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MC20

SENSATIONAL

ANDALUCÍA WINDFALL

JEWELLERS OF LIGHT

CASABLANCA SKI CLUB

ADVENTURES DOWN UNDER

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D THE SPOTLIGHT

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contents 114

THE ESSENTIAL

18 Publisher’s Letter

GO TO THE SPOTLIGHT

26 Love ‘n Games in Times of Covid 34 Sensations of Andalucía 44 The Ritz-Carlton, Abama 48 Australia & New Zealand Grand Tour 60 Ten Simple Steps For a More Sustainable Life 66 The New Maserati MC20 70 Gordon Ramsay

GO TO THE TREND 78 Hot New Series 82 Vital Viewing 86 Books – New Releases 90 Music News 94 Animal Love 96 What’s Cool

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GO TO THE STYLE 102 Organically-Inspired Architecture 114 Windfall, Jewellers of Light 124 Pantone Colours of 2021 127 Exclusive Vegan Fur Vests 128 Casablanca Ski Club Collection

GO TO THE SPA 138 Mask-On Mask-Off 140 Tarte Cosmetics 142 Marbella is Good for Your Health

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148 Emotional Maturity in this Brave New World

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GO TO THE PRO 152 Property 154 Renewable Energy in Spain 158 Enterprise

GO TO THE GOURMET 170 Divine Dining at Divot 174 Mantra Moment

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178 Gourmet Bytes 182 Monastrell Wine


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Issue 256 February/March 2021

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The International Baccalaureate Diploma at Swans School is a challenging and rewarding Sixth Form experience that fully prepares our students for life at university and beyond. MarĂ­a Moro Bermudo joined Swans School in Early Years. Always a shining example of positivity, proactivity and pride, she later became our Sixth Form Head Girl. She now studies Human, Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge.

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LEARNING THROUGH PLAY

ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE

From the very earliest years, we help our children to be creative, to inquire, to be critical thinkers and to have fun! With this approach, our children soon develop a lifelong love of learning.

...for Secondary to build upon, guiding them towards future success.

At Swans Primary School we create strong foundations...

The International Baccalaureate Diploma at Swans School is a challenging and rewarding Sixth Form experience that fully prepares our students for life at university and beyond. MarĂ­a Moro Bermudo joined Swans School in Early Years. Always a shining example of positivity, proactivity and pride, she later became our Sixth Form Head Girl. She now studies Human, Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge.

Swans Primary School Tel. (+34) 952 773 248 Email. primary@swansschool.net Web. www.swansschoolinternational.es

Swans Secondary School Tel. (+34) 952 902 755 Email. admin@swansschool.net Web. www.swansschoolinternational.es


D D THE PUBLISHER

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WORDS BY IAIN BLACKWELL PUBLISHER

GOOD TIMES AHEAD!

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n talking with clients recently, there’s a general consensus that things are going to improve and Marbella is set to benefit both from visitors when travelling is green lighted and from those seeking to purchase property here – these have always been the twin drivers of the local economy. To keep your mind free of woes meanwhile, we at essential will endeavour to bring you a feast of editorial content to consume at your leisure encapsulated, as always, within these aesthetically pleasing pages. Keeping it local, we relive the sensations of Andalucía, reinforce how Marbella is good for your health,

16 / DECEMBER/JANUARY 2021

learn why the Costa del Sol remains an investors favourite in 2021, and enjoy a leisurely lunch at popular dining venue, Divot. Further afield, we reminisce on great travel adventures combining Australia and New Zealand, focus on some of the planet’s landmark organic architecture, and savour the safety and refinement of the sumptuous Ritz-Carlton, Abama resort in Tenerife. Elsewhere, we investigate Love in Times of Covid, marvel at the stunning lines of the outstanding Maserati MC20, brighten-up with Windfall Contemporary Crystal Lighting, and suave it out with the slick new skiinspired collection from Casablanca.


66 102 170

“DIFFICULT ROADS OFTEN LEAD TO BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS” ZIG ZIGLAR

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WWW.ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM / 17


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CLASSIC MARBELLA LUXURY IN A BEACHSIDE SETTING Sales Office Open Broker Enquiries Welcome


e back to CONTENTS

the spotlight

WE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO TRAVEL JUST NOW, BUT YOU CAN COME WITH US TO AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND. MEANWHILE, INDULGE YOUR SENSES TO THE MAX HERE IN ANDALUCÍA. FIND OUT HOW ROMANCE IS BEING CONDUCTED IN TIMES OF COVID, MARVEL AT THE SENSUAL BEAUTY OF THE NEW MASERATI MC20, AND BE AMUSED BY OUR INTERVIEW WITH GORDON RAMSAY.

