuous bed, comfortable living area and a full-size bath with separate shower. Our private balcony was framed with floor to ceiling windows, which framed a sea of China-blue as we steamed out of Vancouver harbour, bound for Alaska. Once we had settled into our suite, we headed out to explore the ship’s facilities. The gym was surprisingly well equipped, complete with a running track and a fabulous spa. When we returned to our suite, we were delighted to see that our butler had run us a hot bubble bath and left a chilled bottle of champagne with our invitation to dinner at 7:30pm (outlining the dress required), along with a checklist for the next day’s activities. Thirty minutes before dinner, our doorbell rang, and in walked our butler with a tray of canapés and a cocktail made with my usual cranberry juice. What a civilised way to start the evening.

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SILVER SHADOW IS GOLD

The native legacy of Ketchikan On the second day, Silver Shadow stopped at our first port of call, Ketchikan Alaska. Ketchikan is famous for its colourful totem poles, rainy skies, steep streets and lush island settings – it is a favourite stop for travellers. Some 14,000 people call it home, and during summer, cruise ships crowd its shorelines, floatplanes depart for Misty Fjords National Monument, and commercial fishing boats, laden with salmon, head home to Tongass Narrows. Each day we chose an activity, one of which was a mountain bike ride around the island. Rich, verdant scenery made many irresistible opportunities for Dani to bring out her new Canon DX1. We can confirm the terrain is steep; after 20 kilometres, it was all over for us and we headed back to the ship for lunch. At 4:00pm, every one was back onboard and we headed for Juneau, Alaska’s capital city.

Close encounter with nature at Juneau On Day Three we woke with the incredible Mount Juneau fi lling our vista. Juneau is located on the Gastineau Channel in the Alaskan panhandle and is the second largest city in the United States by area. It is extremely reliant on tourism and has a huge fishing community, salmon being the featured catch, of course, which made it an easy choice for lunch. The majority of the population works in the city, but everyone has a hand in the tourist trade. Well set-up for tourists, it is not unusual to see six ships at once converge on Juneau with thousands of shopaholics onboard; this is the town’s life-blood for seven months of the year. Our day was spent out on the channel onboard a patrol-style boat. With Canon in hand, we searched for the local Humpback whales, whose performance of flipping and rolling rendered the term “’trigger happy’ an understatement. We then came across a pack of sea lions and a bonus Bald Eagle – the area was like a nature park offering up a multitude of National Geographic trophy shots. After we headed back to the ship, we decided to take a late lunch by the pool, and although the afternoon sun was beating down onto the deck, we drank in the snowcapped mountains and glaciers. With my Mambos on by the pool, and as the ship headed north to Skagway, we enjoyed our lunch of a medium-rare salmon and a Caesar salad. Dinner tonight that night was at the grill. I love cooking, so we looked forward to the Hot Rocks menu of cook-it-yourself eye fi llet and huge Madagascar prawns. Having a personal barbeque was perfect, and I ordered a few extras of garlic, onion and fresh chili. With a squeeze of lemon, some Balsamic, a generous knob of butter and cracked pepper, dinner was ready and cooked exactly how we like it! After such a fantastic day out on the water, we were keen for a quiet night. We decided to watch a movie in our suite after dinner. Our butler brought hot chocolate to the room and confirmed our raft ing expedition for the next day in Skagway.

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SILVER SHADOW IS GOLD

Glacial river rafting at Skagway

The charming village of Sitka

Our fourth day started at 6:30am, as we awoke with a picturesque view of snowcapped mountains and two other ships docking. We had to be dockside by 8:00am, ready for a three-mile hike along the Chilkoot Trail to get to our raft waiting at a tidal estuary. The Chilkoot Trail is one of two main routes to the Klondike that originate in this area. Long before the gold rush in the late 1800s, the trail was established by Tlingit people as a trade route into the interior of Canada. It is an incredible area. While we were raft ing, we marveled at the granite walls lining the fjord that rose up steeply, becoming snowcapped peaks serrated by hanging glaciers. We sat and enjoyed a coffee while watching eagles and seals patrol the mouth of the river for salmon. After we hauled the raft from the icy cold river and loaded the gear into the van to head back to the ship, we had a real sense of achievement that we had experienced raft ing down glacial rivers in Alaska!

Day Five gave us a ‘lazy day’ opportunity to stroll around Sitka as our last real stop before anchorage. Sitka is the only town in Southeast Alaska that faces the Gulf of Alaska head-on, and there are many buildings in this area that remind us that it was ruled by Russia from the early 1800s to 1867. More recently, Sitka was the backdrop for the 2009 movie, The Proposal, starring Sandra Bullock. This quaint little fishing village resembled a true movie set. The main street featured beautifully restored old churches, gift shops, cafes and local identities who welcomed the new influx of tourists. During the day, six ships had converged on this little village and, as this is the start of the summer season, all the locals were out ready to turn on the charm and show off the pride of Alaska.

For dinner, we were invited to join the Captain of the Silver Shadow, Alessandro Zanello, and it was a very pleasant surprise to find he is an Australian-Italian and to hear about his time onboard. We were joined by four other guests, and the night was highlighted by a specially prepared menu by the Executive Chef. After dinner, we were invited to the showroom where we enjoyed a remarkable operatic performance by the Silversea performers. The very talented group of six wrapped the night up perfectly with their version of ‘The Prayer’, which received a standing ovation. After a day that we’d had, it was hard to just retreat to the room, so we walked along Deck 8 to capture a view of the rugged snowcapped peaks and glaciers, which were reflected in the glass-like water. It was hard to comprehend that it was 10:00pm and the sun was still streaming across the Pacific.

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This day gave us the chance to make sense of where we were and to fully appreciate the privilege of being here. The significance of global warming is fully realised when one is immersed in the majesty of the environment – to actually see it, breathe it, to raft and hike in it – which creates a certainty that this is the most intoxicating land on earth. Back onboard, we were in great anticipation for our dinner booked at Le Champagne, the only Relais & Châteaux restaurant at sea. We were to be joining a small group of only 28 guests to dine there that night. On offer was an extraordinary six-course dining experience complemented with wine from the world’s most distinguished wine regions. The regionally inspired dishes were first rate, the service was exceptional and the mood memorable. Our dinner started with a selection of beautifully presented hors d’oeurvres: porcini cappuccino, King Scallop, lobster medallion and foie gras cones. This was followed by a cold entrée choice of red tuna carpaccio, marbled foie gras terrine, lobster salad or oscietra caviar. A choice of hot entrée followed with pan-fried rougie foie gras, grilled King

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SILVER SHADOW IS GOLD

Scallops, dover sole or lobster tail with truffle essence. We could then choose from two spectacular main course options of rack of New Zealand lamb or breast of forest pigeon with artichoke and truffle ragout. A choice of desserts followed: soufflé au Grand Mariner Centenaire or Suzette a ma facon, finally finishing with a decadent trilogy of Valrhona chocolate.

The breathtaking Hubbard Glacier On Day Six, we awoke at 7:00am to the noise of passengers scrambling to the top deck. There had been much anticipation throughout the ship the previous night as we all knew we would see, for the first time, the famous Hubbard Glacier in the morning. We joined the other passengers on the top deck and there it was. At near freezing temperatures, the impressive sight mesmerized all 190 passengers who were located on the various decks around the ship, oblivious to the cold. Cameras were working overtime, as no one wanted to miss a single vision of this unbelievable natural creation – we were all totally spellbound. It takes about 400 years for ice to traverse the length of the glacier, meaning that the ice at the foot of the glacier is about 400 years old. Where the glacier meets the shore, most of the ice is below the waterline, and newly carved icebergs can shoot up quite dramatically, so that ships must keep their distance as they ply their way up and down the coast. The glacier carved off an iceberg the size of a ten-story building right before our very eyes, and with booming sound like canons firing, sheets of glacier ice, some 100 meters high, sheared off into the sea. As the ship departed the Hubbard Glacier, and guests left the various vantage points around the ship, it felt like the last few hours had taken only moments.

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The Silversea farewell party was scheduled for later that afternoon, so we had some time to visit the gym and work off some of the calories from our dining extravaganzas. The Grand Finale was as expected, thoughtful and moving, with all crew members (300) and the entire guest list (190) together for the first time. A montage of images and memories were played across multiple screens, at the same time serenading us with Bocelli. Before we knew it, we were sitting at our usual table enjoying the last supper. We ate together in the absence of major conversation, enjoying the unspoken knowledge that again we had experienced a life-changing time together.

Time to depart Our day of departure started at 6:00am, as our ship had made its way into Seaward Harbour. Showered and packed, we then enjoyed our last breakfast onboard. It was with reluctance that we left our beautiful suite. Within 50 meters of the gangway was the Luxury Dome Top Train, which transported us four hours to the airport. We felt like school kids heading home from camp as we settled in on the train, some still catching the postcard scenery, seeking a shot of a wild mousse or burly grizzly bear. One wouldn’t expect anything less from nature’s own backyard. The entire product from start to finish was first-class and for those of you, not unlike me, who have shied away from cruises and the masses, check out www.silversea.com and let a whole new world of luxury adventure open up.

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AWITHDOUBLE LIFE GUY SEBASTIAN F

or a long time music has been my number 1 passion and has been all consuming. A few years ago I needed to find something that provided an escape from all things aural. It was then that I started to make room for some visual stimulation and appreciation. I was immediately captivated by how one scene can be perceived in so many ways depending on how you capture it. Sometimes the most mundane and bromidic subject can be brought to life simply by looking at it from a different angle. I love to shop. That obsession became dangerous as I began to discover different lenses and how one lens can give you a totally different emotion from the next. Take a 85mm fixed portrait lens for half a day and then stick on a 16-35mm or even a fish eye and you feel like you’ve visited two worlds in the same day. After loading up on different lenses, filters, tripods etc I began to take it a little more seriously and found myself taking my digital SLR (Canon 5D) everywhere I went. I embarked on a tour in 2013 and played over 50 shows from Sydney to Wagga, to Kununurra, to Mildura and Hobart not to mention trips to Europe and the Middle East. Being on the road is great for taking in your surroundings. Although it does get annoying for my wife and the rest of the band when I want to stop every 10 minutes to take multiple exposure shots on a tripod. I mixed up my shooting by doing a lot of landscape and also portraits of people I met on my travels. For landscape I used mainly zoom lenses in particular the 24-70mm L-Series Canon lens. The images range from arid landscapes in Darwin to snow covered Alps in Fßssen just south of Munich. Portraits range from tattoo covered Times Square resident buskers to displaced elderly gypsies in Madrid. For these portraits I love the prime lenses like the 50mm 1.2 or the 85mm 1.2 from the Canon L-Series range. Its hard to take a bad shot with those lenses. It amazed me how many similarities there are in writing music and capturing images. Sometimes you have to write 10 songs before you write one good one and it can be extremely laborious. Other times you write a cracking song with little or no effort at all. I found the same thing applies with photography. I would wake up at 3am to hike and get to a spot where I was confident I would get a great sunrise shot. After that effort you would sometimes end up with an uninteresting image. Then on the way back to my hotel I might see some old railway tracks and take a really thought provoking image. I continue to embrace the challenges of photography and I love that I have been able to sell prints and donate all of the money raised to my foundation, The Sebastian Foundation.


GUY SEBASTIAN

GUY SEBASTIAN The only Australian m artist to have ever male achieved six number one singles and two number one albums in chart history.

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GUY SEBASTIAN

G

uy was born in Malaysia in 1981 and moved with his family to Melbourne, Australia at the age of 6. After turning 10 his family moved to Adelaide, which they were to call home for all of Guy’s teenage years. Guy’s interest in music started at a young age, taping his favourite songs from the age of four. It was at the age of 14 that Guy started singing. Over the course of his career Guy has received 17 ARIA Award Nominations including Single of the Year, Best Male Artist and Best Pop Artist, and won the ARIA Award for Highest Selling Single for Angels Brought Me Here and Who’s That Girl. Altogether, Guy has released 11 top ten singles, and three other top 15 singles. Six of those singles have achieved multi-platinum certification, including the 8x platinum Battle Scars. With 42 platinum, three gold certifications and combined album and single sales over 3 million in Australia, Guy has one of Australia’s best success stories. And in August 2013, Battle Scars went Platinum in the US, with Guy being one of the few artists in Australian music history to achieve this. In 2003, Guy became the first Australian Idol winner, capturing the hearts of Australians with his uniqueness and incredible vocal talent. His first solo single Angels Brought Me Here debuted at Number 1 and was the fastest selling Australian single in ARIA chart history. The smash hit single also reached Number 1 in New Zealand and four Asian countries, and he was subsequently invited to sing as a guest at American Idol in 2004, proving Guy is a world class talent. His debut album Just As I Am once again dominated with record breaking sales. The success carried effortlessly into his second album, Beautiful Life, where Guy took more control of his craft, giving audiences a clearer perspective on his work without the weight of Australian Idol in his shoulders. Beautiful Life went Double Platinum earning him another Number 1 single Out With My Baby, which also scored him a 2005 MTV AVMA for Best Pop Video. A sell-out live tour showed the country he was more than just an as-seen-on-TV star with big hair - he was a genuine musician who oozed talent. Having sold a staggering half a million records, Guy released his third album Closer To The Sun in September 2006. The album has to date reached platinum status and continues to sell strongly with three singles having been released. In 2007 Guy won the publicly voted Fave Aussie gong at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards in Sydney for the third consecutive year. Guy also partnered with Sarah Ryan, three-time Australian Olympic swimmer on the Seven Network program It Takes Two. In May 2007, Guy performed with a 60 piece Australian Philharmonic Orchestra for three special shows at the Sydney Opera and Hammer Hall, Melbourne. All of these shows were sold out. Also in 2007, Guy recorded his fourth studio album in Memphis, TN entitled The Memphis Album, which is a collection of the greatest soul songs ever to come out of the Stax Records label. For the recording sessions he assembled many of the musicians who wrote and played on some of the original tracks, including some of the greatest musicians of all time including Steve Cropper and Donald “Duck” Dunn. The Memphis Album was released in November 2007 and sold more than Double Platinum, taking Guy back to the top of the charts. In March 2008 the entire Memphis band joined Guy on his national Australian tour. The tour was met with critical acclaim and was nominated at the Helpman Awards for ‘Best Tour and Live Performance’. In October 2008 The Memphis Album became Guy’s third album to be nominated for the Highest Selling Album category at the prestigious ARIA Awards. In early 2007 Guy also wrote and recorded the official song for the World Youth Day 2008 which he performed on 20th July 2008 before the papal address to a live audience of 500,000 and a television audience of an estimated two billion.

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In October 2008 Guy was nominated for and won two Australian Club Industry awards including the prestigious ‘Outstanding Performer of the Year’. In 2008/2009 Guy moved to the US to record his 5th studio album. He spent time in Los Angeles recording tracks for the album with John Mayer, whose legendary guitar playing features on four songs. The remainder of the album was recorded in New York. In August 2009 the title track of the album Like It Like That was released and went straight to the top of the National Airplay and ARIA charts giving Guy his 4th #1 single. The song was picked up by NBC in the US as the theme song to their national summer roll out campaign. Channel Seven also picked up the song to front their summer roll out across Australia helping take the track to the highest selling Australian song on iTunes in 2009. Guy’s fifth studio album Like It like It That was released in November 2009 to critical acclaim, with the album going platinum and the title track Like it Like That going triple platinum. In 2010 he toured the US and Australia, worked as a judge on Channel 7’s hit television show The X Factor, and also received six ARIA nominations at the 2010 ARIA Awards. In November 2010 Guy released a retrospective ‘greatest hits’ package called Twenty Ten. The single Who’s That Girl featuring Eve and the album both went straight to the top of the ARIA and National Airplay charts and within four weeks had both reached Platinum sales. Twenty Ten was Guy’s sixth consecutive Platinum selling album. In 2011 and 2012 Guy continued with the judging team on the highest rating show The X Factor. In doing this he showed Australia what a fantastic mentor he is, with contestants Reece Mastin from his team in 2011 winning and Samantha Jade from his team in 2012 also winning the title. Apart from the success of The X Factor, 2012 was a huge year for Guy in many other ways. He and wife Jules welcomed their first son Hudson in March, which was almost immediately followed by the national sold out Armageddon tour. Guy’s 7th album, also entitled Armageddon was released in October and featured four hugely successful singles: Don’t Worry Be Happy, Gold, Battle Scars (featuring Lupe Fiasco) and Get Along. Don’t Worry Be Happy reached number five on the ARIA charts and 4x platinum status, Gold reached number ten and gold status, Battle Scars debuted at number 1 and reached 6x platinum status and is Guy’s sixth Number 1 song in Australia. It also reached number 2 in New Zealand and double platinum status there as well as number 6 in Norway. Battle Scars also spent 20 weeks on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, also achieving platinum certification. Guy performed the song live for the first time with Lupe Fiasco on The X Factor. He then performed the song in New York on The Late Show with David Letterman on 27 September, 2012, and again in early 2013 with Lupe on both Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Conan. Battle Scars was used in the US promotion for the movie Red Dawn and on release peaked at number one on the Billboard Rhythm Charts. Subsequently Battle Scars won the R&B/Hip-Hop category in the International Songwriting Competition, and Get Along won an Honorable Mention. Battle Scars was also used in the official trailer for the move The Butler and reached platinum sales in the US in August 2013, seeing Guy join the small group of Australian musicians to have achieved this level of sales in the US. Get Along was again used in Tony Abbot’s address to the United Nations in 2013. 2013 saw Guy‘s national Get Along Tour sell out across all 47 show dates in all markets across Australia, running from March until the end of June. Guy has spent the majority of 2013 between Sydney and Los Angeles writing his 8th studio album, with the highly anticipated release to occur in early 2014. December of this year will see Guy open for Taylor Swift on the Australian leg of her 2013 world tour, ‘The Red Tour’, featuring 6 sold out stadium concerts across Australia’s major metropolitan cities. Aside from his music, Guy enjoys a reputation as a person of the highest moral values and integrity. He is an official ambassador for The Red Cross and World Vision, and also supports the Royal Children’s Hospital, Sydney and The Royal Melbourne hospital.

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Park Hyatt Dubai


TAKE ME BACK G’DAY DUBAI 2014 WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

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TAKE ME BACK G’DAY DUBAI

QUINTESSENTIAL AUSSIE

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TAKE ME BACK G’DAY DUBAI

Back in 2008, overlooking the iconic Burj Al Arab, Harte International staged its first ever G’day Dubai event on the gardens of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. The balmy evening rests deep in my memory, as does the event’s unforgettable soundtrack of legendary rock star Jon Stevens rocking his favourite INXS tunes, which rippled across a crowd of 3,000 excited Australian expats. Jacobs Creek, our sponsor of the evening, had the bars flowing with wines, and the multiple food stations were small bounties of quintessentially Australian barbecued produce. It was an exceptional night to celebrate everything Australian!

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TAKE ME BACK G’DAY DUBAI

QANTAS AT THE MONTGOMERIE

Six years on and with the support of Qantas, The Australian Business Council and the Park Hyatt Dubai, I invited Jon Stevens back to Dubai to help re-ignite that Aussie passion. My close mate, DJ and entertainer Danny Fai Fai and Australian Idol superstar Guy Sebastian also flew in and joined us for an unforgettable weekend of Aussie entertainment.

THURSDAY 23RD JANUARY The schedule was jam-packed with Harte International hosting a Qantas Classic Golf day at the Montgomerie Golf Club, with an early morning shotgun start featuring a 2-man Ambrose format. The players, who were corporates, sponsors and friends, enjoyed an eventful day of golf followed by a luncheon, rewarding all of the players on the day.

FRIDAY 24TH JANUARY Known as the ‘Holy Day’ in Dubai, it was the perfect time to invite 1,500 Aussie families, sponsors, and Dubai locals to the newly opened Zero Gravity Beach Club to celebrate everything Australian. Zero Gravity, owned by Dubai’s Crown Prince Hamdan, is situated right next to his own sky diving field. Gold Olympic Volleyball champion Natalie Cook arrived overnight to the excitement of hundreds of kids waiting on the beach, balls in hand for their exclusive one-on-one beach volleyball challenge. The Classic Aussie Barbecue really made the desired impression with the support of the Australian Meat Board and their local celebrity chefs. There were 25 Webbers (portable barbecues) fi red up on the day, along with ABC gift bags, face painting, and surfi ng lessons being given to the kids.

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Sound check at 11.00am ended up a free-for-all as Danny and Guy collaborated a duet with award-winning song Battle Scars. The look on the children’s faces was priceless. After the National Anthem special guests ‘The Tap Dogs’ staged a spectacular show for our opening act. With the crowds of Aussie families assembled at the stage, kicking back on the bean bags, feasting on either a traditional meat pie or sausage roll, we were all for the next few hours taken back to the comforts of home, our National Australia Day. With Jon belting out his signature INXS songs, and our Australian Ambassador Pablo Kang joining us wearing colourful boardies and a Wallaby’s jersey, along with son Jackson celebrating his birthday, Australia Day in Dubai couldn’t have been any better.

SATURDAY 25TH JANUARY At 6.00am, it was all hands on deck for the final touches of the Qantas Gala Evening Australia Day Finale at the luxurious Park Hyatt Creekside. A stage was strategically placed in the courtyard with a massive 20 x 15 metre Australian flag as our backdrop, food and bar stations set up along the fringes, and fireworks were manned on the barge out on the water’s edge. The evening overall was a huge success, with over 200 guests enjoying a plethora of activities. We were entertained by Olympic Volleyball champion Natalie Cook, who greeted everyone on the red carpet with her wicked sense of humor. Ambassador Pablo Kang delighted us with a welcoming speech, followed by an amazing guitar rendition of the Australian Anthem. With guests enjoying a charity auction, authentic Australian cuisine, and a collaboration of Danny, Guy and Jon rocking out Australian classics like AC/DC, Whispering Jack and Waltzing Matilda, this proved to be a night I would remember for a lifetime!

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G’DAY DUBAI

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G’DAY DUBAI

Natalie Cook with the Holt Family

Guy Sebastian with George and Henry Garnett

Guy and the Garnett Family

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The quickest airport exit you’ll ever make.

THE ADRENALINE COLLECTION You can now rent a Porsche Boxster or a Porsche Cayman from our Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airport locations. Yes, you read that last line correctly. No, it’s not a misprint. 5ǒȭǒDŽƫƔDŽŔȭªDŽŁȭȒŔDŽȲȭǒDŽŔȭǒŰȭ5ŔȒƻªDŽɢȎȚȭűȭDŽŔȚȲȭȲɛǒȭȚŔªȲŔȒȭȚǭǒȒȲȚȭĬªȒȚĻȭġŔŰǒȒŔȭɛŔȭĬǒƻŔȭȲǒȭǒɆȒȭȚŔDŽȚŔȚǷ

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Vikki’s passion for resort wear began in her younger years, when she was given the opportunity to travel the world with her parents. The sights and sounds of different cultures and places inspired her taste for travel, and eventually, her desire to create beautiful, wearable resort wear. Born in Sydney and one of eight children, Vikki’s early travel experiences with her family led her to enroll in a Swiss Hotel Management School in Leysin, Switzerland, soon after leaving school. After graduating four years later, Vikki headed to a warmer climate and began work at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Hawaii. Before too long, Vikki was to trade in the sea breeze and Hawaiian music for the bright lights of New York City. First taking up a position at the Loews Regency Hotel on Park Avenue, Vikki stayed for three years before accepting a role at New York’s oldest and finest hotel, the Plaza Hotel, working for Donald Trump. After nine years taking care of guests in the ‘city that never sleeps’, Vikki decided it was time to take a hiatus and head offshore. The next eight years were spent

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aboard Cunards renowned Queen Elizabeth 2, travelling the world as Cruise Sales Manager. It was during this time, crisscrossing the globe, visiting some of the most exotic locations on earth, Vikki dreamt of designing a beautiful resort wear collection. From the beaches of the Maldives, Cote d’Azur and bustling streets of Mumbai, to safaris in Africa, Vikki was to learn the techniques, and discover the patterns and culture-reflective colours that would inspire her designs. Soon her holiday signature collection was formed. A collection inspired by old world designs and transformed into spectacular pieces for today’s modern market, seamlessly blending eastern and western elements. Vikki Australia was launched in 2014 and is based in Australia. Vikki manufactures and sources her fabric from all over the world. Her aim is to provide gorgeous resort wear, at affordable prices and in an array of sizes. She believes that everybody deserves to look and feel beautiful on holidays. Vikki lives with her partner and 10-year-old son in sunny Queensland, Australia.