GO TO PAGE 48 FOR THE AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND GRAND TOUR


GO TO PAGE 66 FOR THE NEW MASERATI MC20

GO TO PAGE 34 FOR SENSATIONS OF ANDALUCÍA

GO TO PAGE 70 FOR GORDON RAMSAY

CULTURE HISTORY PEOPLE MOTORING 26 Love in Times of Covid 34 Sensations of Andalucía 44 The Ritz-Carlton, Abama 48 Australia & New Zealand Grand Tour 60 Ten Simple Steps For a More Sustainable Life 66 The New Maserati MC20 70 Gordon Ramsay


D THE SPOTLIGHT love

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LOVE IN THE TIME OF COVID

Do real world knights in shining armour play video games? More of us are finding out.

From lockdown Zoom dates to video game weddings, Covid socially-distanced our love lives but there are oodles of opportunities to hook up with a knight in shining armour online without needing a negative PCR test. essential finds out how the pandemic is changing the way we date and relate.

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n a year when students have been hooking up with their roommates to avoid contagion and masks have become more crucial than condoms on an In Real Life date, the course of true love has been far from normal. Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute which is conducting its own Love in the Time of Coronavirus study reports that 25% of

26 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

respondents even got back together with their ex. The pandemic has turned the dating landscape on its head but coronavirus hasn’t killed romance. It has driven it online. Dating app usage has shot through the stratosphere, dressing up for a video date is normal and sexting is no longer a perversion since New York City Health District recommended it

in its tips for safe sex. Tinder, which registered a record three billion swipes on one day in March, reports that 63% of singles are spending more time exploring each other’s minds rather than their physical attributes through the long lost art of ‘meaningful conversation’ on topics they really care about, like politics and climate change.


GAME, SET AND MATCH Meanwhile, as borders closed and summer holiday plans were scuppered, tens of millions of us stepped away from the real world and took a Nook Inc. charter flight to their own fantasy island to build a dream home and grow fruit. It’s only a video game but Animal Crossing: New Horizons, launched last March, is a pandemic phenomenon, selling over 25 million copies and umpteen Nintendo Switch consoles and becoming a proxy world for the real one when Covid messed things up. Youngsters have held birthday parties inside the game, a group of Birmingham lads recreated their shuttered local nightclub on their island and one intrepid New Jersey couple whose wedding plans were ruined took their vows as avatars, plighting their troth beneath a flowerstrewn beach bower in the presence of their avatar family and friends. Everyone has been adding Animal Crossing to their Tinder profiles and inviting prospective matches over to

their islands. Celebs play it too. ‘Hey guys I just Tweeted my turnip prices and Elijah Wood came to my island’, crowed one well impressed player. Once dismissed as a hobby for nerds and geeks, video gaming has been a lifeline for the lonely under lockdown and folk who called themselves ‘normal’ have been slaying dragons in Guild Wars 2 and shooting it out in Call of Duty alongside players from across the globe. Stuck home alone or cramped together en familia, one in three of us are regularly dipping into these virtual worlds for escapism. Although 20-to-30-year-olds play hardest, 22.72 hours weekly, game sales and subscriptions have seen a 35% spike across the generations. Parents have discovered sides to their kids’ personalities they never knew. Partners have found deeper connection. As one couple put it: “Some snuggle and watch movies – we snuggle and blow up aliens.” And it’s not just a passing fad, with 40% of newbies planning to make gaming part of their New Normal. WWW.ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM / 27


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Gamers have perfected the art of building communities in and around video games. They don’t just compete with strangers around the world, they forge enduring friendships. One in three have dated someone they met in a game, half have made a lifelong friend and 78% prefer gaming platforms for connecting over any other social media, according to electronics retailer Music Magpie. Cooperation between players in guilds, clans or communities is an integral part of gameplay and, although some of the graphic shooter games don’t seem like the best place for friendship and romance, it’s a bit like boot camp. The trust-building crisis scenarios you go through together forge stronger bonds. Mostly free to download to a smartphone or pc, MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) connect to millions of players at a time who communicate through typed text and animated avatars. Since World of Warcraft came out in 2004, its 113 million subscribers and 7.5 million daily players have collectively logged more time than our species has existed on the planet — over 6 million years. These vast, perpetual worlds take hours to traverse and unfold in rich graphical detail. Lord of the Rings Online, where you can explore Middle Earth as a human,

28 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

Players have collectively logged over six million years on World of Warcraft Fashion meets esports with Louis Vuitton’s virtual and real world collections


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Lose yourself in Lord of the Rings Online

elf, dwarf or hobbit, is like starring in the movie. Avatars can be customised in minute detail – gender, race, nose shape, lip fullness, butt tattoo. Games scholar Nick Yee classifies avatars into two categories, ‘Either a projection or idealisation of one’s identity or an experiment with a new identity’. Gender switching is big. So are in-game weddings, which also get you bonus points. Final Fantasy XIV’s Eternal Bonding Ceremony is one of the most epic out there, with no gender restrictions, unlike games made in Korea where same-sex marriage is illegal. In Japan couples can even book a real world Eternal

Bonding Ceremony, costing $31,500 for a 70-guest plan. Addictive gaming has had a bad rap but even the World Health Authority, which declared gaming disorder an illness in 2019, has acknowledged its social and mental health benefits, teaming up with the industry in #PlayApartTogether to promote healthy physical distancing through gaming. “The pandemic opened a lot of people’s eyes to what games can do to bring people together“ says Daniel Luu, a 25-year-old Covid millionaire who set up Nookazon this year to sell virtual goods to Animal Crossing

players. “Now it’s just going mainstream but gaming has been bringing communities together for years.” Maybe it’s worth a go? After all, why risk real life dating when you can hook up virtually with a dashing dragon slayer who could turn out to be a real world knight in shining armour, even if she’s female!

GAME CHANGING It’s worth more than the movie and music industries put together, and giving sport a run for its money. Video gaming is tipped to be the biggest social disrupter of the decade, influencing not only our dating habits but our entire culture. And the boundaries are already being blurred. Authors, musicians and designers are latching onto the gamer-streamer model to launch books, headline concerts and stage shows. Glasto was cancelled but

The virtual battlefield encourages bonding © Call of Duty® 30 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021


rapper Travis Scott’s Astroworld concert for the video game Fortnite had 12 million viewers, nearly double the audience for the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards. Esport will be a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games while competition gaming is giving football and baseball a run for its money with tournaments sponsored by the likes of Louis Vuitton and Nike offering prize pots larger than the Super Bowl’s. League of Legends, one of the biggest gaming platforms on the international competition scene, fields 13 leagues and their 2019 championship attracted 100 million viewers on cable TV. “Video games are the future,” forecasts Dr Noah Raford, the Dubai Government’s Futurist-inChief. “I like to say they’re the new Hollywood because today they’re already three times larger than film, TV and music combined. But where it gets really exciting is when you add on in-game economy. Take Fortnite, one of the world’s most popular games. It’s free to play yet every month it makes hundreds of millions of dollars. Why? Because people are buying clothes, guns, homes – inside the game. This

Virtual Nuptials – Final Fantasy’s Eternal Bonding Ceremony

exchange of virtual services and goods is actually going to get bigger than the physical economy.” Globally, gaming generates US$180 billion from 2.6 billion gamers and 80% of revenue comes from Fremium sites – free to download but players pay for extra content, character customisation and virtual merchandise to advance their progress through the game. The

fashion world is taking note. Balenciaga released their Fall 2021 collection in the form of a video game that allows users to explore a sci fi city as a store, with animated NPCs (non-playing characters) modelling the clothes. And Louis Vuitton produced a reallife capsule wardrobe themed on League of Legends that players can download for their avatars as digital skins for around $10 apiece. WWW.ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM / 31


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The feel-good family game everyone’s playing

LOCKDOWN IN LA LA LAND Escape to a paradise island proved irresistible to gamers in 2020. In a survey of this year’s top 30 bestselling games by British electronics retailer Music Magpie, 64.8% found most happiness playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Hailed as the coronavirus distraction we needed, the New York Times raved, ‘It’s like you’ve been transported to a parallel La La Land where there is no disaster or disease, no real pressure to do anything on a given day’. The game starts you

off as the sole human in a community of cute animals, with no money or possessions except a tent, some camping supplies and a debt to pay off. The main goal, if there is one, is to fully upgrade your house and pay off your debt and how you get there is up to you: catch fish and butterflies to sell, trade fruit from your orchard, befriend the cute resident animals and unlock new characters and features. The game runs in real time and adjusts the weather to the seasons in your hemisphere. Sound

effects mimic wind, waves and feet scrunching on the sand and every action makes a satisfying bloop, click, or whistle. One player who matched on Hinge when she mentioned she had apples on her island said, “He came over and we did some fishing. The anxiety of meeting someone face to face fades away while playing so you get to just be goofy and have fun although he only stayed half an hour. Maybe he only wanted me for my apples.”