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HAMILTON ISLAND THE JEWEL OF THE WHITSUNDAYS

HAMILTON ISLAND THE JEWEL OF THE WHITSUNDAYS Ever dream of going to a tropical island, where your every ‘five-star’ desire is catered for? Where big blue skies, azure water and white beaches are located next to one of the world’s greatest natural wonders? Where you can have the best food, served up by world-class chefs, and sip cocktails by infinity pools and order wine selected by internationally trained sommeliers? Sounds like paradise? Trust me, it is. WORDS BY RAE BLAIR

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HAMILTON ISLAND THE JEWEL OF THE WHITSUNDAYS

Located in the Coral Sea off the coast of Northern Queensland, this five-square kilometer island is the gateway to the stunning Whitsunday Islands and borders the Great Barrier Reef. Tourism to the island was initially opened up in the early 1980s, inspired by the brave vision of Keith Williams, who drove the construction of a commercial airport, harbour and resort. Robert Oatley AO and his family purchased the island in 2003, and embarked on a significant investment program to develop new infrastructure and refurbish existing facilities. Building on the foundations established by Keith Williams, the Oatley family has created a world-class tourist destination offering leisure, lifestyle, adventure and escape in a desirable region of incredible natural beauty. I caught up with Glenn Bourke, Hamilton Island Chief Executive Officer. Bourke was appointed to this role in 2008. “Prior to this role, I worked for seven years in Europe where I acted as Chief Executive of the Volvo Ocean Race, the world’s premier ocean yacht race. I was also the CEO of Illbruck Challenge, the winning syndicate of the Volvo Ocean Race 2001-2002,” recalls Bourke. “I also worked for the Sydney Organising Committee in the lead up to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, as Competition and Venue Manager for Sailing and later as Precinct Manager for Sydney East. At the time I received a call from Hamilton Island Enterprises

Chairman, Sandy Oatley, I was travelling 265 days a year, and I had reached a point where I constantly had the flu. I was intrigued by Sandy’s request ‘for a chat’.” The Oatley family flew Bourke to Hamilton Island, where he was able to see first-hand the opportunity for the island. He quickly embraced the family’s vision as his own, believing in the island’s potential to be a truly world-class destination, one that offers something for everyone. “The island offers accommodation at all levels from three-star to five-star, from ‘kid-friendly’ to ‘no-kids’,” said Bourke. “The island accommodates between 1,500 and 2,000 guests every day and last year experienced its best occupancy level ever.” Recent developments on the island, including the Hamilton Island Yacht Club and Hamilton Island Golf Club – brand new, first-class facilities available to the island’s guests and visitors – are driving demand. “The golf course provides an added value for guests, and the Yacht Club opens up business tourism opportunities, enabling conferences and other business events to be held on the island,” said Bourke. “Also, the investment of more than $100 million to establish our luxury accommodation, qualia, and it subsequently being awarded ‘Best Resort in the World’ by Condé Nast Traveler readers, have also stimulated bookings.”

Rae Blair and Glenn Bourke

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HAMILTON ISLAND THE JEWEL OF THE WHITSUNDAYS

Five-star accommodation on Hamilton Island is provided through the Beach Club and qualia properties. A refurbishment of the rooms at the Beach Club has commenced (due for completion by August 2015) and will offer 57 premium rooms, all overlooking the palm tree-fringed Catseye Beach. The rooms are stylish, spacious and comfortable. In a thoughtful addition, the bathroom vanity contains drawers that allows guests’ toiletries to be packed away, rather than having to be left out on the bench to spoil the bathroom’s smart décor. The Beach Club General Manager, Marcus Taylor, pro-actively leads his team and ensures guests have an optimum experience during their stay. Delicious full-service breakfasts taken with the stunning vista of the infinity pool and Catseye Beach, ensure the perfect leisurely start to the day. All day dining is available at the resort, and other quality dining options are available within a short stroll along the beach, such as the Asian-inspired and popular Coca Chu restaurant. If you still have energy after enjoying the complimentary water sports at the beach, attend a class or use the facilities at the fully equipped Fitness Centre located next to the Beach Club. Guests can also be pampered at the island’s luxurious day spa, Spa wumurdaylin. The new luxury accommodation, qualia, is located at the northern end of the island and offers individual pavilions for guests. There are 33 ‘Leeward Pavilions’ (each offering 90m2

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of accommodation) and 26 north-facing ‘Windward Pavilions’ (each offering 120m2 of accommodation and a private infinity plunge pool). For a bit more room and privacy, qualia also offers the north-facing ‘Beach House’, providing 240m2 two-bedroom accommodation and its own 12-metre infinity pool. Beautifully furnished with breathtaking views, qualia’s rooms provide every comfort including Aesop toiletries and complimentary on-demand movies. This is exclusive and relaxed luxury at its finest. Each pavilion also comes with a complimentary golf buggy, which is an essential means to explore the island – that is, if you don’t want to use the VIP chauffeur service. A haven within a haven, Spa qualia is a sumptuous tranquil retreat. Attending a morning yoga class was a lovely way to start the day. As you would expect, Spa qualia also offers a range of divine anti-stress, anti-ageing body treatments provided by skillful practitioners. Whilst there, take advantage of the complimentary steam room and outdoor vichy shower. Another way to work off the over-indulgences is by hitting the fully equipped gym, located at Pebble Beach. It was hard though, to resist grabbing my book and dreaming the day away reclined by the infinity pool.

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HAMILTON ISLAND THE JEWEL OF THE WHITSUNDAYS

So when you’ve had enough of your beautiful room, and are tired of lazing by the pool, a round of golf and some lunch might just fit the bill. But you’ll first need to reach the golf course by a 10-minute ferry ride to Dent Island. Opened in August 2009 after four years and $40m in construction, the Hamilton Island Golf Course is the only championship course in Australia on its own island. The spectacular course was designed by Australia’s five-time British Open winner, Peter Thomson, AO CBE. The par 71, 18-hole course is one of Australia’s top golfing destinations for its design, location and facilities. But if golf isn’t your thing, you must visit Dent Island anyway and book in for lunch and a tour. A two-course lunch in the Clubhouse Restaurant, tour and return ferry ride is offered as a package. The lunch was excellent and, from the

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Clubhouse’s elevated position, every table enjoys sparkling water views. Rob Blain, Assistant Golf Club Manager, provided me with a tour of the ‘back nine holes’. He stopped the golf buggy several times to point out particular features of some of the holes and to provide time for me to take in the natural beauty surrounding Dent Island. In this unique location, Peter Thomson has designed a challenging course. “Women tend to play better on this course than men, as placement is rewarded over distance,” said Blain. “Golfers can expect to lose an average of 13 balls over the course of the game, but even if they’ve played poorly, everyone comes off the course with a smile on their face, because of the experience and from all the incredible views.” Hamilton Island Golf Course will host the PGA Professionals Championship again in October 2014.

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HAMILTON ISLAND THE JEWEL OF THE WHITSUNDAYS

“….everyone comes off the course with a smile on their face, because of the experience and from all the incredible views.” Blain

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HAMILTON ISLAND THE JEWEL OF THE WHITSUNDAYS

There is a wide variety of eating experiences available on the island, and at all price points – from take-away burgers at the marina to the ultimate in fine dining. qualia’s Executive Chef, Alastair Waddell, took time away from the kitchen to talk to me about his food philosophy. A native of Scotland, Waddell has been in Australia for eight years, with the last three in his current role. Prior to this, he was chef de partie at the two-hatted Bistro Guillaume in Melbourne and previously held positions in prestigious (AA 3 Rosette-rated) hotel restaurants in Glasgow and Loch Lomond. Waddell is responsible for the two restaurants in qualia: Long Pavilion and Pebble Beach. “Our biggest challenge is to maintain the ‘best resort’ reputation and to keep the menus fresh,” says Waddell. “Some of our guests are on their eighth return visit, and they expect to find new things on the menu. The Pebble Beach restaurant is known for its more casual dining experience and its seafood, whereas the Long Pavilion has its flagship Tasting Menu. It’s all about good produce and a great dining experience.” The Long Pavilion Tasting Menu is indeed a special dining experience. Comprising eight dishes, each one proved to be a visual, textural and flavoursome work of art – from the rhubarb and grape-fermented sourdough bread (“The team is very proud of that,” said Waddell) to the shiro kin wagyu striploin mb9+ cooked at the table on hot coals created from Japanese rice paddy ashes, which burn at between 350-400 degrees. “In Australia, there is no set of rules as to how something should be cooked,” said Waddell. “It is refreshing and freeing for a chef to develop a dish that is creative, delicious and looks good without being bound by tradition. The trend is moving to presenting food that is nature-based and simple. Australia’s style fits right in with that.” Waddell and his team started growing some of their own produce last year, and will soon double the space of its market garden. “Our focus in local production will be in growing unique herbs and vegetables,” he said. qualia also offer guests the option to attend ‘Talk and Taste’ experiences, and I attended a very enjoyable and instructive Champagne and oyster session held by Sommelier James Alcock. Alcock presented to a small group of guests and talked about the region and production of Champagne. He then matched Ruinart R de Ruinart NV, Charles Heidsieck Rosé Réserve NV and 2000 Charles Heidsieck Millesime Brut Champagnes with Pacific, Sydney Rock and Angasi oysters, which the guests were able to compare and enjoy. Alcock is a qualified and internationally experienced Sommelier, and he is one of a team who

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work with the qualia chefs to ensure optimum pairings of wine with the dishes being developed and served in the Long Pavilion and Pebble Beach restaurants. One of the more memorable activities on offer at Hamilton Island is to go out to the Great Barrier Reef, and one of the best ways to see the Reef is to fly over it by helicopter. In the very capable hands of Hamilton Island Air, I took a one-hour scenic fl ight, which departed from Hamilton Island and flew over the spectacular seven-kilometre Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet, Whitsunday Island, the Great Barrier Reef and the world-famous Heart Reef, and returned via Hook Passage and Cid Harbour. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure on the planet (stretching 2,300 kilometres) and the Marine Park is larger in area than Victoria and Tasmania combined (or United Kingdom, Switzerland and Holland combined). The 3000 coral reefs only comprise about seven per cent of the Marine Park and the World Heritage area, their intricate architecture is laid out like an enormous turquoise tapestry. We were fortunate enough to spot three migrating whales during our flight, with one rolling on its back to wave its flipper at us as we circled overhead. Within this incredible environment, and with so much to see and do, it is little wonder that Hamilton Island is a popular tourist and boating destination. But I was struck that the real warmth of the place came from the quality of the staff, and the fact that they live on the island. Training and improving staff retention rates has been a focus of the Oatley family and CEO Glenn Bourke. “We have invested some $4 million in upgrading staff accommodation and we have set up the Robert Oatley College on the island. The College is TAFE-accredited to provide Certificate III and IV Hospitality Management courses,” said Bourke. “We ensure our staff are well trained, respected and feel valued, and this has dramatically improved retention rates. This is better for business and better for our guests.” There are plans to build new accommodation equivalent to 800 rooms on the island including the development of further luxury stand-alone homes. “We are conscious of our responsibility as custodians of this island, and all development is sensitive to its national park status,” said Bourke. “With that as a given, all development conforms to Bob Oatley’s ethos of ‘Always look high – never to the horizon or below’ – this gives you a true sense of what to expect at Hamilton Island.”

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www.vikkiaustralia.com


OCEANS APART SPREADING INTERNATIONALLY

OCEANS APART SPREADING INTERNATIONALLY

Australian luxury cruiser manufacturer, Maritimo, is riding an international wave of popularity with boaties from Europe from Europe to the United Arab Emeritus, Russia, Asia and The Americas being won over to the tough, high performing Aussie marquee. Maritimo Sales and Marketing Manager Greg Haines said 2014 had been a bumper year for the company with its international popularity and awareness rising considerably.

Following the Cannes event he travelled to Roche Harbour Washington, where leading USA dealer Hampton Yacht Group coordinated a “cruise-in-company” Muster involving fifteen Maritimo owners.

In recent months Maritimo has been promoted at a number of high profile industry events the most recent being the Fort Lauderdale International Boat show.

“Robert Fiala and his team at Hampton lead by Bill King are legendary in organizing these events and their customers love getting involved in some of their epic adventures,” he said.

In the months before that Mr Haines undertook an intense three week marketing tour with his first stop being Dubai in the United Arab Emirates where he met with dealers from the Gulf area.

“The scenery in this part of the world being close to the Canadian and USA border is spectacular and the range of Maritimo vessels that are based here revel in the conditions.” The fully enclosed, heated flybridge is a hit with people cruising in these cooler climates, it means they are able to boat all year round. In other boat brands, without Maritimo’s fully enclosed flybridge, they are generally restricted to the warmer months.”

From there he went to the Cannes International Boat Show where the award winning, full-beam master suite Maritimo 58 Cruising Motoryacht was on display. “The Cannes show is one of the most prestigious in the world and vessels on display range from tenders to super yachts,” he said. “We had four dealers in attendance from various regions in the South of France and we also had discussions with dealers in Italy, Germany, Russia, Greece and Turkey. “In that market environment, style and the luxury of finishes is a big thing and the Maritimo 58 cruising motor yacht was given a big thumbs up by all those who inspected the vessel.” He said while in Cannes, Maritimo partnered with Dihn Van Paris, fine jewellery creators, and Infinity 8 Champagne, and held two cruising events for VIP guests. “Once prospective buyers get onboard and see the level of quality and luxury they are Maritimo converts,” he said. Mr Haines said the company negotiated with several parties interested in the M50 and M58 after the Cannes Show.

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He said the event was a huge success and involved everything from guidance on border crossing customs clearance procedures with the US Coast Guard to educating skippers on navigation, onboard cooking tips and ‘women on water’ basic seamanship. Mr Haines said in the UAE, Europe, Asia and the USA Maritimo was gaining a reputation for being a world class marquee with a standard of luxury and finish up with the best of the best. “Where we then win out is in the area of fuel efficiency and performance and the Aussie toughness and sea keeping ability of our range is a significant magnet for these buyers,” he said. “Between UAE, Cannes, Washington and Fort Lauderdale we have generated significant business to add to our already healthy production pipeline.”

THE LIFE EDITION | 2015


OCEANS APART SPREADING INTERNATIONALLY

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CAN CANADA AN NADA DA A & ALASKA ALA L SKA S A FIRST ARST WINTER PASSAGE PA ASSAGE WONDERLAND TO THE WEST

A WINTER WONDERLAND WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is situated in Banff National Park, Alberta Canada. It is difficult to convey the incredible beauty and magnitude of the Rocky mountain ranges surrounding this awe-inspiring lake located at the base of the Victoria Glacier. With the fresh winters breeze blowing in our hair and the lake covered in a thick blanket of ice and snow, one can’t help but hear the excitement of passing hikers, skiers, tourists and children all happily frolicking around. ‘Selfies’ are the order of the day and it is irresistible to join in. Originally built as a base for outdoor enthusiasts and alpinists over 100 years ago, The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a year-round luxury mountain resort offering guided mountain tours, world-class skiing in the winter, scenic hiking and canoe activities in the summer, a luxury spa, and exceptional dining experiences. Of the numerous

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family dining and fi ne dining options throughout the property, Chef Felix Pfister delighted us with his traditional Canadian infused cuisine at the Fairview Restaurant. Sourcing high quality ingredients from Farm to Table, the Swiss Chef served us a Juniper crusted Venison Loin with creamed wild rice, green beans and a Hill Berry Acres cherry gastrique and a Pinot Noir to match. Th is is truly a magical location. Staying at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Banff National Park Alberta then boarding the luxurious award winning Rocky Mountaineer Train – I think its fair to say that most of us at some stage or another have wondered about and dreamt of visiting this mystical fairy tale location, which has been used time and time again by every magazine and newspaper as the gold standard for outdoor beauty.

THE LIFE EDITION | 2015


CANADA CANADA & ALASKA & ALASKA FIRST A WINTER PASSAGEWONDERLAND TO THE WEST

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, 111 Lake Louise Drive, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada, T0L 1E0 | www.fairmont.com/lake-louise

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CANADA & ALASKA FIRST PASSAGE TO THE WEST

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CANADA & ALASKA FIRST PASSAGE TO THE WEST

FIRST PASSAGE TO THE WEST A fabulous way to absorb the splendor of Canada’s west is to travel through it by train. The highly awarded Rocky Mountaineer train service has been transporting and hosting passengers through Canada’s west for 25 years and really delivers the goods. Travelling from Lake Louise to Vancouver, we took the Rocky Mountaineer’s ‘First passage to the west’ train route and boarded with great anticipation of the promise of breathtaking scenery of glacier-fed lakes, majestic mountains and ferocious rivers.

WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

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CANADA & ALASKA FIRST PASSAGE TO THE WEST

The ‘First passage to the west’ route retraces the steps of 19th century explorers and is the only passenger rail service on this historic route. The rail construction is one of the most important in Canadian history as it united the country from east to west over 125 years ago. Before we boarded the train, we were pre-checked into our hotel at Kamloop, and our bags were whisked away to be delivered directly to our hotel room. The red carpet was rolled out for passengers to board, and we were taken directly upstairs to our seats in the Gold Leaf area. Our seats were spacious and comfortable and the carriage’s windows extended up to and over the roof, giving us an impressive panoramic view. We had four onboard attendants to service our carriage and we also met the Guest Services Manager, Tyler Klausen, and the Train Manager, Wendy McMichael. Once the passenger welcome and briefing had been conducted we were on our way. The trip from Lake Louise to Kamloop, on our fi rst day, took just over nine hours. Our second day completed the trip, travelling from Kamloop to Vancouver, which had us on board for another ten hours. The attendants took great care to ensure passengers were very well serviced. An ongoing and entertaining commentary was given by the attendants along the journey to ensure we didn’t miss the most important landmarks and areas of interest. The glass roof in the car-

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riage broadened our perspective, where we could really appreciate the majestic size and beauty of the incredible scenery passing us by. We were constantly offered drinks and snacks and could wander about the carriage. When it was time to eat, we walked down to a separate dining room reserved for Gold Leaf passengers. The Chef and his team served up excellent western Canadian cuisine for us to enjoy using only the freshest ingredients – a feat really considering the size of the kitchen. The journey unfolded as we travelled past emerald green forests, glacier-fed rivers and lakes, as well as the spectacular scenery of the Coast of Columbia and the Rocky Mountains. We marvelled at the engineering genius of the Spiral Tunnels constructed in 1909 and blasted through sheer rock; and Stoney Creek Bridge, a 200 metre-long truss arch bridge which carried the train 91 metres over Stoney Creek in British Colombia. Craigellachie was also a highlight, being the location of where Sir Donald Smith drove the last spike on Canada’s Pacific Railway in 1885. Given the short daylight hours in this part of the world during winter, it is not surprising that this rail service only operates from April to October, where passengers can make full use of the extended daylight hours.

THE LIFE EDITION | 2015


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CANADA & ALASKA FAIRMONT PACIFIC RIM

Located in the heart of Vancouver’s historic port and financial district, the Fairmont Pacific Rim fronts one of the city’s most celebrated streetscapes with unobstructed views of the North Shore Mountains, Stanley Park and Coal Harbour. Fairmont Pacific Rim is luxurious, naturally inspired, sophisticated and cosmopolitan but casual and contemporary. At check-in, which was seamless, I had my fi rst taste of their excellent customer service. I needed to fi nd a pharmacy, as I felt I was coming down with a cold. The response from staff was impressive, as a courtesy car was arranged and they assisted me to get what I needed. Th is attention to detail is invaluable to the quality of the guest’s experience. The design and décor of the hotel is uplift ing. Elements of both Asian and North American culture has been fused into its design, including cascading waterfalls at the entrance of the property – a nod to Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese practice of harnessing positive chi or energy. There is a rich use of polished stone, natural woods and indoor plants which soften and complement the contemporary feel. Art plays an integral part within the property, depicting scenes of local foliage and landscapes including vintage photographs of wildflowers taken throughout British Colombia. The property has 377 rooms offered over nine room categories. Guestrooms transport you from a subconscious to a true sense of comfort, offering natural light and a front view vantage point of the North Shore mountains, Coal Harbour or Stanley Park. The rooms

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feature streamlined furniture pieces, luxurious fabrics and custom millwork. The fresh, silvery champagne tones are calming and bring the airiness of the natural landscape into each guest room. Amenities were meticulously sourced starting with the widely respected Stearns and Foster bed, covered with Italian Mascioni sheets made of plush Turkish cotton. Mascioni bath towels were in the marble ensuite along with Rose 31 toiletries by Le Labo. We always check out the gym, and found it spacious and fullyequipped. The hotel’s Willow Stream Spa offered great options for relaxation including a private outdoor terrace equipped with Jacuzzis, Infrared Sauna and meditation pods. The outdoor rooftop pool was impressive and included a hot tub, private cabanas and outdoor fi re pits – a perfect place to escape and unwind.

DINING The hotel has a range of wine and dine options including giovane, the Italian-inspired café (by day) / wine bar (by night); the Lobby Lounge – which offers cocktails and live music seven days a week; and their signature ORU restaurant. Recently introduced is their Curator’s Table, which is an exclusive dinner for eight guests at a table overlooking the Lobby Lounge and dedicated to the art of great conversation, fi ne wine and food. We reserved a table at ORU and met with the Executive Chef, Darren Brown. His exuberance and passion for his craft was infectious, and

THE LIFE EDITION | 2015


CANADA & ALASKA FAIRMONT PACIFIC RIM

he spoke about the creation of the menus based on the use of seasonal ingredients from the pacific northwest with flavours of the pacific rim.

served with the 2013 Church and State Wines Pinot Gris, which had a rich mouth-feel, nicely balanced acid and aromas of pears and apples.

It became quickly obvious that ORU is not simply a hotel restaurant, but rather a popular destination that catered to both visitors and locals. The menu showed a fi ne balance in East-meets-West cooking, and incorporated a varied menu of classic dishes from across Asia but prepared using locally-sourced and ethically-harvested ingredients.

The main courses were next – Halabut came with cauliflower and asparagus with a marmalade sauce. This dish was served with the 2012 Nomu from Kanazawa – a Muscat Blanc, Semillon, Viognier blend. A rich wine with floral, honey and pear aromas and a hint of minerality on the palate. Also served was a superb Wagyu eye Fillet, this was accompanied by a 2011 Osoyoos Larose Petales D’Osoyoos – a Bordeaux-style red blend, which was elegant with plum and berry aromas.

In keeping with the Asian mantra that emphasizes communal dining, a sizeable portion of the menu included sharing plate options. The concept of camaraderie at the table applied to solo travelers as well. A common table is set-up to overlook the large open kitchen, which allowed diners to sit together and engage in conversation whilst witnessing the theatre of their meals being prepared. Sommellier and Manager, Jill Spoor, discussed our menu and arranged wines from the Okanagan Valley to complement each course. First served was a Ceviche tower of seafood delights, which was matched perfectly with the 2011 Red Rooster Riesling which was off-dry with refreshing acidity and minerality. Seared scallops with veloute, corn, crab and egg puree was next. These were served with the 2012 Bartier Bros. Semillon which was medium-bodied with complex apricot and peach aromas. A Caprese with tomato, mozzarella and jelly followed,

Our delicious feast was completed with a Lemon Tart with meringue and milk chocolate. Th is was accompanied by a 2011 Clos du Soleil ‘Saturn’ from the Similkameen Valley; a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc wine with mandarin and candied citrus peel aromas with bright acidity and clean fi nish. We indeed enjoyed a memorable feast and a memorable stay. This hotel doesn’t overlook the small details, which can sometimes make the biggest impact and enrich the entire experience. Despite the energetic buzz in the lobby, we felt we were surrounded with a sense of calm, which was helped by the tranquil aroma of the Fairmont’s custom Indian jasmine aromatherapy scent filling the air. Not only did it boost our mood but it underscored a great experience.

Fairmont Pacific Rim, 1038 Canada Place, Vancouver, Canada | www.fairmont.com/pacific-rim-vancouver

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• • • • • • •

• International Symposium on Electronic Art • ART Fair - Dubai 2014 • Paul McKenna’s Persuasion, Influence and Presentation Skills • Samsung International Beach Soccer • Criss Angel

• Dubai World Hospitality Championship • DP World Tour Championship / Race to Dubai • 5th Dubai International Parachuting Championship • Mother, baby & child show

• • • • •

Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens National Day Kevin Bridges Dubai International Film Festival Omega Dubai Ladies Masters Spinney’s Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge New Year Dubai

Dubai Shopping Festival Meydan Race Nights Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon Omega Dubai Desert Classic Dubai Showjumping Championship

Dubai Live It 2 0 1 4

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2 0 1 5

• • • • • • • • • •

Dubai Food Festival Gulf Food Dubai Food Carnival RedFest Dxb

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• • • •

Chinese New Year Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival Between The Lines Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship

Middle East Film and Comic Con Dubai International Garden Competition Al Marmoom Heritage Festival Gulf Film Festival Beach Polo Cup Fashion Forward S5 Dubai Dressage Championship GITEX Shopper - Spring Edition

• • • •

Dubai International Boat Show Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Gulf Photo Plus Taste of Dubai Dubai Polo Gold Cup Championship SIKKA (Falls under Art Week Campaign) Design Days Dubai Art Dubai Bride Show Dubai World Cup


dubaicalendar.com

• • • • • • • •

Blended Arabian Travel Market Airport Show Arab Media Forum Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters Al Gaffal Dubai Tango Festival Beautyworld Middle East

• ME Sports Event Summit • Dubai Desert Road Run • Modhesh World

• Ramadan in Dubai • Ramadan Majalis

• Dubai Summer Surprises • Modhesh World • Dubai Sports World

• • • • • • •

Ramadan in Dubai Ramadan Majalis Ramadan Night Markets Eid in Dubai (Eid Al Fitar) Modhesh World Dubai Summer Surprises Dubai Sports World

• • • •

Games 15 Eid in Dubai (Eid Al Adha) GITEX Shopper Dubai International Dance Festival

There’s always something happening in Dubai. It’s where the whole world comes together to be part of breath-taking performances, once-in-a-lifetime shows, thrilling championships and incredible events. Feel the beat of the city as it pulses with joy. And live every unforgettable moment to the fullest. Share how you see Dubai on Instagram, using #DubaiEvents.

• • • • • •

Downtown Design GITEX Technology Week Cityscape Global Fashion Forward Season 6 Gulf Bike Week Sensation


Phil Harte and Pablo Kang - Australian Ambassador in UAE

PARK HYATT DUBAI HIT FOR SIX When hosting one of the world’s leading sporting names, it is expected that a venue is too up to the challenge. Following an eager media conference, and with an already sold-out crowd, all signs pointed to the Park Hyatt Dubai to hold the signature event.

The World Wildlife Association was the Dubai charitable beneficiary of a very generous auction conducted over the evening, and with a frenzied crowd having only three items to choose from, it was ‘first in best dressed’.

Located at the Creekside Gold Resort, the Park Hyatt Dubai provides both the security and luxury you would expect at red carpet sporting event.

Auction items included a trip to the India Versus Australia test series to be held in Sydney later this year, with accommodation at the Park Hyatt Melbourne, along with the personal signed bats of Michael Clarke and Pakistani captain Mishbal-Ul-Haq.

The Australian Cricket Captain Michael Clarke was in town to lead the Aussie team against the home based Pakistani side. With the opening 20/20 match only days away we were incredibly fortunate to secure Michael for this signature event. The three test matches and one-day series would find the Australia team having to acclimatise quickly to the extreme Dubai heat for the next five weeks.