Evening vibe on Animal Crossing

32 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021


League of Legends character

AMONG TOP TRENDS, MATCH HIGHLIGHTED:

APPY EVER AFTER Getting to know each other first through a dating app could remain essential foreplay in the New Normal. The Match Group, which monopolises 60% of the dating app market (Tinder, Hinge, Plenty of Fish) analysed 450 million responses to match-up questions on its OKCupid platform to predict key dating trends for 2021. ‘The pandemic has changed the rules in a way that won’t be going away once face to face meetings are no longer potentially fatal,” said Match CEO Elie Seidman. “People are still going to be a little bit more reluctant to meet physically and they are going to want that connection to be more assured beforehand.”

SLOW LOVE A return to the courtship rituals of your grandparents’ day. Coronavirus has forced singles into more traditional wooing – getting to know someone before the kissing starts. THUNBERGING People’s passion for the planet is becoming a steamy subject and a topic to bond over. INNER-PARTY DATING The colour of your date’s politics matters more than their eyes, with 64% saying cross-party dating doesn’t work. BORDERLESS LOVE People will travel to the end of the world for it. International conversations are up nearly 50% among singles and more are setting their location preferences to ‘Anywhere’. e

Vulpine Familiar, a foxy transporter in World of Warfare WWW.ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM / 33


D THE SPOTLIGHT travel Pink Bougainvillea

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SENSATIONAL ANDALUCĂ?A SIGHT, SOUND, SMELL, TASTE AND TOUCH IMPRESSIONS FROM THE SPANISH SOUTH Some of the best things about travelling are the sensory impressions that we retain long after travel photos have become dusty memories in forgotten albums. WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY KARETHE LINAAE

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hen I visited India some years back I took several thousand photos, yet what stuck with me were the sensory flashes that I never could capture on camera. Take the Chai Wallahs running along the train at every station selling tea. I can still close my eyes and see them passing the scalding hot glasses through the train window. I can hear them chatting in a mixture of Indian and English, politely yet hurriedly receiving their payment of a few rupees. I can feel the heat of the small glass in my hand,

smell the aromatic brew and taste the sweet and subtly spiced chai. No single photo could do this experience justice. Like so many memories, it is a sensation that far exceeds a single frame. Living in southern Spain, I am constantly hit by such sensory impulses. Of course there are far too many to list, so I am limiting myself to a handful of choices for each of the senses. So without further ado, here are some of the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches that to me are the essence of AndalucĂ­a.

WWW.ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM / 35


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Flamenco dress

V isual Impressions

The Spanish south is sunny, breezy, rocky, ancient and simply stunning.

COLOURS

When I visualise Andalucía, I see warm and vibrant colours, like this classic building in the historic quarter of Málaga.

AMAPOLAS

The first time we visited Andalucía we drove into the village of Nigüelas to have lunch. When a flock of sheep crossing the road forced us to stop, we saw this apparition across the way. Had Monet been with us in the car, he would have leapt out and insisted on painting it. This field has become our benchmark for flowering fields, and so far we have not found its equal.

36 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

LA MEZQUITA DE CÓRDOBA

Córdoba’s famous mosque is in my view one of the remaining Seven Wonders of the World. It doesn’t matter how many photos or documentaries you have viewed about it – when you are actually there and see it ‘live’, it is simply out of this world. I admit that there are multitudes of other astonishing places here, but when it comes to architectural structures, La Mezquita is beyond any other.


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D THE SPOTLIGHT travel

BAAAS AND MOUUUS

Animals clucking and neighing like the song goes are no longer part of most people’s daily soundscape. For this reason, it is especially enjoyable to wake up hearing the braying sheep up the hill or a wailing donkey in the valley beneath us.

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Flock of sheep with shepherd outside Ronda

A udit ory Impressions The sounds of rural Andalucía are completely different to those of urban centres. Instead of a steady hum of traffic interrupted by sirens, our ears are filled with braying sheep and prattling neighbours. These are some of my favourite audio impressions from Andalucía.

Coti singing

BELLS AROUND THE CLOCK

Church bells by day and by night. When we lived in Vancouver we never heard church bells, which were possibly outlawed due to excessive political correctness. Though neither of us are Catholic, I love to hear the bells morning, noon and night, as a reminder of the ceaseless passing of time. I learned as late as yesterday that the bells of la iglesia de Santa María la Mayor were pulled by human hands up to a decade ago. There are also different sounds for different type of Mass, from festive storm bells to the sombre tolling of luto or funeral bells. 38 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

IMPROMPTU PERFORMANCES

Andalusians are a spontaneous lot. On any social occasion our friends will leap to their feet and start belting out a song or dancing la Sevillana without any prompting. Rosie’s singing always brings tears to my eyes.

Church bells


Oranges Sevilla. Photo © Karethe Linaae

Olfact ory Impressions

As for the nose, what a treat! Andalucía simply exudes olfactory pleasures (and a few less desirable odours…)

WILD HERBS

As hikers in Andalucía, we always come across herbs growing in the wild. Cultivated herbs can certainly smell nice, but there is nothing lovelier than sticking your nose into a wild growing thyme, a fragrant wild lavender or a shrub of wild rosemary. Incense carrier, Semana Santa, Ronda

HOLY INCENSE

Wild lavender en route, Serranía de Ronda

Ever since our first Easter in Spain, my nostrils remember with fondness the fragrant incense of Semana Santa. The scent lingers in the air, seeping out from stores, chapels and homes. I have thought about stealing one of the incense dispensers they use in their Mass, but so far I have managed to hold back. The smell of hundreds of candles lighting up a dark church interior combined with the incense feels mysterious, timeless and even, for a quasi-heathen like myself, holy.

AZAR HEAVEN

While Southern Spain blesses us with fragrant blooms, none has a more divine perfume than the azar, or the orange blossom. To experience the orange trees at their peak, head to the Lecrín valley in mid May and you will think that you have gone to Nirvana. Lemon blossom © Shutterstock.com

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FROM THE SEA

Having both the Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean close at hand, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to fresh seafood, (while there is still life in the oceans…) If you haven’t tried it yet, order the locals’ favourite, a skewer of sardines cooked over flames at a beach chiringuito. This fabulous summer treat should ideally be accompanied by a bit of an ocean breeze and the smell of a tarred pier.

Gust at ory Impressions Oh, decisions, decisions. Andalucía is a tasters’ paradise, particularly since everything comes in bite-sized tapa format. Nearly every fruit and vegetable under the sun can grow in southern Spain, while you can find local organic olive oil, delicious sheep milk cheese, free range eggs and superb tinto wine from the area, if not from your own neighbourhood. Difficult as it is to narrow down the top taste choices, here they are:

© Shutterstock.com

TOMATES ALIÑADOS

For all the more elaborate dishes on the menu, I like the basics. When the enormous black tomatoes and the Corazon de Toro tomatoes are in season, nothing beats tomates aliñados – tomatoes simply dressed with course salt and olive oil. Some will add chopped garlic or a pinch of dried herbs, but when it comes to this dish I am a purist.

too healthy herbal brew, I observed I have a weakness. I never used to like my husband getting a glass of darkcoffee in Canada – usually meaning as-my-soul espresso, into which the Starbucks’ milky brown substance waiter splashed some milk. The latter served in giant environmentally can make up any one of ten colour devastating paper cups. Since moving to variations, as here in the Province of Spain however, I have become hooked. Málaga we do not measure shades of Once in Málaga, sitting with my far grey. We like our shades java brown.

CAFÉ CON LECHE

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TOUCHING WOOD

“Touch wood” we say when we wish something to happen or hope that something won’t happen. Wood therefore, somehow equates to safety. This feels particularly true by the ancient Castaño Santo, a venerable old chestnut tree that grows on the old walking trail between Ronda and San Pedro. How could you not want to hug this friendly giant?

Tact ile Impressions

Of all the senses, touch is probably the one we are the least aware of and truly ‘in touch with’. Most of us are too busy being bombarded by visual and auditory stimuli to feel the subtler sensations under our fingertips. So, what are some of Andalucía’s most profound tactile impressions?