As the night came to a close, Michael and the Park Hyatt hosted a small gathering of VIPs and sponsors to gives thanks for the support and generosity, with the Australian Ambassador Pablo Kang placing his seal of approval on the event.

Along with the support of Qantas Airlines and the Hyatt Gold Passport Team, the Park Hyatt delivered a memorable night for over 400 guests, as well as several lucky young boys who couldn’t wait to see their hero. Also on hand was Kunal Sharma MD of Spartan Sports, who provided signature limited edition Spartan MC bats as gifts to everyone, and presented a 23-carat gold-plated Spartan bat that was signed by Michael on the night. This bat will be signed by all the captains of the 2015 Cricket World Cup to be held in Australia. Once all Captains have signed the celebration bat, it will be put up for a global online charity auction by Spartan Sports.

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Michael Clarke and Future Spartan Ambassador

THE LIFE EDITION | 2015


Sasha Armstrong, Michael Clarke and Kunal Sharma

Mark McGoey

Future Spartan Ambassador and Michael Clarke

Adrian Slater, Mark McGoey, Michael Clarke and Ronald Cusiter

Susan Garnett, Michael Clarke and Rowen Garnett

Rebecca Kang, Michael Clarke and Pablo Kang

Michael Clarke and Phil Harte

Rebecca Chapman, Michael Clarke and Gary Chapman


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THE

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SHORT BLACK WITH JODIE Major fashion houses are eager to play in this space too, seizing on the trend and devoting big bucks; recognising the financial upside and its enormous potential. International retail juggernaut TopShop, is a case in point. It’s now collaborating with Beyonce to design ‘kick-ass active wear for the fierce, ambitious, independent, powerful woman in you’. Meares points out that the statistics are enormous, “denim has taken a hit of seven or eight percent, for the first time in fift y years, and the growth in sportswear is up ten percent. I was told ten years ago that the health and fitness industry would boom, and it is in every area.” But is all this competition a threat or does it just cement the space? “You never feel like that in business because everybody has their space. The more the space strengthens, it gives you another avenue and opens the market up. Everyone’s going to want to have a piece of it, because they’re looking at the numbers, and they are huge.”

T

 

Sandra Sully and Jodhi Meares

anned, slim and incredibly beautiful, when Jodhi Meares enters a room heads turn. Men and women alike, wrench their necks to glimpse the petite beauty as she breezes by, and, why wouldn’t they?

She’s the former international swimsuit model, turned successful fashion designer and retailer who was once married to the polo playing Australian media mogul, now international Casino magnate, James Packer. But if you dismiss this beauty for her looks alone, more fool you. This savvy brunette is shaking up the fashion and fitness space with a concept that is catchy, clearly defined and seemingly on the money. So too is her focus, and refreshingly, in a celebrity driven world, it’s not all about her. “I’m not normal, I know that”, says Meares. Referring to her small size and not her looks, Jodhi accepts that if her new, edgy, active wear brand - The Upside – is going to work, she’s got to get sizing right. “All my friends are size 14 and 16, that’s normal. I want to cater for reality and we want to make it very clear to people that we are not sizeist. Size 16 really isn’t that big. I think 14 is probably normal but it depends on your height and so many other things. We’re going to get quite real with women and we all know, it’s about curves.” It’s a smart move. According to industry analysts, the world sports apparel industry is expected to exceed $126 billion in sales by 2015, and sophisticated sportswear is the new casual, just like fit is the new black. “The way I was dressing in New York, you wear legwear and put on a great Balenciaga boot with a cool shirt and fabulous blazer or jacket and away you go. In certain cities I don’t think that’s unreasonable.” Function and fashion, blending seamlessly in sweat-absorbing synthetics is how women are dressing, whether they’re fit and healthy, exercising or not. “Yeah, we laugh about that too; the number of people in work out gear, picking up their kids from school, or catching up with friends for a coffee who probably never work out, but it says to me, that’s what they want. Something that’s comfortable and fashionable and conveys an attitude of who they are or want to be. “I think we merge fashion and technical sportswear as opposed to say Lululemon, which is a fantastic yoga brand. It’s very functional but I don’t think it is fashion. The Upside is a forward brand and unique. Gone are the days when it’s okay to wear just black yoga pants or an old dirty tracksuit. It’s now just a huge part of a woman’s wardrobe and it needs to look as forward as the rest of her wardrobe does.”

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So far, Jodhi’s track record in fashion is pretty impressive. Her first foray was a bikini and beachwear label called Tigerlily, which she reportedly sold to Billabong for millions of dollars. For someone who embodies and epitomises the Upside brand, Jodhi’s focus is getting it right, through a combination of research, innovation and gut instinct about what women want. And, right now it’s all about women’s legs. “I’ve spent a life-time looking at women’s bodies and all I do now is look at women’s legs, it’s so strange. What I’ve learnt is that there isn’t a woman alive who likes her legs. They vary like women’s bodies and you’ve really got to try and understand that and understand the things they don’t like about them.” Success is calibrated on the numbers, and the retailers who want a slice of her market. In a major coup, American multi-national Urban Outfitters, which targets the highly defined consumer and operates in the U.S., Europe and the U.K., is already on board as a distributor. So too, the American gym giant, Equinox, further consolidating the international retail space. Down under, the major players, David Jones, General Pants and the online portal Net-a-Sporter have sewn up her domestic reach. But being a wholesaler isn’t the end of the story. Stand alone retail is critical to consolidating her brand, so stores in Sydney, Melbourne and New York are already on the drawing board and then, there’s the online space. “I think you need a physical space to brand your product and ultimately that will drive your people to the online space. I don’t think it’s ever going to be one or the other, it’s just part of business now that you have to do both. We’d like to be at 20 percent online, and I think that’s reasonable. If you look at a lot of the older companies it’s around 12-13 percent, it’s not huge. Ultimately we’d like it to be 50 percent of the business, but I don’t think we’ll get there in 2 years or so. Fortunately time is on her side, but Jodhi knows the retail world is a graveyard full for start-ups and that her strengths lie in innovation, creativity and ‘the conversation’. “There are so many things to talk about within the health industry. There are huge conversations to be had about how women feel about their bodies, and it even becomes quite spiritual. Look, we are not going to start preaching about that, because I think it’s a bit absurd. You know, you make stretchy things, but I think women do want to talk about how they feel about exercise, so I think there are good conversations to have.” The Upside for Jodhi, it seems, is having the freedom to shape and create her stretchy space, just the way she wants.

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T HE

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VANCE MCDONALD NFL TIGHT END, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS


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TALISE FITNESS MADINAT JUMEIRAH

TALISE FITNESS MADINAT JUMEIRAH WORDS BY DANIELLE HART HARTE Squash and Fitness Master Trainer When Phil and I began Harte Health back in Dubai 7 years ago, our mission was to re-empower, energise and motivate all of our Squash and Fitness clients to take back control of their lives and ultimately create the best version of themselves. With managing hectic work schedules, children, school runs and busy social lives it became increasingly clear to us that our generation struggles to maintain and focus on our most precious asset ourselves, so the first step towards realizing that goal is selecting the right gym. Our choice is Talise Fitness overlooking the shimmering waterways of Madinat Jumeirah at Mina A’Salam. Talise means ‘Beautiful Waters’.

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TALISE FITNESS MADINAT JUMEIRAH

Talise Fitness personifies a sense of achievement along with an overall calmness whilst training; there hasn’t been a session that I haven’t felt absolute satisfaction. This modern, supremely equipped gym features a first-of-its-kind High Altitude Suite or LOWOXYGEN® chamber which offers you an increase in overall wellness within a shorter timeframe. Your body will adapt to the atmosphere in a similar way it would at 3000 meters or more, and will increase your mass of red blood cells, enhancing your aerobic capacity. It will also alter your muscle metabolism to assist in burning fat faster resulting in enhanced health and fitness benefits.

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TALISE FITNESS MADINAT JUMEIRAH

Available to all members and hotel guests is an Aerobics Studio equipped with 35 state-of-the-art body bikes hosting RPM classes; Two Squash Courts, Weights training zone, Functional Training Zone with TRX, VIPR, Kettle Bells, RIP Trainers, and 3 Kinesis stations. Plus daily Fitness Classes including Body Pump, RPM, Body Balance, Pilates, Yoga, CXWORX, Body Attack and SH’BAM, the choice is yours! Talise Fitness personifies a sense of achievement along with an overall calmness whilst training; there hasn’t been a session that I haven’t felt absolute satisfaction. What underpins Talise Fitness is their selection of first-class cardio-vascular gear in Technogym - high-tech interactive training equipment with touch-screen Internet technology. The beauty for us is the global availability to Technogym equipment as we frequent some of the best hotels and resorts around the world. After your workout it’s always refreshing to plunge into the 25-metre temperature-controlled indoor lap pool or simple indulge in the steam room or sauna found in the luxurious changing rooms complete with all amenities. The inclusion of a health-based café with nutritious and healthy dining options is the icing on the cake and together with all these unique assets we end up with our worlds leading gym facility.

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HAMILTON ISLAND THE JEWEL OF THE WHITSUNDAYS

1800 615 440


Photographed by Jennifer Taylor

ON THE RUN

MARIA NORDSTROM Google ‘Technogym’ in the news and your computer will light up with a vast number of stories with everything from redesigning Crystal Cruises onboard gyms and creating outdoor fitness gardens through to being featured in Qatar’s national airport redesign of 130,000 square feet with luxury brands, a new airport hotel and of course a gym with Technogym equipment. This Italian fitness equipment manufacturer has the world covered, and they’re just celebrating their 30th birthday. Maria Nordstrom, has just stepped into the role of MD during this celebratory year to take Technogym in Australia to the next level. An accomplished sportsperson having played for the Swedish National Basketball team, gaining her Yoga teaching certificate and an excellent horseman, Maria fits right into the Technogym lifestyle. “I wanted to find a company I was passionate about and lead them through a positive transformation,” she said. Maria is thrilled to be part of an industry that has undergone significant change in the last five years with the growth of 24/7 gyms, low cost gyms, cross fit and outdoor training and expansion in larger names such as Fitness First and Virgin Active. “Australia has one of the highest active populations in the world at 15% so it is really refreshing to be a part of a culture and a company that understands the importance of fitness,” she said. “There are a lot more businesses investing in their employees and thus I’m working with a number of corporates to ensure they have the best equipment and holistic plan around this equipment,” Maria continued. Technogym is an incredibly innovative company with one of their more ambitious projects gaining recognition and success. This is the transformation of Romagna into a world hub of health and well-being called the Wellness Valley. In 2002, owner and creator of Technogym, Nerio Alessandri publicly laid down his challenge: to transform Romagna into the first international Wellness district by investing in the region’s human, historical, artistic, natural and gastronomic resources. The idea soon became a reality and materialised into the Wellness Valley project, the momentum of which gradually grew over time with a series of initiatives that spontaneously flourished to breathe life into the project. The Wellness Valley involves several partnerships and has developed on the basis of mutual sharing and promotion. The project focuses on creating a network that links technologically advanced facilities in the territory, through initiatives aimed at promoting Wellness as a lifestyle.

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Whilst Australia does not have such a wellness valley, Maria is determined to ensure all companies have the opportunity to create their own valleys for their staff to promote a healthy mind, body and lifestyle. As a leader in the Wellness and Fitness field with over 2,200 employees, 14 branches in Europe, U.S., Asia, Middle East and Australia, Technogym has more than 65,000 Wellness centres equipped with their products as well as 100,000 private homes all over the world. Maria talks excitedly about the cloud based solution Technogym has introduced for those in the industry to work with an individual or group to track their performance. The Technogym solution allows the person to track their calorie output and see how much they have to do to burn those calories. Based on an android platform, one can wear wrist bands linked to this app. The Sydney Cricket Ground and numerous others are on board with the cloud based solution as it assists them to maintain and view the fitness levels of their employees and hence understand if they are maintaining the right number of calories for their fitness regimes. In the sporting world you want to track, maintain and build the fitness, whereas hospitals and physiotherapists can utilise this technology by getting better visibility of what their patient is doing outside of the office and corporates can use this to encourage holistic wellness and eating regime. In March 2016, Maria will use the cloud based solution to promote ‘Let’s move for a better world’ a campaign to generate as many movements as possible in gym facilities. The gym which generates the most movement will then be able to donate gym equipment to a local school in the area. This is all part of Technogym and Maria’s vision to help people live a better life. Technogym has been recognised all over the world as providing the most superior equipment being the official supplier to Olympic games in Brazil, supplier for the FIFA World Cup, supplier for the last Commonwealth Games, long standing relationships with Ferrari and McLaren, supplier for the large tennis tournaments in Paris and London and of course will be featured at the Milan Expo in 2015. Maria is the perfect ambassador for Technogym because she lives and breathes the lifestyle. She can often be found bushwalking with her son on their farm in the Blue Mountains, skiing in Europe or running along one of Sydney’s sparkling beaches. Even her favourite food of sushi, is extremely healthy. When Maria is not moving for a better world, she likes to relax in front of an Arthouse movie with friends. She is the perfect face of Technogym because of her synonymous beliefs of “Wellness experience everywhere everyday.”

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DESIGNER GYM AT - VERSACE Palazzo Versace Fitness & Wellbeing Centre provides members and guests with a lifestyle choice oriented towards wellbeing, and a holistic approach towards fitness and health This boutique gym, offering a relaxed and luxurious experience, is located in the world’s first fashion branded hotel – Palazzo Versace – in the heart of the magnificent Gold Coast. The hotel’s commitment to excellence in design and creation of extraordinary environments is reflected in the beautiful Fitness & Wellbeing Centre. The well equipped facility is extremely stylish and highly intelligent, using Technogym’s world class fitness technology to create a complete workout experience tailored to the individual. Technogym’s leading edge Wellness Key, Kinesis One, Strength, Flexibility and Cardio Excite equipment and programs places the member in total control of their exercise regime. With the guidance of the dedicated and highly trained staff, and with capped membership numbers, training has never been easier to fit into a busy lifestyle! Wellness is Technogym’s way of life based on regular physical activity, a positive approach to life and healthy eating habits. A Wellness lifestyle puts the focus on the people. With Palazzo Versace Fitness & Wellbeing Centre’s aim to create an extraordinary experience for

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each person, and Technogym’s strive to inspire Wellness, it is a match made in heaven. The Wellness Key links each member to an integrated personalized workout profile. Just like your own personal trainer, the key ensures members have their individual exercise program virtually there each step of the way, to assist in keeping track of progress, providing motivation and maintaining fitness goals. Members have access to mind body classes, such a Yoga and Pilates, invigorating Boxing and Circuit classes and non weight-bearing Aqua Aerobics classes suitable for rehabilitation. They also receive complimentary Personal Training to get started in their fitness regime. The Technogym cardio equipment features individual 19 inch TV screens offering the full range of the hotel’s digital channels, games and internet access, ensuring that users are always entertained. Palazzo Versace Fitness & Wellbeing Centre offers a range of membership options, from basic access to the facilities to a range of luxurious inclusions, such as luxury overnight suite accommodation with breakfast, sparkling cabana experience at our award-winning pool and Water Salon, ongoing Personal Training, deep tissue massage in the hotel’s Aurora Spa, and dietitian consultations.

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A FLYING STAR

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A FLYING STAR

A FLYING STAR WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

I don’t have salt-water in my veins, so when friends come back in raptures from sailing the Mediterranean on their skippered yachts, it falls a bit on deaf ears. However, with the recent opportunity to holiday on the legendary Star Flyer departing from Monaco, it was too good to refuse. We arrived at the famous marina to find our tall ship, the Star Flyer sitting proudly, like a trophy amongst hundreds of powerboats. The four-mast, 16 sail Clipper measures 360 feet in length, weighs 2,298 tonne and has a full mast height of 226 feet. With a crew of 72 catering for 170 guests, our Captain Mariusz Szalek and his athletic crew warmly greeted us in readiness for our welcome cocktail function. The Star Flyer is a modern cruise ship in every way, created for luxury-loving passengers who also enjoy the traditions and romance of the legendary era of sailing ships. The traditions of the past are happily married to the comforts and amenities of the present day. The décor of Star Flyer is reminiscent of the grand age of sail. Antique prints and paintings of famous sailing ships adorn the walls, while the clipper’s proud nautical heritage is reflected in the abundance of teak and gleaming mahogany rails. This unique vessel offers spacious accommodation and expansive teak decks with ample space and not one, but two swimming pools. In fact, you’ll find that these ships offer more outdoor space

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per passenger than most conventional cruise ships. Featuring an open-seating dining in an elegantly appointed dining room, with a convivial indoor-outdoor Tropical Bar and Piano Bar, and an Edwardian style library where a Belle Époque fireplace glows with a warmth that reflects the friendliness and enthusiasm of Star Clippers’ hospitable officers and crew. After unpacking and freshening up in our luxurious cabin, we headed upstairs to mix and mingle with the other excited passengers. With the smiles and champagne flowing a surreal moment changed everything when it was discovered that 007 himself (Roger Moore, no less) was on board with the owner having a few of his famous martinis “shaken not stirred”, of course. At 10:00 pm the time of our scheduled departure, and with 007 discreetly disembarked, over the sound system came the powerful voice of Andre Boccelli. Then, under a spectacular fireworks show, we pulled up the anchor and cast off from the marina. With the sails at full mast our epic journey bound for the majestic island of Corsica, was finally full steam ahead.

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A FLYING STAR

One of the standout features upon the Star Flyer is that there are no rigid schedules. You are free to do as you wish with your days – and evenings. Each day you are given a detailed itinerary so you can plan accordingly or simply laze on board and take full advantage of sunbathing out by one of the pools, read a book, send emails in the library or sit leisurely at the bar and enjoy the view. Entertainment was always plentiful with local performers on board to give passengers an authentic taste of the local music and arts. Unlike any other on-water experience, summertime on the Mediterranean is truly exhilarating. Star Flyer also provide guests with plenty of opportunities to fully immerse in the sailing experience by getting their hands dirty through raising the sails and becoming part of the crew. Unlike the bigger cruise ships, Star Flyer was able to deft ly navigate those hidden away places around the coastline, and this was no more apparent than when we arrived at Bonifacio. This is the only way to see the ancient buildings clinging to the edge of the spectacular chalky cliffs of Corsica. Guests reveled in the many stories of shipwrecks and sunken treasures and the deaths of hundreds of sailors in the area, with all ports rich with history and folk law.

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For the next six days we boarded our tender and strolled leisurely throughout the little fishing villages of Ile Rousse, Porto, Porquerolles and Sanary Sur Mer. The photo opportunities here were abundant with historical landmarks and cathedrals, crystal clear beaches, vibrant culture and charming boutique shopping. St Tropez, the home to many celebrities was typically thriving with people, fine dining restaurants and local art exhibitors adorning the waterfront. Canne, which recently hosted the infamous Film Festival, favoured a more flamboyant style with casinos, high rolling entertainment, designer fashion labels and high end shopping. The diverse dynamics of each of these locations will leave you feeling extremely humbled. Life aboard The Star Flyer was blissfully relaxed, much like traveling on a private yacht. From the cabins to the cuisine, every night was uniquely inspiring as we watched sunsets fall and indulged in a relaxing wine at the bar. One of the most memorable times during our trip was reminiscing about our daily travels with fellow passengers Denis Bedard and Michael Stephens from Quebec, Canada. The instant connection we had with these spritely boys was simply unforgettable. I don’t think we have ever laughed so much, ever!

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A FLYING STAR

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A FLYING STAR

As we returned to Monaco on our final evening, we had a special perspective of the city from the water. We marveled at its unique architectural style that began during the rule of Napoleon III. A magnetic atmosphere of luxury and glamour radiated from the shoreline and reaffirmed the storybook history of this remarkable principality. So when you are booking your next sail, remember stay as long as you can, as you will not want to leave. As far as new and exciting holidays and experiences go, I can only recommend that this is one you must do – you won’t be sorry. Our only complaint was that it had to end. You’ll never feel confined on Star Clipper or Star Flyer.

Star Flyer was able to deftly navigate those hidden away places around the coastline, and this was no more apparent than when we arrived at Bonifacio.

www.starclippers.com

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CELEBRITY HAVEN IN BEVERLY HILLS

CELEBRITY HAVEN IN BEVERLY HILLS

Before I review a luxury property, I like to spend time collating background information to ideally get the facts straight. Having heard great things about the Montage Beverly Hills, a relatively young property, I wanted to understand the name, Montage, and the reasoning behind it. I learnt it meant “A technique in film editing in which a series of short shots are edited into a sequence to condense space, time and information�. There is no doubt that these visionary owners have taken the word to heart and applied it to beautifully combine all the ingredients necessary for a luxury property. PHIL HARTE

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CELEBRITY HAVEN IN BEVERLY HILLS

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CELEBRITY HAVEN IN BEVERLY HILLS

Situated in one of the busiest cities in the world, Los Angeles, the Montage is nestled between Canon and Beverly Drives in the heart of Beverly Hills. This true Hollywood vintage oasis features a Piazza surrounded by trendy designer shopping, restaurants, cafes, plush landscaping and a magnificent fountain as the centerpiece. The Spanish Colonial inspired architecture and Mediterranean styling offer a sophisticated Southern California glamour seen back in the 1920s and 1930s. The classical elegant furnishings are reminiscent of the Golden Age of California, a perfect setting for today’s celebrity generation, movie moguls and industry heavy weights. However it’s not until you visit the roof top restaurant, Rooftop Grill, and pool deck that you see the real splendor that is The City of Angels. Spending the day sunbathing, there was a buzz around the hotel that singer/songwriter Usher was in-house. With eyes and ears open, there was a noticeable but slight increase in oversized security guards at reception scouting the premises. With stretch limousines rolling in, and a few paparazzi lingering in the lobby,

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guests are caught up in the excitement and understand how the Montage Beverly Hills has become a celebrity sanctuary. As night fell, we strolled down to the lobby level to enjoy a cocktail at the Parq Bar and take some last minute photographs. Our venue for this evening’s meal was voted by Esquire magazine as one of the ‘Best New Restaurants’ in town, Scarpetta Restaurant. With expectations high, the Executive Chef Freddy Vargas welcomed us with special seating organized in the busy kitchen arena. Let me be clear, this was not just any kitchen, this place had been designed to seriously impress with stone service tops and remarkable cabinetry throughout. Our seats were positioned as the Chef’s Table and we were to become part of the organised chaos that is a true à la carte kitchen. With all Chefs poised ready for the onslaught of dockets we watched the night progress like a well oiled machine; we were up to our necks in pots and pans, orders flying past, the amazing spices and flavours wafting through the kitchen, it was impressive.

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CELEBRITY HAVEN IN BEVERLY HILLS

However it’s not until you visit the roof top restaurant, Rooftop Grill, and pool deck that you see the real splendor that is The City of Angels

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CELEBRITY HAVEN IN BEVERLY HILLS

Executive Chef Vargas directed traffic effortlessly like the captain on the deck of his ship in a huge storm; precise and stern he guided his team through the night turning out his signature dishes with his keen eye watching over each and every one. Having spoken with Freddy prior to the dinner, we knew his message wasn’t rocket science; in fact it was a refreshing change ‘Keep it simple, fresh and light’ – a welcome vision when so many chefs are churning out over-worked and oversized concoctions. We dined like royalty that evening as we left our choices to Chef Vargas and he didn’t disappoint. The juicy seared sea scallops, yellow tail, spaghetti Napolitano with traditional tomato and basil and spiced duck

breast with polenta with truffle mushrooms. For dessert we over indulged in the coconut panna cotta with caramelized pineapple and guava soup finishing off with a signature shot of espresso. Our few days at the Montage went by all too quickly; we had a chance to eat across the Piazza at Bouchons, enjoyed lunch at Spagos and obviously gave the gym one hell of a work out each day. The highlight for me was the opportunity to get back in the kitchen, to feel the pressure, enjoy and appreciate the craftsmanship of gastronomic excellence. So if you’re planning a trip to Los Angeles in the near future, book now you, I promise you will not be disappointed.

Montage Beverly Hills, 225 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 | www.montagehotels.com/beverlyhills

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Photography by Warren & Nick

PERRIER-JOUËT, THE ALLURING CHAMPAGNE Since its foundation in 1811, the champagne house Perrier-Jouët has crafted elegant, floral wines of rare finesse with a Chardonnay hallmark. The elegance of the cuvees echoes that of the Art Nouveau anemones adorning the Belle Epoque bottle and offers moments of pure delight and beauty. www.perrier-jouet.com

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MILANO MAGIC

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MILANO MAGIC

MILANO

Magic

When I think of Milan, I think of shopping, fashion, design, commerce, cathedrals, art and, of course, football. We intended to soak up as much of this as we could over our four-day stay at the Park Hyatt Milano. WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

This hotel has a fantastic location. It overlooks the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: one of the world’s oldest shopping malls housed in a stunning 19th century castiron and glass structure. The hotel is nestled at the edge of the Piazza del Duomo (the main piazza in Milan) and the Duomo di Milano – the 5th century Gothic cathedral reported to be the fift h largest in the world. A short walking distance away is the world-renowned opera house, Teatro alla Scala and also ultra-chic shopping options in Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga. We arrived at the Park Hyatt Milano and immediately took in the statement palatial classical design of the façade. As we entered the lobby to check-in and gazed up at the spectacular domed atrium, we were impressed by the spacious interior which featured columns and wall-to-wall terrazzo. This light-fi lled space was anchored through the placement of unique designer furniture and artwork, notably the Lucio Fontana sculpture Testa Di Medusa and the stunning Untitled 2013 by Anish Kapoor which took pride of place in the Cupola Lobby Lounge.

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MILANO MAGIC

The hotel provides accommodation through 106 guestrooms, including 25 suites, all featuring Ed Tuttle designed interiors. We find our suite, which is decorated in a rich palette of cream, caramel and warm chocolate. The room is accented by Venetian stucco and the bathroom is fitted out in Italian marble (of course) featuring soaking tub and oversized rain shower. The unique and exciting individual pieces carefully positioned in the room completed the picture – it was a visual delight and echoed the personal Park Hyatt touch. After a long journey, we love to blow-off the cobwebs by hitting the gym. Whilst not oversized, the Park Hyatt Milano gym was professionally and thoughtfully equipped. The male and female steam rooms and saunas were a treat, as was the deep tissue massage we had at the hotel’s Spa – one of the many excellent offerings to soothe the weary traveller.

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MILANO MAGIC

DINING

HIGHLIGHT

The Park Hyatt has a proud tradition of presenting exceptional dining options in their properties around the world, and this is no exception. Apart from quality in-room dining, the hotel offers another four excellent dining options and prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients available from the market in its menus.

We participated in the ‘Run in Milan’ activity on offer at the Park Hyatt Milan. Guests can choose their preferred run length and then join a group of runners who go past the hotel at 6:25 am every day. The group leader of the runners adapts the tour to shorter or longer paths depending on the preference of the guest runner. As well as burning calories, we loved participating as we felt we had the city to ourselves. We had an up-close and personal view as we ran through parks and pedestrian areas of the city centre, past monuments and landmarks whilst most people were still in their bed.

Andrea Aprea is the executive chef of the hotel’s Michelin-starred ‘Restaurant VUN’. A chef with an obvious passion for his craft, this young Napoli master focuses on technique, innovation and respect for the Italian gastronomic tradition. “My contemporary cuisine looks to the future, but never forgets its origins”, said Aprea. We booked into Restaurant VUN and were impressed with the elegance and sophistication of the dining room. A bonus was that it only accommodated 45 diners, which created a quiet and relaxed ambience. The service was attentive and unobtrusive, and we enjoyed seeing Andrea Aprea actively interacting with the guests. We chose a six course tasting menu and enjoyed an exceptional meal of Caprese…sweet salted, Octopus Luciana style, Anchovies with courgettes, Candela pasta with pork Genovese style, Baked Sea Bass finished with their signature Baba and completed the meal with the delicious Lemon Sensation. We could ask for nothing more!

When visiting Milan, there is so much to see and do, and four days will never seem enough to take in the history, architecture, great food and wine, and shopping. We tried our best, however, and covered as much of the city as we could. Our stay at the Park Hyatt Milan, from its location to it fulfi lling its promise as a truly global luxury hotel brand, was perfect in ensuring our visit was memorable for all the right reasons. Further information: Park Hyatt Milan, Via Tommaso Grossi 1, Milan, Italy, 20121 www.milan.park.hyatt.com

Chef Andrea Aprea

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A JUMP FOR JOY SIX SENSES ZIGHY BAY

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A JUMP FOR JOY SIX SENSES ZIGHY BAY

A JUMP FOR JOY There are many ways guests can check into hotels and resorts, but arriving by paraglider is a unique experience that can’t be beaten. WORDS BY PHIL HARTE This is exactly the way that I checked into the Oman Six Senses Resort – one of Six Senses nine unique and award-winning resorts located around the world. To say paragliding was nerve-wracking for me is an understatement. Perhaps it was from pure confidence, or sheer will of the pilot secured to me in the harness, that when we starting running full pelt to the cliff edge that we didn’t stop. It’s counter-intuitive to jump off a cliff, and whilst my head was screaming ‘no’, my heart was for it, and my legs just did the rest. As the wind filled our sails and we calmly lifted into the sky there was no sound, just the sheer exhilaration and the pure adrenaline pumping through my veins. The view from this height was breathtaking. As we circled the mountain tops we saw hundreds of goats making their way down to feed, and at the fishing village we could see the trawlers busily harvesting the local catch. With only about 100 feet to land, I could see the entourage of Six Senses staff with cameras ready to welcome us. Six Senses Zighy Bay is located on the northern Musandam Peninsula in the Sultanate of Oman. The Resort features 82 luxurious indigenous village-style accommodations and private marina, which is spectacular. It is nestled in with the dramatic mountains on one side and the 1.6 km sandy beach of Zighy Bay on the other. Six Senses Zighy Bay immediately impressed me from the outset with the exclusive arrival by paraglide option. We were greeted with an ice-cold towel and my favourite mango and passion-fruit drink. I’m immediately struck by what a rugged and arid place this is. But the beauty of Zighy Bay lies with the juxtaposition of the expansive turquoise water and palm-tree fringed sandy beach with the dry, rocky and steep terrain. All of the accommodation has been constructed in roughly-hewn stone with much exposed natural timber, and sits in great sympathy with its surroundings. With inspiration taken from traditional Omani villages, Six Senses Zighy Bay features

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palm-shaded laneways and sandy tracks amongst its villas. Six Senses Resorts have a commitment to sustainability and their principles are clearly articulated here. We were joined for lunch, in the Summer House, by Six Senses Director of Public Relations, Hanny Wahyuni, and the Resort Spa Director, Souhel ElAchbah. They spoke with passion about the Six Senses approach to uniqueness and commitment to customer delivery. Lunch was a magnificent piece of Wagu eye fillet from Australia and a fresh catch of king prawns. Lunch was completed with a couple of scoops of freshly made ice cream, which was just perfect on such a warm day. We then spent the next couple of hours touring the resort including the very impressive Presidential suite – if you really want to live like a king, this is for you: it comprised a kitchen, gym, private beach, four individual suites, main dining room, barbecue area, private entertainment areas, a grand reception area which could accommodate a pre-dinner cocktail function for 100, and included a private massage room and a suite for the nanny or butler. We also viewed the Six Senses Spa, which offers nine treatment rooms, a juice bar and two Arabian Hammams. Our home for the next two nights was in a ‘Pool Villa Beachfront’, which aptly described the accommodation. Generous in size, our villa comprised a separate living room, bedroom, bathroom and private outdoor shower. There were two casual outdoor seating areas situated around the 21 m2 infinity edged pool with privacy provided by high cobblestone walls. Only 50 meters from the pool was the pristine white sandy beach with the expanse of Zighy Bay before us. Each morning we watched the incredible routine of the hundreds of crabs scampering down the beach, and our morning swim was always joined with schools of fish. Each evening was memorable with the beautiful sunset walk along the Arabian coastline and with the backdrop of the spectacular cliffs protecting the resort. A true oasis, the privacy and seclusion of the resort relaxed and rejuvenated us.

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A JUMP FOR JOY SIX SENSES ZIGHY BAY

DINING We had a fantastic dining experience at the Resort’s ‘Sense on the Edge’. This award-winning mountain-top venue is perched 293 metres above sea level, overlooking Zighy Bay. The menu is created by Executive Chef James Knight-Pacheco. We started our experience with cocktails, which were served with freshly-made hummus and bonsai nibbles, surrounded by cheese-infused popcorn. This was presented on a bed of ‘hot ice’ creating a showy display of wafting smoke. Whilst taking in the view, we noticed that a couple had arrived discreetly at the other end of the bar and then they disappeared with a bottle of Bollinger in hand, up another 117 steps to a private dining ledge boasting more remarkable views. We discovered that this was only one of several secluded hide-away spots available for a romantic dinner. Dinner matched our loft y expectations and comprised fresh gnocchi, grilled Barracuda, sautéed foie gras, palette cleansing frozen blood orange sorbet with freshly made meringue. It was a truly remarkable night. Other dining options at Six Senses Zighy Bay include the Shua Shack, which offered traditional Bedouin communal dining experiences with under sand cooking and The Wine Cellar – which offered over 250 wine labels and can host small private dinners the at The Vinoteque.

OTHER THINGS TO DO There are many outdoor activities available including mountain trekking, biking, guided off-road excursions, Jungle Gym, fly a micro light aircraft, yacht charter, waters sports or check out their Dive Centre which offers unique underwater experiences. Six Senses Zighy Bay impressed me with the location, accommodation and excellent dining options. The quality and attention to detail shown by the staff was excellent as was their respect and commitment to meeting the expectations of Six Senses guests.

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A JUMP FOR JOY SIX SENSES ZIGHY BAY

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CANADA & ALASKA FIRST PASSAGE TO THE WEST

JOURNEY

on the ORIENT EXPRESS WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

The evocative Orient Express is arguably the most well-known train in the world. Its reputation was established as a showcase of luxury and comfort at a time when travelling was still rough and dangerous. This inspiring and legendary train is part of the rich weave of popular culture, featuring in numerous books, films and TV shows including Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and Ian Fleming’s From Russia with Love, to name just a few.

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JOURNEY ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS

After being established in 1883, the train and its routes have seen many changes over the past 131 years. Originally called Express d’Orient, it travelled from Paris to Vienna and, in 1889, the fi rst non-stop train ran to Istanbul (Istanbul remained its easternmost stop until May 1977). In 1919, the opening of the Simplon Tunnel allowed the introduction of a more southerly route via Milan, Venice and Trieste. The service on this route was known as the Simplon-Orient-Express, and it ran in addition to continuing services on the old route. By 1962, the Orient Express had stopped running, leaving only the Simplon-Orient-Express. Twenty years later, the ‘Venice Simplon-Orient-Express’ was established as a private venture, running restored 1920s and 1930s carriages from London to Venice. The legend has endured two World Wars, a depression and countless recessions and has withstood the modern-day introduction of high-speed rail travel. Th is train is cloaked with the aura of romance, sophistication and adventure and we couldn’t wait to sample this piece of history. Starting our journey in London, we boarded the Belmond British Pullman train at the historic Victoria Station. Taking our seats in the dining car and, over a delicious lunch, enjoyed the Kentish countryside as the train wended it’s way down to Folkestone on the coast. We disembarked here and boarded a luxury coach for the Channel crossing on the Eurotunnel Shuttle.

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JOURNEY ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS

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JOURNEY ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS

When we reached Calais, the coach pulled into our transfer station. Perhaps appropriately fitting with the historical theme, the rail platform appeared to be deserted and was surrounded by disused rail sheds and old derelict buildings. In sharp relief to this background, sat the beautifully restored and glorious Venice Simplon-OrientExpress waiting for us to board. Guests were greeted by an impressive line-up of staff : train directors, chefs, waiters, stewards, engineers and bellmen. As we were led to our cabin and met by our personal steward, we were overwhelmed by the magnitude of the nostalgia, history and grandeur. As the engines started winding over and the grand old lady slowly pulled away from the platform, we headed to the famed Bar Car. Built in France in 1931, this Car ran as part of the Sud Express after the Second World War from Paris to Irún on the Spanish border and from Paris to Toulouse in Le Capitole. Beautifully restored, it features an Art Nouveau-style interior by Gérard Gallet. Th is is a very special place to while away time and to watch the French countryside go past. In keeping with the train’s famed reputation, dining on the train is fairly formal. A jacket and tie is appropriate for lunch and the dress code for dinner is Black Tie. As the cabins are in carriages originally built in the 1920s and 1930s, there are no showers on board. So our experience of preparing for dinner was delightfully authentic using a wash basin. All chefs on board are classically trained and delivered a delicious four-course dinner. All courses reflected Escoffier’s principles and true French modern culinary arts. There are three beautifully restored

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1920s restaurant cars to dine in, each with their own unique ambience: Côte d’Azur, boasting Lalique glass panels; Etoile du Nord with its beautiful marquetry; and L’Oriental, decorated in black lacquer. Following dinner, we headed back to the Bar Car and took in the hypnotic lights of distant Paris, with the gentle tickling of the ivories from the on-board pianist in the background contributing to the magical night. At 2:00 am, with Paris far behind us, we reluctantly left the Bar Car and found our way back to the cabin. There, with our beds already prepared for us, we said good night to a very special day. It is an incredible experience to sleep on a train and the time felt far too short before there was a knock at our cabin door. In walked our steward with the intoxicating aroma of freshly-brewed coffee and hot croissants straight from the oven. These were left on our bedside table with freshly-squeezed juice and a bowl of fruit salad. We enjoyed our breakfast continuing to be mesmerised by the mountain and countryside scenery outside and watched as the train climbed its way up into the alps bound for Zurich and Innsbruck and then down on our run into Venice. We enjoyed a leisurely three-course lunch, and relaxed during the afternoon watching the train travelling through the Italian Dolomites. We took afternoon tea in our cabin and prepared to disembark. All too soon, we had crossed the Venetian Lagoon and pulled into our final destination at the Santa Lucia station in Venice. An unforgettable journey, we felt privileged to have experienced it. With this train’s special place in history we know its legacy will continue to endure well into the future.

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JOURNEY ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS

It is an incredible experience to sleep on a train and the time felt far too short before there was a knock at our cabin door. In walked our steward with the intoxicating aroma of freshlybrewed coffee and hot croissants straight from the oven.

Further information This service runs between March and November. Contact www.belmond.com

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E A S T E R N & O R I E N TA L E X P R E S S , S O U T H E A S T A S I A

DISCOVER SOUTHEAST ASIA WE INVITE YOU TO DISCOVER OUR COLLECTION OF EXCEPTIONAL TRAVEL EXPERIENCES IN THE WORLD’S MOST REMARKABLE LOCATIONS. INDIVIDUAL, INSPIRED, AND IMAGINATIVE, THE WORLD OF BELMOND IS A WORLD LIKE NO OTHER.

THE ULTIMATE WAY TO EXPLORE HIDDEN SOUTHEAST ASIA EASTERN & ORIENTAL EXPRESS - NEW FOR 2015 Venture off the beaten track with our new 6-night Fables of the Peninsula journey on board the Eastern & Oriental Express, which begins with a night at the legendary Raffles Hotel in Singapore, before whisking you off to Kuala Lumpur, the Cameron Highlands and Huay Yang. SPECIAL OFFER: Book any journey departing from Singapore in March, April or May 2015 and your companion will travel for half the price. Book before 25th March 2015. Quote EC50 at time of booking.

CONTACT OUR LUXURY TRAVEL CONSULTANTS ON 1800 000 395 OR YOUR LOCAL TRAVEL AGENT. BELMOND.COM/EASTERNORIENTALEXPRESS

Book any journey departing from Singapore in March, April or May 2015 and your companion will travel for half the price. Book before 25th March 2015. Companion fare valid when accompanied by one full fare paying passenger. Based on two sharing. This offer cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion. Valid for new bookings only. Offer subject to availability. When booking please quote code EC50.


A VENETIAN HAVEN for famous newly-weds After spending a few days on the main island of Venice, we were looking forward to leaving behind the masses of tourists pouring into the ancient city each day. So we headed to Giudecca Island, home of the Belmond Cipriani Hotel, which sits at the heart of the Venetian archipelago. WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

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A VENETIAN HAVEN FOR FAMOUS NEWLY-WEDS

It was time to escape and find out why Mr and Mrs Clooney chose this venue to host the ‘wedding of the year’.

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A VENETIAN HAVEN FOR FAMOUS NEWLY-WEDS

It was time to escape and fi nd out why Mr and Mrs Clooney chose this venue to host the ‘wedding of the year’. Our water taxi departed at 10:30am from St Marks Square, and in a matter of ten minutes we were whisked away to Giudecca Island. We could have been in another part of the world; such was the mystery and visual allurement of the ride.

we were reclined in the poolside lounge with tea served, internet connected, and our lunch menu presented. For the next two hours, I lost myself in a world of Italian luxe and relaxation, and Danielle strolled the magnificent gardens photographing, absorbing herself in the natural beauty.

On 26 May 1958, Giuseppe Cipriani opened the Hotel Cipriani on the island of Giudecca. Also the founder of the famed Harry’s Bar and the inventor of the Bellini, Giuseppe Cipriani created one of the world’s most expensive hotels. The flagship of the Belmond group, the Cipriani has become home to a myriad of international celebrities.

The Cipriani’s spatial liberty sets its apart from the often flocked hotels and resorts of the main island. It boasts its own Olympic size pool and, in the spirit of Mediterranean, plucked-from-the-harvest freshness, their own vegetable and herb gardens. Guests need to make way for the team of ducks strolling around in single fi le, or listen out for the chicken frenzy during feeding time.

On arrival, we were met by the hotel concierge by the dock and escorted to check-in. Our bags disappeared, and almost immediately

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A VENETIAN HAVEN FOR FAMOUS NEWLY-WEDS

The Flagship of the Belmond group, the Cipriani has become home to the who’s who of the celebrity world.

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A VENETIAN HAVEN FOR FAMOUS NEWLY-WEDS

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A VENETIAN HAVEN FOR FAMOUS NEWLY-WEDS

Unique pieces of sculpture are dotted throughout the gardens, and thoughtful relaxation areas are hidden away to create the impression that guests are almost alone. Despite the notable peace and quiet, the Cipriani was in fact sold out during our stay. We very much looked forward to dinner that night at the famed Restaurant ORO. Designed by world-renowned restaurant designer Adam D. Tihany, the restaurant is uniquely elegant, while Executive Chef Davide Bisetto demonstrates his golden touch that gives the restaurant its name. This celebrated iconic hotel has managed to coax Chef Bisetto back to his Venetian roots and give diners a culinary thrill. To complete the triumvirate, and leading the way, is in my opinion the industry benchmark for restaurant management. Carlo Tofani is the quintessential professional, with the suave manner and finesse of Tony Bennett, he glides from table to table mesmerising clientele with recommendations, recipes and

ultimately deciding what they will eat. Carlo has created a unique and fascinating environment that I have not yet seen replicated. Naturally, we left the menu up to Carlo, and what a spread he delivered! We enjoyed lamb shank tortellini, sautéed octopus and scampi tagliatelle with gold leaf. To complement a teetotaler’s dining experience, Carlo delivered an amazing ensemble of carefully selected teas to suit each dish. I had heard about the ‘life changing’ Tiramisu dessert that one could only get at Cips, Cipriani’s waterfront restaurant. So to ensure we finished off the night with a bang, we were last seen cuddled up waterside with an espresso and a very large serve of the Tiramisu. We were not disappointed! If you venture into the city of love, please put the Cipriani on the top of your list. It may cost a few Euro more, but you won’t regret it; this hotel is worth every penny.

Belmond Hotel Cipriani, Giudecca 10, 30133 Venice, Italy | www.belmond.com/hotel-cipriani-venice

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FINISHED I N AG E D W H IS S KY BA A RRE ELS R I CH ER . D EEP ER . S M OOT H ER.


GRITTI THE ICON GETS A MAKEOVER

GRITTI THE ICON GETS A MAKEOVER WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

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GRITTI THE ICON GETS A MAKEOVER

Pulling into Santa Lucia station, the ancient backdrop in the distance that is Venice starts to reveal itself. The sun sets over the many Basilicas and churches and the history is told through the incredible architecture of this Venetian wonder.

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GRITTI THE ICON GETS A MAKEOVER

Gathering up our Luggage we head to the water’s edge where our taxi is waiting. In short time we are whisked down the Grand Canal dodging and weaving past the hundreds of watercraft and careful not to upset the many lovers enjoying their sunset cruise on the armada of Gondolas. We had the pleasure to stay overnight at the newly refurbished Gritti Palace. On entering this famous property we were in awe of the detail and craftsmanship of this magnificent hotel. We had been reserved a suite and from the moment our door opened we were simply astounded at the detail incorporated in the 15 month renovation and refurbishment. Our tour of the Gritti took us to the Hemingway Suite, a mere 10,000-euro a night; Ernest, a regular guest, would have been pretty happy with the result. Gritti was also our host for a wonderful Venetian dinner for two to celebrate Danielle’s birthday. Club Del Doge

was the signature eatery, and the walls were adorned with a plethora of original masterpieces and artifacts from centuries gone by. Dinner was a classical feast starting with the traditional Cicchetti plate boasting fresh prawns, crab and an array of shellfish in an assortment of marinades, pickles and home made balsamics and local olive oils. Our mains were spectacular: hand made linguini with truffle and a school of fresh scampi swimming in a light parsley and white wine sauce. The risotto was named after the great Ernest Hemingway with a hint of fresh prawns, finished off with lightly steamed mussels. A birthday wouldn’t be the same with out a candle or two, and we selected the family favorite, the Doge Chocolate Soufflé served with a fresh vanilla and chocolate sauce with lashings of freshly whipped cream. It was safe to say that the gym was well used and we couldn’t wait to again meet for breakfast on the canal and do it all again!

The Gritti Palace, Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, 2467 · 30124 Venice, Italy | www.thegrittipalace.com

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GRITTI THE ICON GETS A MAKEOVER

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EF 24 - 70MM F/2.8L II USM THE ZOOM LENS THAT BRINGS YOUR CREATIVE HORIZONS CLOSER Taken on tour by Danielle Harte in Venice, Italy


RICH VENETIAN HISTORY

As part of the Luxury collection of the Starwood group boasts one of the oldest and most celebrated hotels in Venice the Hotel Danieli. WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

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HAMILTON HA HAM H A MILTON AM ILLT ILT LTON ON IISL ISLAND IS SL A SL AND AN ND N D TH TTHE HE JJEWEL EWE EW WE W EL OF OF TTHE HE H E WHI W WH WHITSUNDAYS TSU TSU SU N ND NDA DAYS DA AYS S

Three individual buildings make up the Danieli, and we arrive via a short stroll through St Mark’s Square and the cobble stone entrance of the original building. We thought we were back in the 14th century. With sweeping views over the Venetian lagoons, Hotel Danieli enjoys a location rich in history on Riva degli Schiavoni. As the revolving door invites us to the lobby it was truly a real time history lesson. From the 14th century, we were escorted through the lobby up the original staircase and enjoyed a guided tour of the several personalised suites that had been named after their most famous guests: from Grace Kelly to Greta Garbo, it was as if we had spent hours in the most amazing museum. Attached to the central building was 80 rooms from the 15th century with the finale a further 80 rooms from the 20th century boasting the jewel on level five, Terrazza Danieli. Having checked in, we spent the day having ‘Canon’ moments shooting images of this remarkable city from the rooftop, the highest vantage point of Venice. With uninterrupted views of the Grand Canal, the serenity was momentarily interrupted via an unsightly 15 story 7,000 berth Norwegian monstrosity bullying its way down the canal threatening anyone in its way.

That night we were to enjoy one of Venice’s signature restaurants and, with a balcony table for two, we spent the remainder of the night critiquing the wonderfully classical Venetian menu. It was virtually impossible to eat out in Venice without pasta or risotto adorning your table, so we decided to explore a Lobster salad with marinated zucchini and almond cream, lime and ginger sea foam as our appetizer, along with Steak Tartare: three small portions of minced eye fi llet unique with fragrances of oriental spices and a selection of curries and oyster leaves. A beautifully prepared pumpkin soup appeared with 72 month aged Parmesan foam, then here it was, the Risotto, infused with Champagne and fennel cream, slithers of white truffle and poached scampi. The fi nale was to be the medium rare beef sirloin with celery root and sautéed gallinacci mushrooms and a braised Lamb Loin with Sichuan pepper, sautéed potatoes, Truffle Madeleine and a mustard sauce. Desert was a light home-made vanilla and hazelnut ice cream with a single shot espresso whilst gazing across the Grand Canal. If it’s history you seek, look no further than the Hotel Danieli, situated in the heart of Venice, a true piece of history.

Further information: Hotel Danieli, Riva degli Schiavoni 4196 · 30122 Venice, Italy | http://www.danielihotelvenice.com

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HAMILTON ISLAND THE JEWEL OF THE WHITSUNDAYS

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1800 615 440


A CASTAWAY’S IDYLL

A CASTAWAY’S

IDYLL WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

You can never fully prepare yourself for your first actual glimpse of the picture-book perfect image that is formed by the islands of the Maldives. An awesome sight, Laamu Atoll triggered many involuntary gasps of delight from guests on our boat, as we approached. Our vista is filled with an endlessly pure turquoise canvas of crystal clear water, and belts of powder white sand, with villas jutting out like fingers over the water, or nestled along the edge of the palm-fringed island.

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A CASTAWAY’S IDYLL

Six Senses Laamu is the only resort in the Laamu Atoll, deep in the Indian Ocean, and only five degrees north of the equator. It is reached by a 35 minute inter-island plane trip from Malé International Airport – where we were afforded aerial views of the Maldives archipelago – and a 20 minute speedboat ride. Staff welcomed us with the traditional greeting and it was made clear that this was a true island getaway. Eschewing all formality, thongs are the footwear of choice, and shorts, t-shirts and sarongs complete the island dress-code. The concept is barefoot serenity and we eagerly embraced that. Our villa was located at the far end of the resort, which we reached by buggy. As we approached the villa’s jetty we saw two pushbikes were waiting with ‘number plates’ attached – personalised with our own initials. There are 96 villas at the resort. In keeping with Six Senses values, villa accommodation interior design is eco-friendly yet well-appointed, and fully appropriate to an island retreat setting. The open and airy villa was truly spectacular with the canopied bed being the centre-piece and located to provide uninterrupted views of the surf breaking in the distance. Our open air shower was screened with bamboo for privacy

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and located alongside a private water garden. A rather special feature was the all-glass sunken bathtub, perched just two metres from the ocean floor, where we could soak up more of the Indian Ocean whilst listening to soft music from the Bose sound system installed in the villa. Each day, we headed straight down the ladder from our jetty into the crystal clear water below, and in the afternoons watched pods of dolphins frolicking. The evenings found us up on the treetop deck where we never tired of seeing the uninterrupted expansive view of the Indian Ocean and the indescribable beauty of the equatorial sunset. Exploring the island by bike was a favorite pastime, where we rode through the island jungle admiring the incredible plant life and the hoards of lizards and crabs. We often ventured into the ocean with snorkels in hand, and swum around the coral rich house reef with myriad and colourful sea creatures including Oriental Sweetlips, Parrotfish and even green turtles. Dani’s Canon DX1 worked overtime on a kayaking trip we took around the island, as each inlet and bend revealed more tropical glory. An added benefit was the gym, well equipped with Technogym gear, with views out to the ocean. Each day we also took advantage of the upstairs open yoga room to take in the view and stretch.