TOUCHING HISTORY

Ronda is rock. We live on a rock split by a deep gorge. The landscape is peppered with rocks and everywhere we look we see the rocky Serranía de Ronda mountain chain. These rocks built the bridges over our Tajo, the walls that protected our town

and the houses that gave people and animals shelter. The rocks came long before us and will outlive us into oblivion. Touching Andalusian rock is therefore touching a piece of timeless history. Your favourite sensations are probably completely different

About the writer: Karethe Linaae is a Norwegian writer and author living in Ronda, Andalucía. Her book, Casita 26 – Searching for a Slice of Andalusian Paradise was published in USA in 2019. i For more information, visit snobb.net

from mine, as we all hear and smell things differently. The importance is not what we sense, but that we sense at all. I hope that reading this will inspire you to celebrate the sensational sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches wherever you may be. e

© Shutterstock.com

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SALES OFFICE AND SHOW HOME OPEN

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THE RITZ-CARLTON

ABAMA,

A TROPICAL PARADISE As our world continues to be confined, we explore national destinations as holiday options for the near future. We discovered that responding to current concerns, the Ritz-Carlton, Abama in Tenerife features a new concept of accommodation specially designed to ensure the well-being and privacy of its guests. Their new Villa Club features a range of low density ‘casitas’, with 144 rooms and suites distributed in private areas surrounded by lush botanical gardens, a golf course and spectacular ocean views. WORDS JAMES SINCLAIR PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF THE RITZ-CARLTON, ABAMA

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his innovative concept guarantees social distancing thanks to its large open spaces, the characteristics of the natural environment where the hotel is located, and the personalised attention of a brand such as The Ritz-Carlton, belonging to Marriott International. With its new Villa Club concept, The RitzCarlton, Abama is, more than ever, the icon of luxury on the island of Tenerife. Set in lush tropical gardens on a cliff top site on the southwest coast, with privileged views of the Atlantic Ocean and the island of La

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Slingshot, the 400-acre resort includes world class sports and leisure facilities. Moorish-inspired buildings in terracotta tones housing guestrooms and villas have been designed by celebrated architect, Melvin Villarroel. The Deluxe rooms (double or triple) and one-room suites are distributed in four streets of villas divided into two floors known locally as ‘casitas’. Each of the villa streets provides access to its own private pool, in addition to the El Mirador Infinity Pool and the El Lago Pool located in the hotel’s Citadel.


CATERING TO FAMILIES AND ALSO ADULTS-ONLY The natural characteristics of The Ritz-Carlton, Abama hotel guarantee a unique experience that will offer guests the opportunity to escape and relax in a tropical setting with total privacy, connected with nature. Club Villas offers multiple services to families with children such as Ritz-Kids, the largest children’s club in Europe with a space for games and activities for children and adolescents. Groups of adults or couples staying at The Ritz-Carlton, Abama in search of a luxurious experience and an emotional

connection with the environment, will be able to enjoy the Adults-Only villas section in addition to unique gastronomic experiences.

EXCLUSIVE SERVICES FOR ALL GUESTS The fortunate travellers who stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Abama under its Villa Club concept will enjoy memorable experiences thanks to the set of exclusive services they can enjoy daily. Ritz-Carlton esteems customer consideration with respectful attention and sets the industry standard for five-star hotel service. They also operate one of the most fruitful

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rewards programs around, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards. Upon arrival, all guests will receive a welcome gift from the Hotel Director, as well as a press service. Each visitor will also be given two Wellness Experience passes to access The Ritz-Carlton, Spa and will be able to enjoy hammock and parasol service on the exclusive Abama Beach. To guarantee the personalised service that characterises the Resort, each street of villas will have a Villa Ambassadors team in charge of satisfying all the needs and desires of the guests throughout the day. In addition, clients can enjoy complimentary drinks and canapĂŠs in the pool areas and the Villa Club Lounge.

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CLICK TO VISIT

FINE DINING The Ritz-Carlton, Abama is a perfect gourmet destination for lovers of signature and Michelin-star gastronomy, featuring the benchmark of Japanese cuisine, Kabuki, from the prestigious chef Ricardo Sanz, as well as Txoko, Martin Berasategui’s renowned traditional cuisine restaurant. Guests will also be able to taste exquisite dishes inspired by the local cuisine of the island in the terramar concept of chef César González, El Mirador. Additionally, the hotel’s Beach Club offers a chill-out bar that will extend its service hours offering a wide variety of dishes and creative cocktails to enjoy in its hammock area.