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A CASTAWAY’S IDYLL

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A CASTAWAY’S IDYLL

There’s no doubt that Six Senses Laamu resort provides a quality and memorable experience in a very special place in the world. It is definitely not to be missed. 238 | CLASSIC LIFESTYLE

Most of Laamu’s six bars and restaurants are set over water, serving international and Asian cuisine. We enjoyed the menus even more after we observed the care and attention the resort gardeners paid to cultivate the local produce grown on the island (which included vegetables, bananas and an array of all kinds of herbs). And we treated ourselves each night, as we strolled back to our villa, by stoppig at the ice creamery, to pick up a complimentary ice-cream (at least 100 flavours), yogurt, sorbet or milkshake.

Highlight On our last night at Six Senses Laamu we attended a sunset cocktail event with the Director of Marketing, Alan Ball. The convivial atmosphere,

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A CASTAWAY’S IDYLL

great food and wine were matched only by the perfect sunset. Thinking things couldn’t be any better, our event was interrupted by a very excited Marine Biologist who rushed up to announce that her nest of turtles were about to hatch. With great anticipation, we raced behind her to the beach with cameras in hand ready to witness the birth of 25 baby turtles. We watched the skilled team busily dig a path from the nest to the water’s edge and then out popped the heads of the first four baby turtles. It was indeed a wonderful moment. There’s no doubt that Six Senses Laamu resort provides a quality and memorable experience in a very special place in the world. It is definitely not to be missed.

The Maldives is the smallest Asian country in both population and land area. With an average ground level elevation of 1.5 metres above sea level, it is the planet’s lowest country. It is also the country with the lowest natural highest point in the world, at 2.4 metres. Forecasts predicting future inundation of the Maldives due to rising sea levels are of great concern to its people.

Further information: www.sixsenses.com

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A SHORT BLACK WITH SANDRA SULLY WORDS BY RAE BLAIR

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Sandra Sully is one of Australia’s leading television journalists and one of its most recognisable faces. As Senior Editor and a News Presenter with Network Ten for more than two decades, she’s become a welcome, reliable, trustworthy and friendly face in the Australian media landscape. A self-confessed news junkie, @Sandra_Sully is also prolific on twitter, the go to News source this decade. Somehow she also manages to curate a daily newspaper for her social media followers called #ShortBlack - highlighting the biggest and best stories from Australia and around the globe. I caught up with Sandra over, well, a Short Black. Firstly congratulations. As if you’re not busy enough, why a daily newspaper and why did you call it #ShortBlack? SS: Well as much as I love television news, I think people get their News and information now from a variety of sources and on so many different platforms. It was really about catering to a time poor audience and delivering information that’s hopefully interesting and engaging, with the added advantage of it being delivered straight to them, either on their phone, tablet or inbox. I called it #ShortBlack because just about everyone I know loves to read; catch up on the day, or converse with friends over a coffee. I figured a short, sharp shot of News would be like a short sharp caffeine hit, and according to my coffee officianado friends, Short Black was it. What is a typical work day for you? SS: I start my day listening to the BBC and Radio National. I then scan the newspapers for a couple of hours and plan my day. I might have to set up interviews or chase-up newsworthy stories and I am lucky in that I can work from home most mornings. I will then head into the station at around 2:00 pm. Some days I’m involved in charity events or it might be writing an article on someone I find interesting and getting that published. Over your career, what news story that you covered had the most impact on you? SS: I spent almost 18 years as the presenter and senior editor of TEN Late News with Sports Tonight and out of all the stories I have

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either written or presented, the one that is hard to beat is September 11. I was on-air when the news came through about the terror attacks on the Twin Towers in New York. I was the first Australian journalist to break the news. It’s a moment that will always stay with me. It was pretty nerve-wracking stuff, wondering whether we were on the brink of World War III. What piece of advice would have been valuable to you when you were starting your career? SS: Don’t lose your shorthand! Seriously though, the best advice I could give is to remember your manners. They are free and go a long way in business and in life. In the television game, it took me a while to fully grasp that we are in the image business, and with that comes all the criticisms. So, I’ve also learnt that it is OK if not everyone likes you. I’ve toughened up a lot. I would also urge newbies to seek out good mentors and those you admire. Then, you need to evaluate why you admire them. Be honest with yourself, accept your weaknesses and work to your strengths. Never, ever stop challenging yourself and always, always be open to learning. You are celebrating an incredible milestone at Ten having been with the Network for 25 years, what else is on the horizon? SS: Well, one of the best parts of what I do is the opportunity to work with some great charities like Multiple Sclerosis and Spinal Cure, raising awareness and much needed research funds. Then there’s Audi Australia, who have really transformed the car space and stage events, across the country that are second to none. Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is a fabulous and glamorous week set against the backdrop of brilliant sailing, in the gorgeous Whitsundays; who could ask for more. What is your perfect day off? SS: A perfect day would include a late sleep-in with my husband, followed by a run along the beach and a swim. A lazy breakfast (prepared by someone else) would follow. Ideally my afternoon would be rounded off with a good movie, or lying under a tree being immersed in a great book.

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BON APPÉTIT BEST RESTAURANTS OF 2014

BON APPÉTIT BEST RESTAURANTS OF 2014 Irrespective of whom I talk to within the culinary industry throughout the world, there are distinctive similarities; fresh and local seems to be the consistent theme. It goes without saying that fresh is mandatory, you too may think it should be a prerequisite. However don’t be fooled, pre-cooked is fast becoming the new fresh. WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

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BON APPÉTIT BEST RESTAURANTS OF 2014

France’s reputation for culinary genius has traditionally set the standard to which all other countries aspire. It has always been synonymous with outstanding cooking, but not any more. According to a devastating investigation behind the kitchen doors of Paris, rather than master chefs and fresh ingredients, restaurants in the world capital of Haute cuisine are increasingly relying on microwave ovens and deep freezers to feed their customers, it has found. France is now clamping down on the entire culinary industry by enforcing compulsory certification. With the black and white “Fait Maison” (home-made logo) it has become necessary to feature their stamp of approval identifying that you don’t pre-cook and call it freshly cooked. Due to sky rocketing food and wage costs and to obviously limit wastage, the pre-cooked and re-cooked method is fast becoming the norm. The hotel industry professions (UHIP) say that 85% of France’s 150,000 restaurants serve vacuum packed and frozen food without telling its customers. Gone are the days that the apprentice chef spends hours turning fresh vegetables and creating the Pomme Chateau and fluting mushrooms, allowing them to hone their skills. Today it’s all about portion control and time management. I managed to chat with a number of second and third year apprentice chefs all of whom were incapable of turning vegetables and were convinced they came from the grower to them pre-prepared in plastic bags. Sad really.

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My favourite new restaurants this year were truly unforgettable and it wasn’t only the food but the overall experience that created these stand out reviews: Dubai gave us Le serre (French) at Vida, and the Address Downtowns new Zeta Restaurant and Bar, San Francisco dished up MKT at the Four Seasons, and America’s number one food and wine pairing came from the St Francis winery in Sonoma. In Sydney it was without a doubt Simple and Irresistible (Thai) at north Sydney, Woods at the Four Seasons, Zuma (Asian fusion) London, Scarpetta at the Montage LA, Armani’s Restoranti Milan, Bukhara (Indian) at the ITA Sheraton Delhi and in Venice, the Cipriani’s Oro. My single stand out dish was the Sweet Salted Caprese from the Park Hyatt Milan (page 204). During our travels I can only salute the chefs on the Silver Seas, the Star Clipper, Orient Express and Rocky Mountaineer as they managed to create world-class meals in a space no bigger than a domestic bathroom. Having taken a tour of these unique kitchens I was amazed at the quality achieved from such confi ned work space, forget the lack of storage or service space, there is virtually no room to maneuver, so the next time you are on board spare a thought for these extraordinary chefs. It was pleasing to see that the swing back to classical cookery is on the rise and that we can now rely on tradition within the dining rooms. Hopefully this will be the trigger to introduce our young chefs to the Modern French culinary arts.

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HALL OF FAME TOP CHEFS 2014

Apu and Gabriel Stivala Asado, The Palace Dubai

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Mark Richardson, Four Seasons San Francisco Kevin Tanaka, Navio, Ritz Carlton San Francisco

Justin Everett, Cavallo Point San Francisco

Giovanni R Zocca, Trattoria Pinocchio, San Francisco

Richard Lee, Six Senses Zighy Bay

Massimiliano Sperli, Fazaris

Felix Pfister, Fairview, Fairmont Lake Louise

Emiliano Balisconi & Alessandro Salvatico, Ristorante, Armani Hotel Milan

Freddy Vargas, Scarpetta, Montage Beverly Hills

Albert Diaz, Zuma, London James Knight, Senses on the Edge, Zighy Bay

Chef Andrew, Cabana Restaurant, Dubai Mall

Darren Brown, Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver Bobby Batmanghelidj schmoozing chefs at Bukhara, New Delhi

Andreas Aprea, VUN, Park Hyatt Milan

Kevin Villalovos, Grand Hyatt San Francisco

Michael Clinton, Park Hyatt Dubai

Chefs Trevor & Nick, Marina Restaurant

Geoff Carkner & Pamela Gould, Allegro Restaurant, Westin Melbourne


Park Hyatt Dubai FRIDAY BRUNCH AT TRAITEUR

Fridays in Dubai have become a culinary ritual with literally hundreds of hotels competing for the title of the UEA’S Number One. Over seven years, we have enjoyed maybe 40 of the standouts, so we just had to invite our special guest and brunch expert, Sasha Armstrong, to join us at Dubai’s Premo Brunch at the Park Hyatt Creekside Resort. What sets this brunch streets ahead of the rest is the amazing variety, and the fact that an army of chefs prepares the majority of the menu live for you. If you ask, they will allow you to join them on the grill. The Typically French menu also features amazing seafood, and a dessert room that defies imagination. Traiteur is the benchmark, whether hanging out in Dubai or on a lay over. Traiteur, Park Hyatt The Creek Dubai | +971 4 3172222 246 | CLASSIC LIFESTYLE

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Traiteur’s multiple award-winning Friday Brunch offers diners the chance to choose from among three brunch packages presented by Chef de Cuisine Daniel Hoefler and his team of chefs. Guests can enjoy the stunning architecture and theatre-style kitchen of Traiteur while listening to live music. Alternatively, they can relax and enjoy brunch with friends in the private dining room, the Cave Privée, or on the outdoor terrace area overlooking the marina. Traiteur’s Friday Brunch features a large selection of appetisers and live cooking stations, including shucked Fine de Claire oysters, assorted pork charcuterie and spit-roast lamb and beef from the rotisserie. Lobster, shrimp and salmon from the grill station will also delight, as well as a selection of vegetables and potatoes served in copper pots, from French beans to roasted pumpkin. As for desserts, an extensive buffet is set up inside Traiteur’s private dining room (also referred to as Chef’s Table), in addition to live dessert stations. The mouth-watering selection here includes homemade ice creams, a crêpe and waffle station, a chocolate fountain, a praline station and a plethora of other desserts, including Saint Honoré, Opera Cake, Éclairs and Crème Brûlée.

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MAGNIFICO CAPRESE... SWEET SALTED FEUDI DI SAN GREGORIO, DUBL V.S.DQ.

Creator Executive Chef Andrea Aprea Restaurant VUN Park Hyatt Milan

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Ristorante Armani, Milano

MKT Four Seasons

Zuma, London

Frenchy’s Mosman

Hotel Montage LA

Orient Express

Cicchetti, Byron Bay

ST Francis Winery, Sonoma

Scomas, San Francisco

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NICK’S NOTES Nick Blair Wine Specialist

We are blessed in Australia to have such an abundance of great locally produced wine at all levels. From wines made by large companies to those made by small producers who do it simply because they love it and they can. But it is still a great moment when you find something special and this year we did. From one of Australia’s best know wineries and makers of Jacob’s Creek is St Hugo. This premium label has been on the market for over 30 years and has a reputation for producing some of the best and most consistent Cabernet Sauvignons from the famed Coonawarra region of South Australia. In the last few years the range has been expanded to include a Barossa Shiraz and a GSM also from the Barossa. Something Special: 2010 St Hugo Barossa Grenache Shiraz Mataro (GSM) This award-winning (10 Gold medals!) Grenache Shiraz Mataro blend is sourced from specific vineyards in the Barossa Valley to provide complexity and vibrancy. An opulent wine with bright cherry fruit, toasty cinnamon oak complexity, and rich, silky tannins that persist right to the end. A must for any serious wine lover’s cellar. *** South of the Barossa lies McLaren Vale, a region that has put a huge stamp on the wine world with its full flavoured wines, predominantly Shiraz. One producer that has taken McLaren Vale Shiraz to a whole new level is Mollydooker. The labour of love of Sparky and Sarah Marquis, the wines are nothing short of stunning.

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Something Special: 2012 Mollydooker Carnival of Love McLaren Vale Shiraz This is a wine that will surprise with its depth and complexity. The flavours are bold with cherry, blackberry and ripe plums. This is supported by vanilla, Mollydooker’s signature choc-mocha, and pepper and spice. This is a wine of contrast, intense, rich and bold yet elegant. It is no wonder it captures the attention of wine critics the world over. **** Heading to the cooler climate of Victoria’s Yarra Valley is a relatively new wine producer, Levantine Hill. The brainchild of Elias (Eli) Jreissati and wife Colleen, this is a wine label that has no compromise. When Paul Bridgeman, Winemaker and a Yarra Valley local, joined the Levantine Hill team in 2013 he was simply told that his role was to make the best wine he could no matter the cost, and this philosophy shows in the wines of Levantine Hill. Something Special: 2012 Levantine Hill Samantha’s Paddock Mélange Traditionnel Based on the traditional French red grape varieties found in Bordeaux, this is an elegant Cabernet Sauvignon based blend married with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. The wine displays fresh red berries with herbal notes. It has great structure and length, fine silky tannins with quality new French oak evident. This is a wine that will reward with careful cellaring for up to 20 years.

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Transforming the iconic Australian Squash Club into one of Sydney’s most sought after apartment buildings, Corazon on the Park boasts Sydney’s No. 1 Thai eatery, Simple & Irresistible Kitchen. Enjoying the corner position on the ground floor for the past eight years, the opportunity to expand through to the adjoining shop came at perfect timing, and in 2013 this unbeatable sensory experience of Thai delicacy and culture opened new doors to fantastic reviews. The eclectic decor married with a live open kitchen environment, which frames flashes of flame and colour, and movements of the highly skilled chefs as they toss, steam and sauté crisp vegetables, visually signifies the reason behind the venue’s name. I am lucky enough to live upstairs, and therefore consider the dining room of Simple & Irresistible like my own. I invite many friends and clients here to dine and meet the staff, and treat the experience with

Olympic Beach volleyball Champion Natalie Cook

pride and excitement as I introduce them to another world of flavour. Last month we conducted a press event with Olympic champ Natalie Cook and Aussie Netball Captain Laura Geitz. During the two hour occasion, 20 of our closest friends and family, enjoyed a culinary trip across to Thailand as we shared their fresh and piquant national dishes including; authentic Pad Thai, Penang Prawns in silky sweet coconut, flash fried chili chicken with buttery garlic and cashew nuts. And perhaps one of the best chicken satays I have tried, rich in earthy peanut smothered across succulent strips of chargrilled breast. This restaurant combines the best of two dining worlds: the culinary exoticism of Thailand, with the freshest produce, seafood and poultry of Australia. Diners in this country, we are truly spoilt. Visitors to Sydney, or locals of the area, treat your taste buds to a piece of Thailand in the heart of Sydney.

Commonwealth Games Netball Champion Laura Geitz

Simple & Irresistible, Open 6 days. Corner of Miller Street and Ridge Street, North Sydney (02) 9929 6696

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FRENCHY’S

Frenchy’s

There is no better moment than stumbling across a little French Patisserie on your travels... imagine finding one on the outskirts of Saint-Germain-en-Laye in Paris... the strong aroma of freshly brewed coffee, a tray of freshly baked baguettes and warm chocolate croissants... life doesn't get any better! Well now you can enjoy traditional French flavours in our very own backyard... Frenchy's Cafe is located on the outskirts of Mosman, Sydney and is perched neatly on the corner of Middle Head Road and Best Street. I was inspired to share this remarkable French success story of Alena and Pierre, who managed to bring a traditional Parisian Cafe back to Australia. Her love of cooking created a life and family through her passion for French Cuisine. Enjoy as she shares with us her story and recommendations of her favourite cafes in Paris. So when you're next in Sydney, please drop into Frenchy’s and be impressed! Ask for my number one pick Napoleons at breakfast or maybe the orange and coconut muffin. You choose... Bon Apetit

Phil

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FRENCHY’S

Here is our lit lle story…

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Tate-Tatin

I went to Paris to study 10 years ago for 6 months and within 3 weeks I met Pierre and decided to stay! Pierre didn’t speak any English and my French wasn’t that great so with a lot of patience and dictionaries we communicated and I learned French. We leased our first brasserie ( L’amnesia) together in a town called Saint Germain en Laye on the outskirts of Paris. After 2 years we leased a larger brasserie, Le Soubise, just around the corner. Le Soubise … had been converted into a brasserie about 200 years prior but was originally was the stables to the kings horses. The Castle opposite Le Soubise had huge beautiful gardens and hunting forests. hundreds of years ago this was the town were the King lived before the Chateau de Versailles was built. Anyway Im getting carried away. We worked for 5 years as partners leasing brasseries and working 7 days a week. We were open from 6 am to 2am. I took care of the day shift and Pierre would work nights. We would cross paths for about an hour of so in the after noon everyday before I went to take care of the office work! We hardly saw each other, but we had a goal to move to Sydney and buy our own cafe one day. We wanted to start a family and I really wanted to move back to Sydney to be closer to my mum. In 2012 we did it all at once! We realised I was pregnant the day the movers were packing up our home so we moved to Sydney and had to find a cafe and

get it up and running before having the baby. Pierre needed to improve on his english too… It was a crazy year! We have always loved food and wine and have both had experience in kitchens as well as every other area involved in running a cafe. We found a cafe with a tiny kitchen smaller than my one from Paris but situated in paradise… so we bought it! Seeing as we both love cooking and sharing good food we decided to create a menu with some fresh simple home made recipes that we have always loved eating ourselves. We were even able to import the same goats cheese we used for our Goasts cheese salad which was a best seller in France and is a best sleet here in Sydney too! The cafe took off within a few weeks, several different positive newspaper reviews were done within the first few months of opening. Pierre’s english is getting better everyday;) He comes from a region called Aveyron which is 2 hours north of Toulouse, a town called La croix-barrez. His family have a farm and produce the most beautiful charcuterie. Pierre grew up on fresh milk from the cows next door, vegetables pulled from the ground hours before being cooked and fresh eggs from the hens in the garden. His mother is a wonderful cook and taught him to appreciate and love food. Très bon voyage a vous deux A bientôt,

Alena

Frenchy’s suggestions for Paris

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Le Petit Marché 9 rue de Bearn, 75003 +33 1 42 72 06 67

L’AS de FELAFEL 34 Rue des Rosiers Paris 75004

Yummy, fresh french food. Great Ambiance. Caraf wine is good quality. Can sit outside or in. Reservations can be good idea as very busy. This café is on the outskirts of the Place des Voges which is a beautiful grassy square surrounded by little Art boutiques and cafés. Stroll through the Marais and enjoy the ambiance. Sunday is a great day as all boutiques are open and people are out and about.

Lenny Kravitz loves this place and so do we!! A quick lunch in the middle of the marais in the Busy rue des Rosiers. Cute boutiques and second hand vintage store surround this popular place. Buzzing, busy, best felafel in town. Sit down and order a Schwarma and beer... try the fresh green and red homemade chillis on the table. Very Casual

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FINISHED I N AG E D W H IS S KY BA A RRE ELS R I CH ER . D EEP ER . S M OOT H ER.


CICCHETTI BYRON BAY

CICCHETTI BY RO N

BAY

WORDS BY PHIL HARTE One of Australia’s iconic destinations, Byron Bay can at last boast somewhere to eat that will no doubt become as iconic as there signature lighthouse.

It was fantastic or should I say refreshing to have a truly traditional menu not only prepared by the azzurri but to be served by them as well.

Cicchetti means Tapas and having spent a couple of hours working our way through arguably some of Australia’s best Italian food, you will never complain about an hours drive from the coast for lunch or dinner again.

There is something special about a thick Italian accent echoing through the kitchen and that warm ‘Buongiorno’ as you walk in the door.

Not to be to critical of Byron, I get the shuffling along with no shoes the braided hair and the constant reminder of ‘Flower Power’ waft ing through the air and the obligatory ‘hey man’. It sort of makes sense that fine dinning has yet to come to this coastal paradise and with a string of fast food outlets and the never ending organic joints, the locals can now celebrate this world class eatery.

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The entire menu features home made Gnocchi, Pasta, Crackling Pork Belly, Ragu, Ravioli and they have a remarkable pastry chef who churns out delicious desserts including Tiramisu, Zabaglione and Chocolate Ravioli. Luka, having been poached from one of Brisbane’s Award winning restaurant’s, runs an authentic and genuine Italian eatery that has the style and finesse usually reserved for that of his European counterparts.

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CICCHETTI BYRON BAY

You walk into a bar, you want a glass of wine, and just a little plate of something. That is cicchetti,” explains Cicchetti’s Italian General Manager, Luca Giacomin, running his hand around the open-book menu like Enzo Ferrari on a Grand Prix track. “Just for a little something to eat.” Lo, the desire for “just something” at Byron Bay’s brand new Cicchetti will remain unstirred. From the exterior’s glowing white sign and slate-black tiles, curiosity winks and pulls you inside like a flirtatious Venetian youth. Leave it to the warmly lit, black and timber interior, the heady waft of garlic and basil, and the generously stocked bar of worldly liquors guide you to a chair. Get ready for more than just something. It’s fine dining meets Byron, silver service meets surf. Cicchetti was designed to bring a refi ned Italian meal to the cruisy culture of its surroundings. “I believe that you can have fine dining without fine dining. You can come to Cicchetti without a special occasion, without pretension,” Luca explains. It’s dark in here, but by design. The open-spaced, 100-seat dining space endeavours to entice. From the handmade blackbutt wood tables, to the exposed dark brick walls running the grey tiled flooring, to the robust pillars of onyx-black tiles shimmering like fish scales. Black is the new black, bar the explosions of colour from the three paintings of Venetian buildings mounted sporadically. Even the cutlery is a little provocative, curving into the grip like the seamless manoeuvre of a cheeky Italian dance partner.

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Like many of the ingredients, the staff too exemplifies the Italian-accented philosophy of Cicchetti; they are all from Italy, a fact worn by the boys with as much gusto as their uniform. “I am Italian, and of course our chefs are too,” Luca gestures expressively to the kitchen. Our looks are met with a firm nod from head chef Enrico Semenzato from Venice, barely glancing up as he dices vegetables at a terrifying speed. On pouring the first bottle of frosted San Pellegrino, the young waiter says with a smirk to break hearts, “I am Italian too”. Hey, less flirt and more focus when the hour of lunch is upon us. Cicchetti confronts the Italian stereotype of bravo with the Baccalá Mantecato’s delicacy of flavour. For the first appetizer, mini chervil herb adorns a shell of salted cod puree on a grilled polenta square that mimics the texture and pleasure of a beach bonfire-toasted marshmallow, a clever collision of salty and sweet. For those who don’t know, any dish that arrives with a perfume bottle of brandy is set to impress. The Capesante Gratinate (scallop gratin) encrusted in brittle breadcrumbs tainted green and gold from basil butter is silky and firm, yielding a smoky flavour enlivened with fresh dill. Sprayed with brandy for extra bite, it is washed down with a fruity glass of Borgo Alle Vigne Pinot Grigio. The Gnocchi E Calamari is a platonic meeting of land and sea with sweet corn puree that reaches flavour depths of buttermilk or burnt caramel, pulled suddenly to the surface with the saltiness of squid ink, smudged across the plate like petroleum on snow. With the two pieces of pan-fried

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CICCHETTI BYRON BAY

gnocchi and thick, al dente calamari to soak up the goodness with a nip of chive, it’s finger licking good. Would Nonna mind? A glass of matched woody The Lane Vineyard ‘Beginning’ Chardonnay from Adelaide Hills does well to keep hands off the plate. Of the Filetto di Pesce al Cartoccio (steamed fish with autumn vegetables), it could be said that although the fish lacks melt-in-mouth-ability, and John Dory doesn’t exactly incite confidence in Italian authenticity, the dish’s lemon-and-butter simplicity is welcome. Head chef Enrico, whose experience extends from Italy’s Michelin-star Oderzo restaurant to a period in Spain and eight years in Australia, created the menu with his Mamma and Nonna in mind, digging back to his childhood basics whilst incorporating local produce. “The style is meant to be for sharing, and we tried to keep the food real, let’s say. Real Italian that uses what we can find in the area,” he gestures to the menu. Working with the all-Italian chefs inspired the traditional flare of every dish, each with a little amore. “Everything on the plate is my childhood.” In the presence of Luca, one could learn more about good wine in two hours than a Hunter Valley weekend away. He knows his stuff, and not by ethnic default. He has years of tasting and sommelier knowledge up is sleeve, gathered from both Europe and Australia. Swirling each glass like a hand-held tornado, leading not a drop out of place, he offers small background stories of the wines, their origins and how they arrived at Cicchetti. “This is the Pinot Grigio from the north. See ‘grave’? It’s like gravel, the stones of the river running along the vineyard. This wine picks up a lot

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of minerals,” Luca explains, wrist twirling. Hold it to your ear and you can almost hear the rush of the Garonne River itself. The Lane Vineyard Chardonnay has a particular fondness to it. From the enchanted region of Adelaide Hills, Luca points out its subtle fruity flavours as the perfect company for butter-fried gnocchi and seafood. For Luca, service is the key to experience; everything can be done with class so as to entertain the guests. “We are all actors, everything is done like in a performance,” he demonstrates with various hand movements and strides. It’s the difference between a ‘nice meal’ and a standing ovation. Glasses topped, wine poured, linen napkins rolled on absence. You could kiss the precision of service, but make sure you do it three times. If you thought la dolce vita couldn’t get any more dolce, you’ve grabbed the wrong phrasebook. Cicchetti’s desserts are worth the visit alone. You’ve never tasted eggs treated with such delicacy as in the Zabaione E Biscotti; the velvety whip of whites seems almost frozen in time, flanked by three types of Italian biscuits. Its balance of sweet and Amaretto sour has even the most savoury visitors waving the tricolori. The Tartelletta di Ricotta (deconstructed tart) is like walking through a Mediterranean forest, the plate ebbing in hills of vanilla gelato and lemon curd bordered by sour cherries, crumbling biscotti and cubes of jelly, flowering with violet flowers, only to be left with a board of finger-marks and the occasional sigh. Lastly, muffle your ‘Mamma Mia!’ with a spoonful of the Frittelle di Cioccolato, crisp-shell cocoons of molten cocoa, overcome by hazelnut milk and flames of edible orange flowers.