MAINTAINING SAFETY Under the strict standards of the new Cleanliness Commitment created by Marriott International, The Ritz-Carlton, Abama has implemented cleaning protocols which further reinforce its exacting standards: new technologies that reduce contact to ensure the complete safety for guests and employees. Check in and Check out through the Marriott Bonvoy application, the room door opening operates on the same system, and avail of the possibility of making any request through an interactive chat service with hotel employees. e i www.ritzcarlton.com/abama

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TRAVELLING on the far side of THE WORLD

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It’s been a tough year for travel, but with the rapid roll-out of vaccines to counter Covid-19 we can look forward to going places very soon. There is huge pent-up demand, and on the horizon is a supercharged Alaska gold rush, maybe even with an adventure you are not counting on, such as happened to me in January 2020, when the pandemic was a nightmare in the making. WORDS DAVID WISHART

Sydney, Australia

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etting to Australia has never been easy. In the days of sail the fastest clippers took 99 days from London to Sydney, the first Qantas flights in 1947 made six stops, and for the foreseeable future it looks like anywhere in Europe to Sydney will require two long flights. But it’s worth it. Sydney is an amazing city on a magical harbour, blessed with beaches such as Bondi, coastal walks with dramatic views, and a dazzling array of restaurants and bars from the Lord Nelson pub, located on a road hewn from rock by convicts, to always packed Mr Wong in the bustling city centre, the latter newly liberated by a superb light rail tram system. I’ve made a career out of finding the best way to get there, often flying to Bangkok (and the Oriental hotel) or Singapore, and taking a ship to Sydney. Both cities also have good connections to a variety of attractive destinations and resorts, from Burma to Bali, and there’s nothing like a few days relaxing at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai, built around a working paddy field. I have sailed around the west coast via Perth, and the east coast with a stop at Darwin, and this was my recent route. But in the days before boarding, there were worrying reports of smoke from bushfires enveloping Sydney. No mention of the coronavirus then.

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AUSTRALIAN ODYSSEY We had planned for three weeks there, and another four nights in Melbourne for the Australian Open tennis, then Adelaide, perhaps driving the delightful Great Ocean Road, or going down the Mornington Peninsula to Portsea, a great little seaside resort with two golf courses and a pub where a schooner is a long, cold beer. After that we had an epic train ride lined up – the Ghan from Adelaide, two nights and three days of fascination on a luxury train to Alice Springs and Darwin. At Darwin we would make the shortish hop (4 hours 45 mins) to Singapore then home, the last leg of a visit to Australia and back with just one long flight either way. But by the time our ship got to Bali, the news from Sydney was alarming – the bushfire smoke was so thick that on one occasion the harbour ferries had to be cancelled; the giant bridge was invisible from nearby Circular Quay. We started to review our itinerary, thinking about perhaps disembarking at Brisbane and flying to New Zealand, which is always a pleasure to visit. We found a cruise from Auckland with a stop at Norfolk Island that would take us to Melbourne, followed by a short flight to Adelaide and the Ghan. We were not going to miss that train.

Harbour life in Sydney

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© Benny Marty / Shutterstock.com

The legendary train, The Ghan in Alice Springs Train Station

But we did go to Sydney, albeit for a week less than planned, because the smoke had receded, and the entry into Port Jackson, as Captain Cook called Sydney, is one of the greatest travel experiences on the planet. Imagine, just imagine as we always do, what it must have been like to be on the first fleet that sailed between the towering heads on January 26, 1788, now Australia’s national day.


© Penelope Ro bertshawe / Sh utterstock.com

© Holli / Shutters tock.com

Light Rail travels along George Street

There was no bridge, opera house, welcoming pubs and certainly no cricket. To really fire your imagination, read Robert Hughes’ epic history of the first fleet, The Fatal Shore. And we were lucky. In 13 days we only had one with a slight smoke haze, and Sydney celebrated clear skies along with the recent completion of its Light Rail system, a tram that runs from Circular Quay and goes up George Street, formerly a main drag of heavy traffic. Now cars have been cleared from much of George Street, recreating it as a spacious boulevard. We stayed at a remarkable hotel, the Pullman Grand Quay, which overlooks the ferries coming and going, has

a fantastic view of the bridge, and cruise ships tied up at the heritage Custom House. Our location was a two-minute walk to ferries with bustling Darling Harbour just next door, Manly and its beaches at the harbour entrance, Doyle’s seafood restaurant at Watson’s Bay, and Neutral Bay 10 minutes away on the north shore where the Oaks pub has been showing folks a good time since the bridge went up in 1932 (whose lead designer also worked on the Victoria Falls bridge). I am often asked why I keep going back to Sydney, and the answer is that I just like being there – the harbour, historic buildings, weather, parks, lunch at David Jones (Asian counter), the

state library, where last year I was allowed, under escort, into the archives to see the original Tasman map of Australia from 1642, the year the Dutch explorer found Tasmania – and missed Australia. But that’s another story. Every visit produces a restaurant find, this time Porteno in Surry Hills, which has been around for 10 years but I had been put off by full houses and reports of high decibels. I can’t say it is less popular, but we did get in, and had some of the best sirloin ever, grilled Argentine style. And it was noisy, as are many Sydney restaurants. Eating outside is recommended.