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Eating in Italy is often a sensory experience. The scent of blistering tomatoes and peppery basil freshly plucked, the eccentric sound of vowels and rolling R’s thrown across tables, the slide of someone’s palm across your back. It’s almost too much. But not quite. And not quite in this setting. Though the scent still sings strongly here, Cicchetti’s location makes it a unique fusion of different worlds. Australian accents often struggle with the pronunciation of dishes, and the closest thing to the diplomacy of a Roman plaza is a surf report in The Pass car park. But this marriage of northern and southern hemisphere is what Cicchetti intended and conquered. “Why go all the way to Italy? This is it!” exclaims Luca, with even a touch of Australian accent in his vowels. Step outside onto the street dreaming of vineyards and contemplating the purchase of a Vespa, it is Cicchetti that leaves us with a little something.

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DEPTH OF CHARACTER Danniel’s AMADIO wine embraces the best fruit flavors and ‘terroir’ characteristics of each regional varietal, producing wines of great depth and natural character. As a Finalist in 2009 Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the year” and Finalist in the 2007 South Australian business awards for Hong Kong/China Entrepreneur for excellence in Bilateral Trade, Danniel’s success in International trade and business has been well documented. With dedication to producing premium quality wine in every bottle, Danniel assures all of his customers he has his finger on the pulse in very aspect of production from the vine to bottle.

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AMADIO DEPTH OF CHARACTER

Amadio wines has been successfully established and modeled upon the vision and traditional principles of first generation winemaker Giovanni Amadio in the 1930‘s: The production and sales of quality wine direct from the family cellar.

Amadio wines has been successfully established and modeled upon the vision and traditional principles of first generation winemaker Giovanni Amadio in the 1930‘s: The production and sales of quality wine direct from the family cellar.

Giovanni found a job as a Market Gardener in a fruit orchard at East Marden and never lost a days work from there on. In 1932 Giovanni paid for his wife and sons passage by ship, to join him in Australia, they arrived January 7th.

This highly regarded tradition has been inherited by third generation Danniel Amadio, who is heavily involved in the viticulture, winemaking and retail aspects of the business, and consequently created the prominent ‘Amadio Wines’ brand. Now Danniel is not only following in the footsteps of his grandfather, but also his father Gaetano Amadio, who made success in the wine industry with his own label which secured the “Most Awarded Boutique Wine Label in Australia”. Danniel strives to deliver wines of exceptional quality and not only has he received numerous gold medals, but has also received state, national and international awards in conjunction with numerous highly regarded industry accolades for his wines.

In 1934 Giovanni purchased what became the family home and land at East Marden. In 1936 Giovanni Amadio commercially registered his Dry Table Wine after years of making wine for family and friends. Giovanni sourced his grapes from leased vineyards nearby to make his well crafted wine from his cellar door in Adelaide. His lighter, drier style of wine grew rapidly popular with word spreading interstate and thus began a successful production over time with his family cultivating a sincere appreciation for premium winemaking.

With his careful selection of parcels of fruit from his Adelaide Hills Vineyard and specific regional varieties from the Barossa, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale wine regions, he guarantees his highly successful reputation in the wine industry. We invite you to enjoy Amadio Wines from fine wine retailers and restaurants both in Australia and around the world. Salute! Giovanni Amadio arrived in Australia from Italy in September 1927 without his wife of 2 years and son of 5 months, taking up residence as a boarder in the city of Adelaide.

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Giovanni purchased more land in the following years from a former employer and grew mainly stone fruit such as peaches, apricots and plums and used the remaining vacant land to grow celery and potatoes. Giovanni’s reputation for producing premium quality produce became well known in the East End Market. In 1949 he was recruited to become a member of the SA Fruit Growers Association. This lead to a continued interest in development of the Market Garden Business through a vendors stall where he sold his produce to retailers and shops. In 1985 Giovanni’s Son Gaetano, bravely utilized his inherited passion for winemaking by investing time and

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AMADIO DEPTH OF CHARACTER

money into planting his first pilot vineyard in the pristine cool climate of the Adelaide Hills. His subsequent plantings, vision for the region and diligent work lead to his premium wines gracing the tabletops of restaurants and households throughout Australia and overseas. His dedication as a wine producer focused on quality and helped him build an enviable reputation for creating award winning wines. Success breeds success! As the winemaking generation continues with his son Danniel Amadio who aptly named the Amadio range of wines. Sourcing his premium fruit from the family’s Kersbrook, Adelaide Hills vineyards, Danniel maintains limited case production of every wine range to ensure hands on production standards thereby honoring family custom. The impressive acclaim of national and international trophies and gold medals awarded to Amadio wines thus far, vintage after vintage, bears testimony to a consistent standard of premium quality given its humble traditional beginnings of family winemaking. The Amadio range has expanded since 2005 and now comprises of a number of brands: Dog Leg, Vino Di Famiglia, Red Shed, Amadio and 8 Immortals. Each is designed for differing palettes around the world.

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THE WORLD’S MOST COMPLETE COLLECTION OF GRANGE SPANNING

LAUNCHED BY LE CLOS IN DUBAI The only collection covering every vintage ever produced is available for sale at AUD 660,000

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The most complete and unique collection of Penfolds Grange ever to be retailed is available for AUD 660,000 at the fine wine and luxury spirits retailer Le Clos. Situated in Dubai at the crossroads of the world the collaboration shines a light on Australian wine and its rich history to global connoisseurs and enthusiasts. Le Clos, transported the complete unbroken chain of vintages 12,000 km from Australia to Dubai after curating 60 years of Australian wine history in 61 bottles, which includes; • The extremely rare Grange 1953 Cabernet Sauvignon, of which there are believed to be only a handful in the world, in addition to the 1953 Grange Hermitage • The ‘hidden Granges’; 1957, 1958 and 1959 • Award-winning vintages considered amongst the best in the world; 1955, 1976, 1990 and 2008 • The most recent 2010 Grange launched last month to mark the 60th consecutive release of the wine The makers of Penfolds Grange worked closely in collaboration with Le Clos to certify the collection, including the re-corking of six vintages by Penfolds Chief Winemaker Peter Gago who commented; “We are delighted that Le Clos has curated the complete 60 years of Penfolds Grange vintages, which comprises of 61 bottles and have now made it available to buy at the crossroads of the world in Dubai. With an established reputation for bringing rare and unique products to market, Le Clos is an ideal location to bring the Penfolds Grange story to global consumers.” Oliver Dixon, Head of Wine at Le Clos said: “At Le Clos we are incredibly proud to have collated what is the most complete and unique Grange set in the world. We are excited to bring something so rare to wine lovers and enthusiasts travelling to and through Dubai. We are hugely passionate about our customers who visit from all over the world and have a highly qualified team who combined speak over 20 languages to service our international clientele. This exceptional collection of Grange further supports our desire to provide our customers with an extraordinary range which starts at AUD 30.” To protect the wine and ensure its quality, Le Clos transported the collection to its new home in Dubai in partnership with Emirates Group companies - dnata, Skycargo and Freightworks. The complete Penfolds Grange set was kept in climate controlled storage conditions, where its temperature was monitored every step of the way. Le Clos has produced a bespoke, climate controlled installation designed to display its ‘jewel in the crown’ in-store. Learn more about the story of Chief Winemaker from 1948 to 1975 Max Schubert’s extraordinary journey that changed the face of Australian wine, and this extraordinary collection at Le Clos next to gate A01 in Terminal 3 at Dubai International or visit www.leclos-penfolds.com

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TASTE OF PASSION SERIOUSLY SOUTH AUSTRALIA

TASTE OF PASSION SERIOUSLY SOUTH AUSTRALIA It was time to revisit Australia’s true wine capital and who better to send on this adventure than former South Australian restauranteur and wine expert Max Alferi with local wine producer and good friend, John Ratsis. Coincidentally it happened to be Max’s wife Amanda’s birthday, so now we needed to select the right hotel and that was not a difficult decision. The Adelaide Hilton was to be the choice for the weekend and with its renowned Brasserie and world famous Collins Bar it became a celebration to remember. On your next visit, wine pilgrimage or conference do your self a huge favour and book in to the Adelaide Hilton

WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

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TASTE OF PASSION SERIOUSLY SOUTH AUSTRALIA

The Brasserie

The Collins Bar

Home of the innovative, and unique, Seriously South Australian® menu, The Brasserie provides diners with a culinary journey through our state finest produce & wines. From the Vineyards of the Barossa Valley to the olive groves of the Eyre Peninsula, the modern Australian a la carte menu is inspired by local produce and influenced by a diversity of cultures and flavours known as Seriously South Australian®.

Cocktails, but not like you know them… introducing the collins bar, adelaide’s newest cocktail bar

The Brasserie is located within the Hilton Adelaide hotel and is opened for lunch on weekdays and dinner nightly from 6pm. The restaurant has a lively and comfortable atmosphere with an open kitchen to keep our guests entertained. Seriously South Australian® In order to showcase the true essence of South Australian flavour, The Brasserie team source the very best range of local produce available in our State; from the Barossa Valley to McLaren Vale, the coastal regions of the Eyre Peninsula and Kangaroo Island to our very door step, our neighbour the Adelaide Central Markets! In a joint venture with the best providores, farmers, growers and suppliers of the region, we embrace Seriously South Australian® cuisine with a real passion and commitment to supporting and showcasing as much of South Australia’s food and wine. The core lunch & dinner menu’s, provide a snapshot of what’s in season and the weekly specials are a snapshot of the featured region. Every two months the restaurant showcases a South Australian gourmet region which is known as our “Regional Blackboard Menu”. The key to maintaining a success Seriously South Australian® concept is the passionate chefs who are committed to using a cooking style which has been carefully developed to respect and promote the beautiful flavours of our State... simple, fresh and unpretentious.

Opened in March 2013, located in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD, The Collins Bar occupies one of Adelaide’s most sought aŌer locations, overlooking Victoria Square and the city. The Collins Bar is the first name that comes to mind when people think of a unique offering of cocktails made with art and flair. Grant Collins is the creative mind behind The Collins Bar, and believes it is exactly what Adelaide needs. “We wanted to bring something different, eclectic and diverse to the Adelaide night scene, something that the Adelaide public had yet to experience. We went back to old-school bartending, staying true to both the classic and the collins cocktail era using bespoke vintage glassware and making our own sodas, tonics and mixers.” The Collins family of Classic Cocktails is omnipresent in cocktail publications and bars around the globe. Many believe these creations of the mid to late 1800’s were some of the Worlds first documented drinks as well as many being the earliest professionally created mixes. The Collins list of cocktails feature ‘Vintage’, ‘Signature’ and ‘Bespoke’ selections as well as a ‘New School’ section featuring more progressive drinks. The cocktail menu, designed by Collins, comprises of over 30 bespoke creations for all discerning palates. The bar features one of the most extensive selections of spirits in Australia, including a selection of over 45 gins and 55 bourbons, a vast array of scotches and tequilas all handpicked from around the globe. One of unique bottles you will find on the menu is the ‘1977 Black Tot Rum’ from the UK, one of only 3500 available it was the last navy consignment of Rum.

John and Grace Ratsis, Max and Amanda Alferi

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STEEL FIST IN VELVET GLOVE

Steel fist in

and it’s left-handed, of course! Being greeted with a left-handed handshake is the first taste of the serious sense of fun surrounding the Mollydooker wine label. Located in the glorious McLaren Vale wine region – famed for producing some of Australia’s outstanding wines – this wine label is destined for iconic status. A ‘mollydooker’ is colloquially known in Australia as someone who is left-handed. As both winemakers, Sarah and Sparky Marquis, are ‘mollydookers’ the name was fitting. Left-handed they might be, but when it comes to winemaking they each definitely don’t have two left-feet. WORDS BY RAE BLAIR

Mollydooker wines started life somewhat as a vagrant, being made in the ‘back yards’ of wineries belonging to various friends. In the early days, 90% of production was sold in the US; this is now around 70% as strong interest in the brand has spread around the world. As its success grew, a permanent home was found to make the wine in 2007, set amongst 116 acres of vines and located with McLaren Vale’s most iconic wineries. From the quirky celebration of ‘all things left-handed’ to the unconventional wine labels, the light-heartedness surrounding Mollydooker belies the steely resolve with which the grapes are grown and the wine is made. Sparky and Sarah’s partnership really started after meeting at the renowned agricultural college, Roseworthy, where Sparky knew the moment he saw Sarah that she was the girl he would marry. After being awarded Dux of the course, Sparky was given the opportunity to work and study in France and jumped at the opportunity to work at the Premier Cru Classé (First Growth) Château Haut-Brion in Bordeaux. “With nearly 500 years of winemaking history, this world famous winery was a perfect place to learn how a deep respect for traditional vineyard and winemaking practices could be the foundation for a quality wine made in Australia using a modern approach,” said Sparky.

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In their pursuit of creating outstanding wines, Sparky and Sarah developed a program for growing grapes to stringent quality specifications. The ‘Marquis Vineyard Watering Programme™’ is based on intensive data collection and analysis, which starts at bud burst and carries on with inspections of each section of the vineyard throughout the entire growing season. “The magic starts in the vineyard,” said Sparky. “Twice a week, the Mollydooker vineyard team physically measures the growth of the vines, and reports on canopy growth, maturation and the ‘fruit weight’ of the juice.” The data are then fed into a complex set of formulas, the results of which provide the team with precise watering recommendations for the following three days. This program leads to grapes producing wine with specified ‘fruit weight’ parameters. “A wine must have at least 65% ‘fruit weight’ on the ‘Marquis Fruit Weight™’ scale to be considered as a Mollydooker,” said Sparky. “Anything less is rejected and sold off as bulk wine.” Marquis Fruit Weight™ is the percentage of the palate (from the tip of the tongue going all the way back) that’s covered by the velvety sensation of fruit, before any of the structural components of the wine is experienced. “It’s rare to have a wine graded with 95-100% Marquis Fruit WeightTM,” said Sparky. “And when we

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STEEL FIST IN VELVET GLOVE

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STEEL FIST IN VELVET GLOVE

make a Shiraz delivering this, the wine is labeled as Velvet Glove.” The Mollydooker Love range of wines, ‘Carnival of Love’ and ‘Enchanted Path’, are made from Shiraz and Cabernet and these have a minimum of 85-90% Marquis Fruit Weight™. The ‘Family’ wines are also made from Shiraz and Cabernet and have a minimum of 75-80% Marquis Fruit Weight™, and the ‘Left y’ wines are made from Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot and Verdelho and have a minimum of 65-70% Marquis Fruit Weight™. The effort is paying off with Mollydooker wines continually receiving critical acclaim and every vintage sold out within 6-9 months of release: the Velvet Glove’ Shiraz is the fi ft h Mollydooker wine to be awarded 99 points by famed wine critic Robert Parker; the ‘Carnival of Love’ has twice been in the Wine Spectator’s Top Ten Wines in the World; the ‘Blue Eyed Boy’ is featured in the Qantas President’s Lounge and in US Morton’s Steak Houses; and the demand for ‘The Boxer’ is such a hit, that it had its own special release day. “We were thrilled to see our 2011 Velvet Glove be awarded the top rated Australian wine in the Wine Advocate,” said Sparky. “And our 2012 ‘Carnival of Love’ has just been awarded Winestate’s Australian Shiraz of the Year for 2014.” Personal accolades for Sarah and Sparky include receiving the McLaren Vale Bushing King and Queen Trophy for Best Wine in Show a record three times, and being named Australian Winemakers of the Year, Australian Boutique Winemakers of the Year and Australian White Winemakers of the Year. The road to success has had some pitfalls, but Sparky, Sarah and the team sees these as an opportunity to improve. After a mishap at the

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Port Adelaide Docks in 2011, where more than $1 million worth of their precious ‘Velvet Glove’ wine was destroyed through a forklift accident, a ‘70%’ policy was instigated where Mollydooker staff and machinery regularly work below full capacity. “It’s a process of constant improvement,” said Sparky. “It’s important that everyone has the time to complete tasks thoroughly and with care,” he said. “We have a mission statement that says ‘We make wines that make people go ‘wow!’ through attention to detail and commitment to excellence’. This can’t be achieved through taking shortcuts, rushing or through high levels of stress.” It is obvious that Sparky and Sarah are passionate about their wine, business, relationships and enjoying life. “A big part of what we do is pass on our incredible blessings by supporting charities which are close to our hearts,” said Sparky. “Some of these which wake us up excited every day are Transform Cambodia, Mercy Ministries and Chester County Futures in the US, and Hutt Street Centre in Australia. We want to share our success and make a difference.” After more than 20 years of growing grapes and making wine, Sparky and Sarah Marquis still pinch themselves to make sure they are not dreaming. “We live a charmed life and are humbled that our wine forms a part of people’s lives and celebrations around the world,” says Sparky. “We are serious about our winemaking, but just not serious about ourselves.” Further information: Mollydooker Wines, McLaren Vale, South Australia www.mollydookerwines.com.au

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STEEL FIST IN VELVET GLOVE

TASTING NOTES 2013 The Violinist Verdelho This wine is luscious and full flavoured with a symphony of flavours dancing on the palate. With notes of tropical fruit, pineapple, citrus and pear and the subtle use of oak to add texture, an orchestral delight!

2013 Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz Rich and full-flavoured with plum and blackberry, spice, liquorice and coffee. The creamy texture and layers of flavour bring a smile to your face and despite the power of this wine it finished with elegance and grace.

2013 The Scooter Merlot There is Merlot and then there is The Scooter. Complex, with red fruits, plums, blackberries, a hint of spice and soft mocha to finish. Subtle oak rounds out the wine to deliver the complete package.

2013 Carnival of Love Shiraz Everyone loves a circus with all the excitement and colour. This wine has all that and more! Deep red purple colour with vibrant fruit, red berries, plum jam, a hint of cassis, chocolate and mocha. Great length and texture, a real show stopper!

2013 The Maitre D’ Cabernet Sauvignon A host of flavours from cherry to blackcurrant, blackberry to plum, with mint and mocha to finish. Full-flavoured cabernet fruit with a mouth-filling creamy texture. A wine that demonstrates the true potential of Cabernet Sauvignon from this region. 2013 Two Left Feet Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot Rich plum, blackberry, liquorice and spice. A wine that continues to evolve in the glass, providing little surprises through to the last drop. Definitely a wine to have on your dance card! 2013 The Boxer Shiraz This wine packs a real punch! Lifted spice, liquorice, ripe plum, chocolate and mocha. Full flavoured with a velvety texture. An indulgent and opulent wine that you will want to have in your corner for those special occasions.

2013 Enchanted Path Shiraz Cabernet The quintessential Australian blend, Shiraz and Cabernet work in harmony to deliver a complete wine experience. Plum, blackberry, mulberry and blueberry with a hint of spice and chocolate supported by subtle oak and a creamy texture. A great and memorable journey! 2012 Velvet Glove Shiraz Opulence personified! With an abundance of pristine fruit, blackberry and plum jam, with liquorice, spice, some mint and chocolate. A hint of coconut from the new American oak completes the wine as it envelops your taste buds with its velvety texture and great length.

2013 Gigglepot Cabernet Sauvignon This wine is no laughing matter, but it will make you very happy! Oodles of red berry fruit, blackcurrant, cherry and plum with a hint of mint and cinnamon. The judicious use of quality oak providing texture and a little coconut completes the wine.

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RETREAT OASIS IN MELBOURNE CBD

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RETREAT OASIS IN MELBOURNE CBD

RETREAT OASIS IN MELBOURNE CBD WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

The Westin Melbourne is a luxury hotel nestled in the heart of the business and theatre districts, amongst trendy restaurants and art galleries. With a night stop-over scheduled in Melbourne, we were looking forward to experiencing some of the Westin’s renowned personal service – and we weren’t disappointed.

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RETREAT OASIS IN MELBOURNE CBD

We landed in Melbourne at 6:05 am and a little concerned our room wouldn’t be ready. Happily that wasn’t the case, as the General Manager, Debra Watts, greeted us at Reception when we arrived and escorted us directly to our room. The high ceilinged lobby of the Westin Melbourne has an Art Deco influence, with the Grand Staircase providing an impressive central feature. The property has 262 spacious guest rooms and suites with views either of the historic St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne’s City Square or the renowned ‘Paris end’ of Collins Street. With elegant and contemporary styling, the rooms are well fitted out including the signature Heavenly beds – which are indeed heavenly. The marble bathrooms are spacious with separate bath and shower, complete with quality toiletries. Recognising that some guests prefer to exercise away from others, the hotel provides the option for guests to reserve a WestinWORKOUT® Room which provides complete privacy. After we had settled into our room, we were keen to check out the 24 hour Westin Workout gym but hadn’t been able to fit gym gear in our bags for the trip. An innovative service offered by the hotel solved that problem, with their ‘Gear Lending’ service. For $5.00 all the exercise gear is yours for the duration of your stay – that’s shoes, socks, shirt and shorts. And it includes laundering. This was a fantastic service.

DINING Allegro at the Westin Melbourne offers contemporary cuisine in a relaxed but elegant restaurant. We booked in for dinner and Executive Chef, Geoff Carkner, and Executive Sous Chef, Pamela Gould, met with us and talked about their food philosophy and how they integrate super-foods as part of the menu. We left our meal choices in their capable hands and settled back to enjoy the experience.

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First to be served were a selection of entrees – Allegro’s prawn cocktail, Beef carpaccio Waldorf, Spanner crab and the Heirloom tomato salad. These were followed with a Parsley-crumbed lamb rump, which was served with potato fondant, caramelized shallots, mint sauce and jus, and a Pan-seared gold band snapper, served with sea greens, toasted quinoa, mango and lobster consommé. Our feast was completed with a Chocolate orange chiboust (salted chocolate, orange ganache, disaronno granite) and a Berry clafoutis (lemon cream, lime crumble, frozen lime marshmallow). Everything was delicious. The Allegro is also well-regarded for its High Tea offering, so we checked that out the next day and it is beautifully done. There’s a selection of scones, savoury temptations or sweet delights served with Champagne or quality Australian sparkling wine, and/or tea or coffee. We met the General Manager, Debra Watts, there and she gave us a sneak preview of the new refurbishment plans for the property including the fabulous cocktail bar, a new look for Allegro and the gym – all planned for completion around June. I was impressed with the real sense of ownership shown from all staff, which started with the General Manager. This is what I look for in a good hotel – staff who truly care about the brand and the guests.

HIGHLIGHT Exploring Melbourne with a RunWESTIN self-guided run or walk using their custom running maps. These maps have 5 km or 8 km route options from the hotel, so guests can combine their workout routine whilst taking in the local scenery. Further information: Westin Melbourne, 205 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria www.westinmelbourne.com

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HAMILTON ISLANDRETREAT THE JEWEL OASIS OF IN THE MELBOURNE WHITSUNDAYS CBD

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LEVANTINE HILL ESTATE AIMING FOR PERFECTION

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LEVANTINE HILL ESTATE AIMING FOR PERFECTION

AIMING FOR PERFECTION WORDS BY RAE BLAIR

The bucolic Yarra Valley is the home to one of Australia’s most exciting winery developments, Levantine Hill Estate. In 2007, after a four-year global search, Elias and Colleen Jreissati found the perfect vineyard location to establish their new wine estate. Their unwavering commitment to the brand’s vision of ‘exceptional wines, hand-crafted without compromise’ is producing exciting dividends.

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LEVANTINE HILL ESTATE AIMING FOR PERFECTION

We were provided with a tour of the Homestead, which was a testament to Elias and Colleen Jreissati’s impeccable taste and desire to be surrounded only with the highest quality. The superbly decorated property contained ten separate living areas (including a games room and luxury cinema), a variety of formal to casual dining areas, four guest suites (each with private bathrooms), four open fires, wine cellar and internal and external kitchens. The great hall was similarly impressive, decorated in a mountain lodge theme, with exposed timber trusses recycled from the stands of the South Melbourne Football Club and locally quarried stone a feature of the large open fireplace. It is difficult to walk through the property quickly, as one’s attention is constantly drawn to the museum-quality artworks adorning the walls from renowned Australian painters such as Boyd, Streeton, McCubbin and Whiteley. The owner’s luxury suite is separate (but under the same roof) and in itself larger than an average home. The massive ensuite featured two freestanding bathtubs, each tailored to the owners’ preferred water temperature. Over 90% of the external walls of the Homestead are glass, which makes the most of the stunning views from all aspects. For those who demand the best of everything and value privacy, the Homestead is available for guest rental (details are on their website). The rental fee includes the use a Mercedes ML during the stay, and transfer to/from Melbourne either by limousine or by helicopter. “I already run a successful property development company,” explains Elias Jreissati, “but I wanted a business that could be a legacy for my family. My Father worked for my Grandfather who was a vigneron, and I have fond memories as a child of running through the wine caves in Lebanon and the musty smell of the wine bottles. With two of my daughters now working for Levantine Hill, I am excited to see my vision turning into a reality.” On the day of our visit, we were transported to the vineyard by helicopter. Departing from the Yarra Bank, opposite the Crown Casino, the 15 minute fl ight took us over the city of Melbourne, gave us a bird’s eye view of Melbourne’s major sporting complexes, including the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, and flew across the great urban sprawl east to the Yarra Valley. It wasn’t long before the grey of the urban development changed to the startling emerald green of the open fields and rolling hills leading into the Yarra Valley. The approach by air gave us a full view of the impressive Levantine Hill Estate, resplendent with vineyards and a recently-built Homestead. The Homestead is situated on top of the Estate’s hill and overlooks the distinctively landscaped fan-shaped vineyards and some of the premier vineyards in the Yarra Valley. Levantine Hill Estate comprises two vineyards: one that has been producing outstanding grapes since the mid-1990s, and the other a combination of more recently-planted family blocks – including a Truffiére. There are 23 ha planted to traditional French varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. “It’s quite simple,” said Jreissati, “our benchmarks are the First Growth wines of Bordeaux, Grand Cru wines of Burgundy and the best Syrah wines of Hermitage in the Côte du Rhône – only our wines will also benefit from the unique characters of the Yarra Valley.” An example of this commitment to style is their ‘Samantha’s Paddock’ vineyard, where the varieties planted are in the same percentage as those of Lafite Rothschild. As Australian Financial Review’s Jacquie Hayes wrote, “if he nails it he could be one of the few Australian boutique operators… that consistently makes it on to the buy lists of serious wine investors who would more generally look to France.”

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To oversee the craft ing of the wines, highly experienced winemaker, Paul Bridgeman, was appointed to the team in 2013. Production size is small, with just under 5,000 dozen bottles of wine produced in the 2014 vintage. The aim is to increase production to 10,000 dozen. “Attention to detail is crucial,” said Bridgeman. “Everything is done by hand – harvesting, grape sorting and plunging. We even use the traditional method of pigeage to break the berries to start fermentation.” Each row of vines is assessed for ripeness and only the identified ripe grapes are harvested at the perfect time. “As grapes in a vineyard mature at different times, we make several batches of wine from the one vineyard in the same vintage,” he said. “Each batch of wine is assessed daily and treated for its individual requirements to reach our optimum specifications. To achieve a quality improvement of 2-5% might well cost 50% more, but if that’s what it takes, then we pursue it.” Only grapes that meet the exacting standards are vinified. “Last vintage, we had budgeted to make 500 cases of Colleen’s Paddock Pinot Noir, but as a result of our rigorous selection criteria we only made 111 cases,” said Bridgeman. The next phase of development at Levantine Hill Estate has commenced with construction of an iconic cellar door and restaurant scheduled for completion in 2015. Designed by Fender Katsalidis Architects (of the Melbourne Eureka Tower and Hobart’s MONA fame) and with acclaimed chef Teage Ezard at the helm of the restaurant, it should attract plenty of attention. “Establishment of Levantine Hill Estate is an ambitious, challenging and ongoing undertaking and many people advised me against it,” said Jreissati, “but my favourite quote, by George Bernard Shaw, is: The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. I think there’s something in that.”

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TASTING NOTES 2013 Levantine Hill Sauvignon Blanc Semillon A delightful white wine made in the Bordeaux style. The Sauvignon Blanc is 100% barrel fermented and the Semillon fermented in stainless steel. At 12.5% alcohol, it is a perfect wine to enjoy with lunch. 2014 Levantine Hill Rosé 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, fermented in stainless steel. Fragrant with lovely red fruit characters, savory with a hint of spice and made in the European style between Rosato and Provençale Rosé. 2013 Levantine Hill Pinot Noir Fruit selected from vines established in 1995 using D2V5 and MV6 clones. Cherry and strawberry flavours with savoury notes

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and a hint of leather and spice. Aged in quality French oak this is an outstanding Pinot from the famed Yarra Valley. 2013 Levantine Hill Syrah A wine with great flavour, intrigue and intensity. Luscious dark red fruit characters with fruit sweetness and signature white pepper. A surprising wine that will not fail to impress. 2012 Levantine Hill Samantha’s Paddock Mélange Traditionnel - blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, elegant and clean, fresh berry and herb aromas supported by silky tannins and new French oak.

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LEVANTINE HILL ESTATE AIMING FOR PERFECTION

Everything is done by hand - harvesting, grape sorting and plunging. We even use the traditional method of pigeage to break the berries to start fermentation.

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www.lenovo.com.au


HONOUR THE WHISKY


HEAVENLY WINE AND FOOD PAIRING

HEAVENLY PAIRINGS AMERICA’S #1

With the San Francisco skyline behind us, we headed north to the splendid St Francis Winery and Vineyard, voted #1 American Winery & Vineyard by OpenTable. Located in the heart of the breathtaking Sonoma Valley, we were warmly welcomed by CEO and dear friend Chris Silva. With his usual high energy, Chris delighted us with a private tour of the entire property, explaining in detail the process of how the grapes are harvested, fermented, delivered and distributed. St Francis Winery has continued a long tradition of luscious, elegant, fruit-driven wines from more than 400 acres of Certified Sustainable estate vineyards in Sonoma Valley and Russian River Valley. WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

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HEAVENLY WINE AND FOOD PAIRING

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HEAVENLY WINE AND FOOD PAIRING

Established in 1971 with the planting of the vineyard, the winery was then opened in 1979. The quality and style of Sonoma Merlot was elevated through the appointment of the winery’s first winemaker, Tom Mackey, in 1983. Tom crafted the Merlot as an ultra-premium, stand-alone varietal, enabling a cultivated in-depth understanding of every Sonoma appellation, as well as developing new vineyards and expanding the wine portfolio. Today’s new generation of winemakers includes Katie Madigan, who oversees production of the top selling Zinfandels and Chardonnays, as well as many of the other popular white wines. Winemaker Chris Louton came from Beringer Winery, where he helped oversee their Knights’ Valley and Napa Valley Cabernet programs, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. While Katie runs St Francis’ Zinfandel, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir winemaking, Chris oversees the Cabernet, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc programs. Following our detailed exploration of St Francis winery with Chris, the friendly wine experts escorted us into a timeless Tuscan retreat overlooking spectacular panoramic views, where we indulged in a highly anticipated wine and food pairing. Executive Chef Bryan Jones created an assortment of small dishes to pair with hand-selected artisan wines. The smoked Sonoma duck breast accompanied with grilled radicchio and Asian pear, parsnip puree, fried parsnip, and green peppercorn sauce served with a 2012 Old Vines Zinfandel, Terra Rossa, and Sonoma County was simply sublime! St Francis has a wonderful mix of industry veterans and youngsters, many of whom have been with the winery since when it was first established by Joe Martin. All are extremely talented individuals who have brought a passion for the art of winemaking to the establishment. The synergy of their collaborations has formed an impressive team, and the result is a list of stunning, world-class wines. This visit is a must do when visiting San Francisco. St Francis Winery and Vineyard, 100 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa CA 95409 St. Francis Winery is located about one hour north of San Francisco in the heart of Sonoma Valley. www.stfranciswinery.com

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lord somersby says:

“open your mind and your mouth!�

stay open-m inde

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QT GOLD COAST NOT YOUR ORDINARY HOTEL

QT GOLD COAST NOT YOUR ORDINARY HOTEL

You know from the minute you walk into the foyer that the QT Gold Coast, located at Surfers Paradise, is not your ordinary hotel. From the massive video art installation of falling autumn leaves in the spacious foyer to the colourful furniture and retro-inspired wardrobe of the front of house staff – it all signals a property that is fresh, relaxed and fun. The warm welcome from the staff, easy check-in and on-site parking all rounds off an excellent first impression.

WORDS BY RAE BLAIR

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QT GOLD COAST NOT YOUR ORDINARY HOTEL

Mixing industrial chic with splashes of pop art to create a Californian oasis on the Gold Coast, guests can find all day food and a great view of the ocean at Stingray

On the way to the rooms, life-sized images of 1950s cover girls (and guys) keep you company in the lifts and you get a real sense that Roy Lichtenstein was a key inspiration to the property designers. The fit out in the 297 guest rooms is equally lightfi lled, fresh and modern. Rooms either have ocean, mountain or river views. The bathrooms, whilst cosy, are well appointed and decked out with luxury Uspa toiletries. The king-sized bed with its fluff y pillows provides an excellent night’s sleep and the rooms are generous in size with playful touches. If guests are inspired by the decoration of the room, most of the pieces, from the bedside lamp to the tray to the neon-coloured swizzle sticks in the glasses, are available for guest purchase from the QTique on the ground floor – which also stocks an eclectic mix of luxuries and necessities from Australian designers combined with old-fashioned favorites. And if guests need a refreshing drink in their room, they can ‘order up’ the ingredients from room service to make their own real lemonade, with the jug, glasses and lemon juicer all ready to go. The hotel is well located on Staghorn Avenue, just one block (and a short walk) away from the spectacular Surfers Paradise beach. For those guests who are a bit more energetic, a great way to explore the area or just to simply cruise along the beach is to use one of the hotel’s complimentary retro QT bikes. If a break is needed from the sand and surf, guests can make use of the QT Gold Coast’s outdoor pool, spa and two tennis courts. But if more serious relaxation is required, guests can book in a treatment at the award-winning SpaQ. For those who want to tuck themselves away in a corner with a great coffee and newspaper or for those who want to sip exotic cocktails, have a cold beer or great wine, the QT Gold Coast has it covered. And there are excellent dining options also on offer. Guests can enjoy throughout the day organic food and great coffee at QT’s FIXX Café in a relaxed environment. International flavours are on the menu at the QT’s international marketplace, Bazaar, which provides meals in a street stall setting. For great Teppanyaki and extensive Japanese food options, Yamagen restaurant is located on the ground floor. Mixing industrial chic with splashes of pop art to create a Californian oasis on the Gold Coast, guests can find all day food and a great view of the ocean at Stingray – which is one of the Gold Coast’s most popular bars. QT Gold Coast 7 Staghorn Avenue, Gold Coast. www.qtgoldcoast.com.au

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#mummfirsts


QT A CAPITAL

Located in the new cultural precinct overlooking Lake Burley Griffin, is the QT Canberra. Opened in April 2014, the QT is clearly a political heavy-weight in the boutique hotel market. From a collaboration with design house g+a, the dĂŠcor of the hotel echoes lux Washingtonmeets-Chicago styling interspersed with irresistible quirky touches. WORDS BY RAE BLAIR

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A CAPITAL QT

Rebranded from the former Rydes Lakeside hotel, first opened in 1972, the property has a long history and heritage and is an icon on the Canberra hospitality scene. It is a hotel of choice for politicians and business leaders and is also in demand as a quality venue for conferences and weddings. As you enter, the QT reception area is cool sophistication, and an art installation of rolling Twitter feeds up, down and across one wall firmly anchors this hotel as a place to do business. The bespoke wallpaper in the lobby features a daring pattern which, upon much closer inspection, is comprised from photographs of past and present Australian political leaders. A life-sized group photograph of Australia’s former Governor-General, resplendent in hot pink, with the Prime Minister and his cabinet completes the lobby area. Barrack Obama stands nearby. We cannot mistake where we are – we are in the heart of Australia’s political scene.

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The hotel has 205 guest rooms available, all kitted out with original designer touches creating maximum appeal. The bathrooms, whilst not huge, are well organised and completed with quality Malin+Goetz toiletries. Nespresso coffee and T2 tea are available in the room, as is a fully stocked mini-bar. A cool place is one thing, but the bottom line has to be that the bed is comfortable – and it is! Distance views from the floor to ceiling windows, and an open door to the balcony letting in fresh air, makes the room very comfortable. The QT group is proving that detail is king, and attention has been paid across the board to ensuring guests have a great experience. Fully tailoring the hotel to its prime target market, the exclusive 15th floor is strictly for ‘members only’. Guests become members by invitation from the hotel and include heads of state, politicians and business leaders, who require privacy to conduct business away from their offices or just simply to relax. The staff members are experienced in hosting influential guests and provide a discreet premium service.

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A CAPITAL QT

Bar and dining Apart from their extensive in-room dining menu, QT Canberra’s main dining option is the hatted Capital Bar and Grill. Overseen by Creative Food Director, Robert Marchetti, the menu reflects Rob’s love of the old school food era. With a distinctive Italian influence, the menu’s signature is dry aged beef cooked over the wood fire ‘Chicago’ grill. The Bar and Grill area are cocooned in luxury city chic, thanks to great styling, statement lighting and well-positioned mirrors. Freestanding glass and steel wine cellars house the 100 wines on offer and create a natural delineation of the bar from the restaurant area. The sophistication of the bar area is relieved by a quirky and artistic ‘mugs gallery’ of satirical framed photographs of local and international political leaders hanging along one wall. Leading from the ‘mugs gallery’ is a working Barbers Shop with genuine 1930s barber chairs, where guests can have a cut-throat razor shave or haircut. For those in the know, walk through the Barbers Shop to access Lucky’s – QT’s speakeasy bar, which just picked up the Australian Hotel’s Association’s ‘Best Bar (Regional)’ award. Decked out with heavy velvet curtains, antique crystal bar paraphernalia, the best mixologists, intimate booths, pianist, private waitresses and burlesque dancers, it is a sought-after venue – if you can find it.

The QT Canberra celebrates its iconic standing and history through the use of bold design, quirky artefacts and bespoke furniture. Excellent bar and dining options along with comfortable guest rooms and quality staff make this an easy place to recommend. Other things to do • Burn off the calories through a brisk walk or jog around Lake Burley Griffin. • Take a 30 minute drive to the Canberra District wine regions – visit Clonakilla Wines cellar door, Crisps Lane, Murrumbateman. From there, take a 20 minute drive to Capital Wines cellar door and café for a tasting and lunch, 42 Cork Street Gundaroo, then it’s a 30 minute drive back to the hotel. • Visit the National Gallery, National Museum, War Memorial and Parliament House. Further information: QT Canberra, 1 London Circuit, Canberra, ACT www.qtcanberra.com.au

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DELHI’S RESPONSIBLE LUXURY

DELHI’S RESPONSIBLE LUXURY

A stay at the ITC Maurya Delhi hotel transports you back to the era of the Golden Age of the Mauryan Dynasty – the first dynasty of India’s empire builders dating back to the 3rd Century BC. The opulence and rich colours of the hotel’s décor and the stunning painted dome in the lobby speaks of tradition and luxury – deserving of its reputation as the preferred residence of global leaders and heads of state for over 30 years. WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

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DELHI’S RESPONSIBLE LUXURY

A stay at the ITC Maurya Delhi hotel transports you back to the era of the Golden Age of the Mauryan Dynasty – the first dynasty of India’s empire builders dating back to the 3rd Century BC. The opulence and rich colours of the hotel’s décor and the stunning painted dome in the lobby speaks of tradition and luxury – deserving of its reputation as the preferred residence of global leaders and heads of state for over 30 years. Surrounded by lush green gardens, the ITC Maurya is centrally located and 14 km from the international airport. It is in close proximity to the Presidential Palace, India Gate and the world famous shopping district of Connaught Place. Well used to hosting famous guests, the hotel and its staff ensure complete discretion and privacy, so the venue was a perfect choice for me to hold business meetings with people like cricket superstar, Chris Gayle. On the 28th floor, I took advantage of the ITC Maurya’s business area, where they have nine board/meeting rooms situated around a very comfortable lounge area. The staff went about their business in a professional manner demonstrating their deep understanding of the business traveller. The hotel has 438 guest rooms offered over seven categories. The rooms are extremely comfortable and tastefully decorated with Indian silks and rich timber features. A well-equipped gymnasium, outdoor pool and quality spa ensure that when the business of the day is finished, that there are plenty of options for rest and revitalisation.

Dining With six restaurant options, the hotel is one of the city’s most popular dining destinations. I had been recommended to eat at the multi-award winning Bukhara by several people so I had an easy choice. I managed to secure a table but not without some challenge and noted the queue was unrelenting throughout the night. Famous for their North-West Frontier cuisine prepared in a tandoor, it has been rated amongst the top 50 restaurants in the world. It has a long list of celebrity diners and it is reputed that former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair won’t eat anywhere else when in Delhi, and their signature dish is named after US President Bill Clinton. It is testament to the quality of the cuisine that the menu remains unchanged after 30 years, with offerings of tandoor-cooked kebabs, vegetables and breads. Their star dishes include Sikandri Raan, the iconic Dal Bukhara (black lentils, tomatoes, ginger and garlic cooked in a tandoor for 18 hours) and the various platters that offer a sampling of the menu’s best features. The Chefs have very strict food quality specifications to maintain the high quality and consistency; as an example, the prawns must weigh 80 grams or more, and anything less is rejected! This property has lots to recommend it in a city that can sometimes be very challenging: the dining, the business, the luxurious rooms – all first-class, plus opportunities for celebrity watching. What also impressed me is their ethos of ‘Responsible luxury’ and that the hotel has been certified as the world’s first LIE ED (Leadership in energy and environment design – for an existing building) Platinum rated hotel by the US Green Building Council.

Further information: ITC Maurya, New Delhi, Diplomatic Enclave, Sardar Patel Marg, New Delhi 110 021, India www.itchotels.in/Hotels/itcmaurya

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ROOM WITH A VIEW FOUR SEASONS SYDNEY

ROOM WITH A VIEW FOUR SEASONS SYDNEY

With the sun setting peacefully over Sydney’s iconic Opera House, watching the endless run of yellow and green ferries meandering calmly across the harbor from Circular Quay to Manly, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of gratitude for the panoramic beauty before my eyes. The Four Season’s luxury Royal Deluxe Suite the ‘room with a view’ has become our haven for the next two nights and we couldn’t wait to indulge in Sydney’s Crown Jewel. WORDS BY DANIELLE HARTE

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ROOM WITH A VIEW FOUR SEASONS SYDNEY

This opulent property boasts all the trimmings of a true five-star property showcasing a spacious contemporary entrance, eclectic soft furnishings, an exuberant ambience and delightful dining options. Our room located on one of the top levels, is simply breathtaking in every sense of the word – large floor to ceiling glass windows, sealy-celebritiy king-size bed, office facilities with complimentary Wi-Fi and a unique bar highlighting a signature bottle of champagne. My guilty pleasure however is simple, something I never take for granted whilst travelling; soaking it up in the above ground spa bath with hot steamy water filled to the brim bubbles on full. With rejuvenating sea-salt’s melting on the bottom to soothe the body, I was in heaven. The property features a 24-hour fitness facility, heated outdoor pool and an award-winning spa located on the mezzanine level

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that has a unique assortment of massages, facials and bodyscrubs to replenish and rejuvenate the mind, body and soul. Sydney, our hometown is a city fi lled with a vibrant social scene, inspiring outdoor adventures and diverse cultures. Situated within walking distance of The Rocks district, you’re spoilt for choice with Botanical Gardens, the Opera House, The Sydney Harbour Bridge, designer shopping, restaurants the list really is endless. The Four Seasons personifies a depth of reliability, trust and connection with you the guest. With over 50 years experience in the industry, a staggering 93 properties in 38 countries it is simple to see why they are one of the leaders in global hospitality excellence.

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ROOM WITH A VIEW FOUR SEASONS SYDNEY

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ROOM WITH A VIEW FOUR SEASONS SYDNEY

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ROOM WITH A VIEW FOUR SEASONS SYDNEY

Mark Best’s second Sydney restaurant, Pei Modern will open its doors on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney on George Street.

Favourites from Pei Modern Melbourne such as the casarecce with chicken dumplings and reggiano, and lamb shoulder cooked in chamomile will be heading north to Sydney and will be key features on the menu.

With the kitchen headed up by Matt Germanchis, who has worked alongside Best at Pei Modern in Melbourne since it opened in 2012, the Sydney kitchen will maintain its focus on local seasonal produce, great wines and warm, professional service.

Taking centre stage in the kitchen will be the wood-fired oven.

In Best’s words, “If it’s not delicious, we won’t serve it. We want every dish that goes across the pass to tell a consistent story about beautiful local produce and Pei Modern – the same relationships that are intrinsic to the Pei brand; the farmer, gentle cooking and the customer will be nurtured in Sydney.” Pei Modern has an investment in seemingly simple, bold flavours. These include: • Wood fired tiger prawns with slow cooked pineapple and sorrel • Whole flounder and sea urchin butter • Kurobuta pork cutlet with fermented blueberries • Duck eggs with sauternes custard and crostoli

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Matt has been engaged in the kitchen for the past eight weeks, working with the oven and trying out new techniques and some gorgeous produce. Wood baked surf clams with smoked butter and broad beans and whole Holmbrae chicken crisp skinned in eight minutes has our juices flowing. At the bar guests will see a liquid extension of Pei’s approach to food, with produce that is in season converted in-house into syrups, juices, shrubs and infusions. Rillettes, tartare and oysters are complemented by drinks such as the Camille, an elegant twist on a Negroni, with the bar’s aim to provide a bespoke cocktail experience. Joining Germanchis and Best will be Restaurant Manager Tara Sullivan and Sommelier Annette Lacey who has designed the wine list, focusing on wines that speak to their time and place. Lacey was recently awarded the 2014 Vin de Champagne award and was previously the sommelier at Marque – Best’s first Sydney venue established in 1999.

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STAYING ON TOP OF THE GAME

STAYING ON TOP OF THE GAME

If you’re looking for a twist of Hollywood sophistication combined with European elegance look no further than the Sofitel Hotel, Los Angeles. This contemporary luxury hotel featuring two hundred and ninety five rooms on ten floors is situated directly across from designer’s paradise the Beverley Centre. With an eclectic collection of Hollywood nostalgia strategically placed around the entrance and hotel property, you’re automatically transported to luxurious high-end accommodation. WORDS BY DANIELLE HARTE

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STAYING ON TOP OF THE GAME

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HAMILTONON STAYING ISLAND TOP OF THE THE JEWEL GAME OF THE WHITSUNDAYS

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STAYING ON TOP OF THE GAME

Upon arrival you are greeted with a warm smile and charming French accent, Bon Jour! Our spacious Suite complete with outstanding views of the Hollywood Hills offered complimentary Wi-Fi, indulgent Hermes bath accessories and the most comfy king-size bed with plush pillows that we have ever slept in! A perfect night’s sleep! The true beauty of the Sofitel however is its close proximity to local attractions, Venice Beach for some surfing, Rodeo Drive for shopping and the classic Universal Studios perfect for families. With a state-of-the-art fitness center at your beck and call it was business as usual setting the pace on the treadmills, gym equipment and yoga stretching. Next it was time to purify the mind, body and soul with a pure indulgence treatment of deep tissue massage and steam at Le Spa. Travelling long flights combating the tiresome effects of jet lag and time changes can be difficult for many so it is critical to stay on top of your game by re-energising the body’s metabolism and mind wisely. The Esterel Restaurant named after the mountains in Southeast France will entice you with an innovative cuisine that captures the unique flavours of the Mediterranean. Breakfast has a wonderful selection of local seasonal fruits, delicate French pastries; classics include eggs benedict, waffles with golden syrup and strawberry and ice cream pancakes. The brunch was also a favorite however for us we were lucky enough to experience masterfully crafted cocktails, delectable bar bites, live music and nightly entertainment at Riviera 31 Lounge Bar located on the ground floor. This dynamic atmosphere is guaranteed to uplift you and get those dancing shoes on. Tempted, thought so, so what are you waiting for enjoy!

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HEXAPEPTIDE TECHNOLOGY

HYDRANOV P HYDRATION

NEW

LIQUID LASER

WITHOUT THE DOWNTIME LIQUID LASER™ IS A DYNAMIC MIX OF ANTIOXIDANT AND CELL COMMUNICATING INGREDIENTS WHICH CUT THROUGH TIME TO HELP RESURFACE AND REVIVE THE SKINS APPEARANCE. As many are turning to invasive beauty treatments, Alpha-H’s innovative alternative and the most potent of the Liquid Gold range has the ability to resurface the skin, targeting imperfections and damage caused by ageing, without the aggression or downtime. Innovative Hexapeptide technology reinforces the skins natural ability to repair and recode DNA damage that occurs along the years; effectively rejuvenating and regenerating skin cells. High-tech concentrate Hydranov P, is faster and three times more efficient than Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate and restructure the skin. Glycolic Acid is utilised as a water soluble enzyme exfoliant that encourages the stimulation of collagen production and blood flow within the lower layers of the dermis. Niacinamide has the ability to improve skin elasticity, dramatically enhance its barrier function and assist in erasing discoloration. When topically applied Niacinamide has been shown to increase hydration while stimulating microcirculation in the dermis.

LIQUID LASER™ is available in an exclusive first-release, three piece collection ‘SKINSURANCE’. Available now through official Alpha-H stockists and online. View the Alpha-H website for a complete list of stockists.

www.alpha-h.com

GLYCOLIC ACID

NIACINAMIDE TECHNOLOGY


Q WITH ALPHA-H DIRECTOR, MICHELLE DOHERTY

CAN YOU PLEASE SHED SOME LIGHT ON ALPHA-H, WHAT IS IT? We are proud to be an award-winning Australian skincare brand for people looking to see real improvements in the quality of their skin. We are owned, operated and manufactured in sunny Queensland, Australia. Alpha-H started its life as a small family business in my home over two decades ago and has since grown into a thriving international brand with a cult following of beauty editors, professional make-up artists and skin clinicians. Our products combine high percentages of active, natural ingredients with the latest scientific technologies. For these reasons, it is the choice of many thousands of professional beauty therapists worldwide. WITH SO MANY SKINCARE RANGES AVAILABLE CAN YOU TELL US WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT ALPHA-H? Alpha-H products are designed to optimise skin health for all skin types by nourishing and balancing skin with precise product formulations that contain powerful antioxidants, vitamin blends and proven active ingredients. WHICH PRODUCT COULD YOU PERSONALLY NOT LIVE WITHOUT? As a woman in her early 50’s, who travels constantly and as a result often switches time zones regularly, I rely upon the firming and refining qualities of Alpha-H Liquid Gold, which really is like my miracle in a bottle! In a single sweep it removes excess oil and debris and leaves skin soft and silky. I also love it because it makes any makeup applied afterwards look more natural as it sits smoothly on the matrix of the skin. DO YOU HAVE ANY BEAUTY PHILOSOPHIES WHICH YOU BELIEVE IN? My philosophy is to never take for granted what your skin looks like today! For many years I lived in awe of people that had flawless and acne free skin. Now I can hold my head high and have people compliment me on the way my skin looks. HOW DO YOU LOOK AFTER YOUR SKIN AND WHAT PRODUCTS DO YOU USE? I do believe in adjusting my skin care to adapt to the seasons and environment. As I travel so much per month, my routine changes repeatedly. Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser is a staple. I select my specialised serums on where I am and what season I am in. I exfoliate religiously using percentages and pH’s that accommodate what is going on with my skin at that particular time and ensure to have a multi-tasking moisturiser with SPF benefits, always on hand. WHAT IS YOUR TOP LITTLE BEAUTY TIP? Invest wisely into a skincare system that multi-tasks, is sustainable, current and relevant to your needs. DO NOT be lured by trends and fads as they may not be here tomorrow.

www.alpha-h.com

MICHELLE’S STORY No one knows better about the difficulties of living with a skin condition than Michelle Doherty, Director of Alpha-H. Having suffered with chronic cystic acne in her teenage years and throughout her 20s, Michelle began a quest to find a product range that would address not just the imbalances of the skin on a daily basis, but one which would help prevent those problems from reoccurring. Disappointed by the results she achieved from over-the-counter cosmetics and appalled by the disinterest and lack of empathy from medical professionals, Michelle was introduced to Alpha-H when the brand was in its infancy. Within days of using the range she saw immediate and sustained visible improvements; not just in her skin, but in her confidence and self-esteem. The experience was life changing. Ultimately she would give up her job to work alongside the brand and spread the Alpha-H gospel. As the owner of Alpha-H, Michelle now travels the globe meeting men and women with their own skin concerns and problems; she dedicates herself to developing products which can help bring sustainable solutions to others. Michelle purchased Alpha-H in 1995 when it consisted of only four products. Today the range has expanded to over 50 retail and professional products that are available worldwide through authorised stockists, online and selected TV Shopping networks.


AN INTERNATIONAL BRAND OUT OF AUSTRALIA – NOW AVAILABLE IN DUBAI.

A LITTLE ABOUT ALPHA-H

ALPHA-H is now exclusively available in the United Arab Emirates through CitrussTV, a luxury and lifestyle home shopping TV channel.

Alpha-H is an Australian award-winning skincare brand for women and men looking to see a real change to their skin. We have been in operation for twenty years and our core message remains the same. Alpha-H is committed to real results of replenishment and rejuvenation whatever your skin type or age.

CitrusTV brings a selection of deluxe international beauty, makeup, kitchenware and electronic brands to Middle East viewers. Not limited to the Middle East however, this multi-media channel also reaches over 37 countries, bringing unique local and international brands to people at home. Alpha-H Owner and Director, Michelle Doherty says – “it’s an excellent opportunity to be in hundreds of thousands of lounge rooms to tell our unique story. We are really excited about making sure that our results driven skincare solutions are available to this particular market.” “A large percentage of people are hesitant about walking into a salon or spa, and feel it’s out of their reach. CitrusTV is the perfect option for those who would prefer to do their shopping from the comfort of their own home.” - Michelle Doherty “Presented in a non-confrontational hour with a beauty expert, customers are able to delve into the skincare industry on their own level without the hard sell often used in store,” says Michelle.

Alpha-H is a pioneering, dynamic skincare brand owned, operated and manufactured on the Gold Coast in sunny Queensland. It is a family run business with its reach now extending to hundreds of Australian salon stockists and international affiliates. We are a professional skincare brand creating products that promise a higher-than-usual potency to ensure a fast and real change in skin quality. Alpha-H stands for integrity and generosity – never skimping or cutting corners on the critical high percentages of active ingredients that deliver the Alpha-H result. At heart we are a cosmeceutical brand. We understand that customers come to us because they are looking for quality, results driven products. If you see a noticeable difference in your skin you will keep coming back to the products that deliver these results and this is what Alpha-H is all about. The result is in your hands: a highly active professional skin treatment of concentrated and balanced performance ingredients.

www.alpha-h.com


LUXURY IN SAN FRANCISCO

LUXURY IN SAN FRANCISCO

The electrifying buzz of passing trams, buskers singing, people shopping at Union Square and runners pounding the pavements, all combine to make your senses instantly come alive with excitement. This is how we felt when we arrived at the sophisticated Four Seasons flagship property located in the SoMa (South of Market) San Francisco bay area. WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

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This luxurious property offers spacious and elegant accommodation including guest rooms and suites all with spectacular views, an impressive array of beauty and spa treatments, cafes and an outstanding gymnasium facility. On the ground floor, guests have the options of playing basketball or volleyball, swimming in the lap pool, running on the latest treadmill, cross trainer or working out on the latest hi-tech weights equipment. To relax and unwind we enjoyed a cocktail at the urban-chic cocktail bar located on the fifth-floor with stunning panoramic views of Market Street and Downtown before dining at MKT Restaurant, inspired by San Francisco’s famous newspaper. Executive Chef Mark Richardson bedazzled us with his exceptional presentation of California infused steaks and small plates designed for sharing. Using only the freshest of ingredients from the local markets we enjoyed ultra-creative handcrafted plates of strawberry filled yellow tail, butter encrusted halibut, California white sea bass, Brandt farm rib eye, slow cooked leg of lamb and Atlantic salmon with fava beans. With my background as a Chef, one of my highlights travelling globally and critiquing restaurants is looking for a Chef’s point of difference; discovering their unique style and what it is that really sets them apart from the rest. I found myself inspired by this up and coming Executive Chef Richardson, whose mature vision of creating pieces of art on the plate are second to none. His fine attention to detail with the intricate flowers, flavours and spices are breathtaking and I urge you all to see for yourself.

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GRAND STYLE IN SAN FRANCISCO

GRAND STYLE SAN FRANCISCO Grand Hyatt San Francisco is situated on Union Square in the heart of downtown San Francisco. This urban chic property features innovative spacious rooms and residences with simple sophisticated dĂŠcor, with spectacular views of the intrinsic city and San Francisco Bay. Featured throughout the entrance is a series of eye-catching artwork, stretching three metres high, filled with explosions of colour, texture and 3D futuristic symbolism. WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

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GRAND STYLE IN SAN FRANCISCO

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GRAND STYLE IN SAN FRANCISCO

All the sights and sounds of San Francisco beckon just outside the doors, including unequalled access to world-class shopping, museums, theatres and the famous landmarks of this vibrant city, including Moscone Convention Center, Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, and AT&T Ballpark. The local markets located at the Pier are a welcome pleasure. For those who love the smell of fresh fruit and vegetables, coffee and fresh juice bars, buskers and endless art exhibitions; this is the place to be. The charming and friendly ambience at the Grand Hyatt is refreshing, and for us it was the smiling, soulful doormen that always made you feel at home. One of the lovely features of this property is the open style library located to the side of reception that allows

you instant Wi-Fi access and time to catch up on forgotten emails and business-related matters. Our evening was spent at their signature restaurant One Up. The restaurant is a warm, comfortable gathering spot where you can enjoy wine, cocktails and tasty American bistro classics with a San Francisco twist. Executive Chef Kevin Villalovos sources local fresh produce and ingredients, and combines traditional cooking methods with contemporary hearth ovens to craft each dish for you. His Northern California flavours will blow you away! General Manager Michael Jokovich and his friendly team encapsulate an authentic sense of pride that automatically makes you feel totally relaxed. This is the perfect escape to relax, unwind and enjoy this magical city.

Grand Hyatt San Francisco, 345 Stockton Street San Francisco, California, USA, 94108 | www.grandsanfrancisco.hyatt.com

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exclusive to

MISTY COPELAND BALLERINA SOLOIST AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE


SAUSALITO LUXURY WITH MILITARY PRECISION

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SAUSALITO LUXURY WITH MILITARY PRECISION

SAUSALITO LUXURY WITH MILITARY PRECISION The multi-award winning Cavallo Point Resort is located in a sleepy little town called Sausalito, tucked away next to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Fort Baker was a deserted military base active during the Second World War, but now this extraordinary reclaimed parcel of land has been given the ultimate make-over. WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

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SAUSALITO LUXURY WITH MILITARY PRECISION

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SAUSALITO LUXURY WITH MILITARY PRECISION

On arrival, the view of the resort is impressive - a neat military setting that reminds you of a scene from Officer and a Gentleman and the ‘Stars and Stripes’ flying full-mast proudly centre stage. Guests are immediately swept away by the stunning panoramic view of original officer accommodation, all of which has been impeccably restored and scattered throughout the lush green hillside. Just beyond that is a new batch of Eco-friendly two-storey contemporary blocks, each appointed with a cozy gas fireplace, panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows and individual patios with stunning views of San Francisco Bay. Tantalisingly displayed around the resort is an art exhibition showcasing engaging works of photography, paintings, sculptures and mixed media. Historic interiors include a toasty fireplace complementing soft rich textures and furnishings with a stunning restored tin ceiling. If you’re looking to unwind and relax, the Spa is a tranquil sanctuary among the eucalyptus and pine. Here you can indulge in the vital elements of the healing, massage, aromatherapy, body treatments and water therapies to replenish the mind, body and spirit.

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SAUSALITO LUXURY WITH MILITARY PRECISION

Their signature restaurant Murray Circle showcasing Executive Chef Justin Everett, delivers a unique blend of delicious Northern California flavours. As an entree we enjoyed a salad of wild spinach and fig served with honey gastrique, walnut, goat cheese and cacao nibs. As our first main we enjoyed a grilled Alaskan halibut which was served with turmeric, mussels, hominy, poblano peppers, dino kale. A second main comprised of a five dot ranch seared beef loin steak which was

served with grilled summer squash, blossom pistou and avocado mousse. Absolutely delicious! One impressive feature is that Cavallo Point Resort is dog friendly, which is the fi rst international destination we have come across to accommodate man’s best friend. It’s easy to see why this has been voted #3 Travel and Leisure’s Top Resort in America 2013.

Cavallo Point Lodge – the Lodge at the Golden Gate, 601 Murray Circle, Fort Baker, Sausalito, CA 94965 www.cavallopoint.com

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exclusive to

MISTY COPELAND BALLERINA SOLOIST AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE


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Its not every day you get to be part of a record launch especially when it’s one of your good friends. Robby has been threatening to come out of the proverbial music closet for some time and finally with the support of her amazing husband (Country Star Lee Kernaghan) and several others, it’s happened. The result is her album Obsession, a collection of evocative pop songs that will finally allow us to enjoy a remarkable talent. Robby has donated the royalties from the sale of the song ‘Never Wanna Let You Go’ to the McGrath Foundation. So check out the website www.robbyx.com and download it from iTunes today. I have asked Robby to share her story with us and give us some insight into the making of this great album.

“I’ve dreamt about making this record for as long as I can remember and have treasured every moment of doing what I love to do most – make music.” I wanted the songs on Obsession to take people on a journey. There are various themes about life and love and some of the songs are quite sexy and sensual. There’s music to seduce to, music to dance to, drink to or just chill to. One of my favourite places in the world is the South of France and the music that plays at the beach clubs along the Cote D’Azur has defi nitely had an influence on me and my production approach to Obsession. I remember laying on the beach by the beautiful Grand Hyatt in Cannes, glass of pink Rosè in my hand, soaking up the sun and ambience of the cool DJ mix playing in the background.. and it got me thinking “what if I created some cocktails to match the style of the songs on my album?” My great friend Phil Harte put me in contact with Australian champion mixologist Christian Blair who added his expertise to the project and designed some cocktails that have added another sensory element to the mix. Songs, after all, are a cocktail of music, lyric and emotion. I’ve always thought the best songs are the ones that you not only hear but feel too. The result is a Dirty Mind (Martini), Sexy, Obsession (Champagne Cocktail), Like Chocolate and Bad Boy. We had a lot of fun sampling and honing these drinks so that they are a perfect match for the vibe of each song. I think in many ways songwriters are alchemists, turning a blank page into something tangible and it’s a very personal thing. You get the chance to create something that comes from deep inside you and sometimes tap into that special something out there that comes from a higher source.

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Songs like ‘Perfume’, ‘Sexy’ and ‘Close to Me’ were written about life and love. ‘The Th ief ’ was actually inspired by the love poems of 14 century philosopher and poet Rumi. I wrote and produced the entire album over a period of about 18 months and when I think back on how it all started, feeling that first burst of inspiration, sitting around the piano and then building the songs up one by one, I feel so grateful not just for the music but the amazing people I have had the opportunity to work and collaborate with. Two of my favourite tracks ‘Dir t y Mind ’ a nd ‘Just Another Night’ were co-written with Irishman Ciaran Gribbin who is a Grammy-nominated songwriter and also wrote the number one hit ‘Celebration’ for Madonna. I was also lucky enough to work with award winning songwriter and producer Lindsay Rimes, which was magic. Music has given me the opportunity to see a lot of Australia and the world and I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some very inspiring people. One organisation that has truly inspired me is The McGrath Foundation. It’s such important work that they do and they really make a difference in providing support and care nurses for women with breast cancer. I’m very proud to be a Foundation Friend and the royalties from the sale of my first single, ‘Never Wanna Let You Go’ will be directed to the foundation to help in the fund raising effort.

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HAMILTON ISLAND THE JEWEL OF THE WHITSUNDAYS

Songs are a cocktail of music, lyric and emotion. I���ve always thought the best songs are the ones that you not only hear but feel too, as music has the power to tantalize all the senses. So I have worked with Australian champion mixologist Christian Blair to design some cocktails to add another sensory element to the mix. So whatever the occasion and who ever you’re with, I hope these drinks set the mood just right for Obsession.

For purchasers of the physical CD Robby has worked alongside Australian champion mixologist Christian Blair to create a range of cocktail recipes inspired by the songs on OBSESSION that will be included in the CD album artwork. New cocktails include the ‘Dirty Mind’, ‘Sexy’ and the ‘Bad Boy’. SEXY “I’m still drifting in your slipstream, I’m still longing for your kiss..”

50ml vodka , 15ml strega liqueur, 30ml poached strawberry puree, 15ml lemon juice, 20ml coconut cream. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Shake well, tell someone they’re sexy, then strain and serve in a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. This drink is a little sweet, a little spicy and very sexy.

DIRTY MIND “it’s a wild and erotic high, too hot to classify”

50ml vodka or gin, 5 ml Cynar (artichoke) liqueur, 5 ml artichoke brine, 2 drops of orange bitters, squeeze of lime juice. Stir and serve over a large chunk or sphere of ice in a martini glass. Garnish with a skewered artichoke heart or lemon twist. This drink is dark, bitter and mysterious. BAD BOY “I cannot resist a dangerous kiss”

40ml dark rum, 10ml yellow chartreuse, 5ml grenadine, 25 ml lime juice, 2 drops Angostura bitters. Shake well with ice and serve over a large block of ice in stemmed glass. This drink will get you into a lot of trouble. Looks innocent, tastes sweet and a little spicy, but packs a serious punch.

www.robbyx.com www.twitter.com/robbyxofficial www.facebook.com/robbyx www.instagram.com/robby_x THE LIFE EDITION | 2015

Photography by Claudio Kirac

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#artofcelebration Enjoy Responsibly


SEXY • FUN •

WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY DOMINIC CHAMPAGNE & RENÉ RICHARD CYR


ACROBATIC

TICKETS FROM $69* For tickets, Call 866.606.7111 • zumanity.com Performances at 7:30 p.m. & 10:00 p.m. Zumanity has been created for guests 18 years and older. *Plus tax and service fees.


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A late night discussion over a bottle of wine between two newspaper executives in an Auckland pub 22 years ago not only changed their lives, but the future of the Australian printing industry. With no actual hands on experience in print production between themselves, Kiwis Warwick Spicer and Keith Ferrel decided to ditch the security offered by the publisher of The Sunday Star. Spicer - who was Chief Executive - and Ferrel - who was sales manager - got together a business plan to open the first printing company in Australasia to offer a large-format printing solution that was done without a plate, ink or type form - electrostatic printing. “Warwick came across the technology by accident and identified the commercial opportunity. He then badgered me to join him,” Ferrel says. “It was a little bit crazy, as we were a couple of middle-aged men leaving well-paid positions to start a business in a world we knew nothing about.” But the risk paid off for the duo, with Cactus Imaging experiencing strong demand first in New Zealand and later in Australia through its commitment to high quality print production in a timely and cost effective manner.

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PRINTING THEIR OWN PLANS FOR SUCCESS

Underpinning the success was Ferrel and Spicer’s urge to ensure that at all times Cactus Imaging was at the forefront of technology, employing the very latest equipment and work flow management systems. According to oOh! Media CEO, Brendon Cook, Cactus Imaging impressed from the day they started in Australia. “They were constantly investing in technology to keep meeting the speed demands of our clients. They were never afraid to reject work if they did not feel that they could deliver on it - although that is a rarity,” Cook says. Today, the company commands some 60 per cent of all printing from the out-of-home industry. It has also become a major player in printing for the construction, entertainment and events, and retail industries. Part of ASX-listed Opus Group, Cactus Imaging continues its commitment to investing in Research and Development (spending three to five per cent of its turnover), relationships with clients and suppliers and a one-family work culture. Now led by Warwick son, Nigel Spicer, with support from Keith Ferrel who remains in the business, Cactus Imaging is looking at new market opportunities and more environmentally-friendly solutions to introduce to the market. “Both my father and Keith were great mentors. They have instilled in me the values that were the foundations for Cactus Imaging’s success,” says Nigel, who joined the company in 1996 as a sales rep before working his way up to Group Manager in 2008.

office into a giant bookcase and had tape measure spanning the height of its Melbourne office. “It was unique – the first in Australia of such a size. We had to develop a solution by which we were able to print out hundreds of panels and then weld them together in a way that would withstand a one in one hundred years wind,” Keith Ferrel said. Most recently, the company completed another high-profile project with long term-customer Scaffad to wrap the Sydney Town Hall tower while it was undergoing restoration. According to National Sales Director of Scaffad, Adrian McMurray, the relationship between the two companies started eight years ago, when the founders of Scaffad identified an opportunity to use construction site scaffolding and hoardings to improve visual appeal and be used as an advertising medium. “In partnership we have delivered good results – from the Sydney Town Hall job, which was recognised by Architectural Digest as one of the top architectural wraps, through to hoardings,” McMurray said. “They have been ridiculously consistent in delivering to the brief we give them and together we have been able to provide our clients with a product that exceeds expectation.” Breakout: Embracing digital technologies in an age old industry While some Australians have resisted the march of new technology in the printing sector, Keith Ferrel and his team at Cactus Imaging are actively embracing digital technologies.

“I am particularly impressed by the culture where all of the 78 staff in Australia and New Zealand are like family and share our desire for success. As a result, we have strong and stable team with many being around the company for 15 years.”

“While many may see technology as a threat to age-old traditions, we believe it presents us with opportunities to deliver results above clients’ expectations,” Mr Ferrel said.

The importance of team is shared by Ferrel who was quick to share the credit when named the FESPA (Federation of European Screen Printers Association) 2014 World Printer of the Year.

Ferrel says that, through investing in the latest print technology, the company has been able to deliver greater quality printing, more cost effectively and in a timely manner.

“I don’t consider the award a personal success – the whole team can feel like they have won with me. You can’t have an achievement like this without a good team,” he says.

But investment in technology does not stop there – the company has invested heavily in building its own technology to ensure all of its staff and clients can keep across the status of jobs and project timelines.

Breakout: Wrapping up Australian properties When Sydney hosted the 2000 Olympic Games, one of the most photographed landmarks was Westpac Bank’s Martin Place Branch featuring a wrap with swimmers powering up the side of the building towards a live medal tally. It proved a great marketing success for the banking sponsor of the Games. For Cactus Imaging the production of the wrap, gave them global recognition. Cactus Imaging was the first to deliver such a building wrap into the Australian market, with the creation of large format building wraps for ANZ in the 1990s. Through the innovative solution, it converted the bank’s Sydney

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According to Lindsay Barnes, General Manager of Fujifilm, Cactus Imaging is well known in the industry for its readiness to push print manufacturers to develop new solutions to deliver better results for its clients. “Rather than simply reacting and following the industry, Cactus are thinking about the next thing in the evolution of printing. That is why they are at the forefront of the industry today,” Barnes said. As with all other major printing suppliers, including HP which has Ferrel sitting on their customer advisory board, Fujifilm has benefited from Cactus Imaging’s proactive approach to technology and the recommendations they make about what features their printers need.

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ICONIC ITALIAN LUXURY ARMANI HOTEL MILAN

ICONIC ITALIAN

LUXURY ARMANI HOTEL MILANO WORDS BY PHIL HARTE

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ICONIC ITALIAN LUXURY ARMANI HOTEL MILAN

As a resident of Dubai for the past six years, I have had the opportunity to watch first-hand, the relentless growth in the hotel and hospitality market in this country. Despite the ‘GFC’, investment in infrastructure has continued apace, with the most noteworthy being the construction of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest manmade structure in the world. The challenge for the developers at the time was to decide which brand of hotel had the industry credibility and global commercial appeal to sit inside this soon-to-become iconic structural wonder of the world.

Emaar Hospitality has a wealth of experience and a significant stable of high performing luxury properties in Dubai including The Address, The Palace and Vida. To create an uber-luxury hotel suitable for the Burj Khalifa, Emaar instigated a collaboration with arguably one of the world’s most iconic fashion houses, Giorgio Armani, and the Armani Hotel Dubai is the result. With Emaar’s industry track-record and a roster of some of the world’s leading executive staff, the marriage was always destined to shine. Some two years after the successful launch of the Armani Hotel Dubai, the joint venture between Emaar and Giorgio Armani produced yet another boutique luxury fashion hotel, but this time located in Giorgio’s backyard of Milano. The Armani Hotel Milano is impressive and sprawls an entire block, surrounded by signature Armani boutiques and eateries. On the corner

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of Via Manzoni and Via Croce Rossa, it is located in the world-famous couture district, known as Quadrilatero della Moda, and only a few minutes away from the luxury shopping streets of Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga, the famous Teatro alla Scala and the spectacular Piazza del Duomo. The ground floor entrance is very understated, and it is not until you are escorted to the seventh floor that the Armani experience of fashion, form and function really begins. Our allocated Lifestyle Manager greeted us and provided a tour of the property on the way to our suite – starting from the lobby lounge decked out in monochromatic smooth textures, through the flagship Armani/ Ristorante, the well-equipped fitness centre on the eighth floor and the enticing Armani/Spa.

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ICONIC ITALIAN LUXURY ARMANI HOTEL MILAN

The Armani style and philosophy defi ned every detail of the 95 guestrooms and suites, and yet we were totally unprepared for what lay behind the closed door to our Armani Signature Suite. Walking through the vestibule entrance, we couldn’t believe the size of the living room featuring a sweeping circular staircase leading to the ensuite bedroom on the upper level. Decorated with Armani designer furniture in a cream and gold palette, it oozed elegance and sophistication. The 203 m2 suite also featured a full service bar and kitchen, but, best of all, it also contained our own private gym complete with treadmill, excise bike, weights, mats, a

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separate shower, change room and full floor-to-ceiling mirrored walls. We were in heaven. As we worked our way up the marble staircase to our bedroom, a glimpse back allowed us to fully appreciate the impact of the suite. Our ensuite was another Armani showcase, complete with personalised vanities, spa bath, walk-in robes and two-way mirrored doors on the shower and bathroom. Each element has been personally designed by Giorgio Armani and chosen for its sculptural, aesthetic and sensual qualities. The in-room amenities were thoughtfully selected.

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ICONIC ITALIAN LUXURY ARMANI HOTEL MILAN

"As we worked our way up the marble staircase to our bedroom, a glimpse back allowed us to fully appreciate the impact of the suite."

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ICONIC ITALIAN LUXURY ARMANI HOTEL MILAN

DIning There are two dining options available at the hotel: The Armani/Ristorante and the Armani/Lounge. The hotel prides itself on providing menus that are inspired by the gastronomic traditions of Italy. The dishes are classic and take advantage of fresh available produce. The dining area of the Armani/Ristorante is elegant and features floor-to-ceiling windows providing panoramic views of Milan; a perfect environment to enjoy a special dining experience. On the night of our booking, we were fortunate to have the Executive Chefs from both Armani Hotels working together, weaving their magic over our five course degustation menu. Before

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settling down to eat, we enjoyed some excellent cocktails, which were tailor-made for us by the highly-regarded Armani Mixologist. Dinner, of course, was a special feast and met all our expectations: first out was the Lobster caprese, served with stracciatella cheese, green tomatoes, dill and olives. This was followed by the Veal carpaccio with white truffle and asparagus. We then enjoyed a Crispy skin barramundi with a tomato purĂŠe and fresh fava beans, followed by the signature Saffron truffled scampi risotto. The meal was completed with fresh fruit with home-made meringue, yogurt and a strawberry consume. All truly delicious.

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ICONIC ITALIAN LUXURY ARMANI HOTEL MILAN

Highlight The Armani/SPA was a perfect place to recharge the batteries and unwind, and the signature Giorgio Armani design philosophies were evident here. The spa provides 1,000 m2 of beauty, peace and quiet overlooking the city from the top floor of the hotel. Individual treatments, personalised couples steam rooms and sauna experience can all be arranged. The relaxation pool with its louvered window roof and walls was magnificent and definitely worth checking out.

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Armani Hotel Dubai +971 4 888 3888 or email dubai@armanihotels.com Armani Hotel Dubai +971 4 888 3888 or email dubai@armanihotels.com armanihotels.com armanihotels.com


Classic Lifestyle Magazine 15 - The Life Edition