Above right: The listed building of Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel. It's the oldest working hotel in Sydney Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia

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Auckland, New Zealand

On board of the Seabou

rn Encore

CRUISING NEW ZEALAND So what did we do with the third week meant to be in Sydney? We cancelled it, and Melbourne too, and with 11 days in hand flew to New Zealand, boarding the Seabourn Encore at Auckland for a superb voyage, and along the way discovered a wonderful way to get to Australia. Fact is, although New Zealand is a tiny country compared to its neighbour across the windswept Tasman Sea, it has a lot to offer, and much can be seen from a cruise ship. Our first stop, the pretty beach at Tauranga, is just an hour from the geothermal wonders of Rotorua, an enjoyable drive through countryside with an astonishing variety of farming, from kiwi fruit to olive trees, dairy cattle to apples and pears, pigs and poultry. Sheep as well of course, 27 million in total or five for every New Zealander. Cook called it the Bay of Plenty. His landfall in 1769 was actually just south of here, and because it could not provide everything on his shopping list, other than herbs to deal with scurvy, he rather churlishly called it Poverty Bay. 52 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

Captain

Seabourn Encore

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Te Puia Geyser, Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley, Rotorua

Mount Maunganui, near the North Island of Ne Tauranga on w Zealand

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The picturesque harbour of Wellington

In recent times the All Blacks rugby team has recruited almost half its players from the bay team, so things must be looking up. The capital city of Wellington rolls up and down with pastel houses amid luxuriant greenery, while the harbour front promenade makes for a fine stroll from the splendid Te Papa national museum at one end to a tasty bunch of seafood restaurants at the other. Ferries leave from here to the south island, but of course we had our Seabourn Encore which landed us at Picton at the head of another picturesque bay. The target here was Cloudy Bay winery nearby, which produced its first sauvignon blanc in 1965 on land considered unsuitable for grapes, and a year later caused a sensation at a London tasting. Much of the surrounding area is now producing grapes, and as a local told me, “every apricot orchard sold becomes a vineyard.� For all its fame, Cloudy Bay presents as a modest operation with friendly staff and an oyster bar. Other vineyards flourish longer menus and one does On board of the Seabourn Encore

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alcohol-free gin, which seems pretty pointless. Next day we were in the stunning harbour of Akaroa, settled by the French in 1840. When last here I could see blokes in berets, and while there

Paranomic view of Picton from the Tirohanga Track

are still baguettes to be had, most of the little fishermen’s houses have been bought by weekenders from Christchurch. The Scots made their mark at Dunedin a little to the south, bringing a huge statue of

Robert Burns. I liked this place, particularly the bottle shop open on a Sunday – how times have changed here – where I bought an acclaimed pinot noir, Amisfield, from nearby Central Otago. This was carefully carried back to Seabourn Encore, where we were able to drink it that evening without a corkage charge. As Seabourn Encore continued its southerly course and seabirds swooped around the ship, passengers increasingly went to 7deck aft where the Ventures team hung out. They were a sixstrong band of expedition-style


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Sea kayak in Milford Sound

specialists including ornithologists who scoured the skies with binoculars, and sometimes had issues closer at hand, such as a number of Sooty Shearwaters which landed on deck then were unable to get airborne. No problem. Ventures staffers scooped them up, launched them over the side, and the birds flew off uninjured. One evening one landed on the deck outside the Observation lounge, whereupon the female bartender ran outside, grabbed the distressed bird, and sent it on its way to a huge round of applause from the amazed passengers. At Stewart Island, described as being the last stop before Antarctica, the Ventures were in their element, leading walks on this bird sanctuary, and running tours on Zodiacs and in kayaks. A highlight was our slipping into the fjord at Doubtful Sound, then the majesty of Milford Sound, where all six Zodiacs ferried passengers to the towering Stirling waterfall, at 151 metres, three times the height of 56 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

Niagara. Actor Hugh Jackman jumped off it in the movie Wolverine. I am assured it is enough of a thrill to paddle underneath and feel the weight of the water. And so to Melbourne, from where we made the short flight to Adelaide to catch the Ghan train. It is a voyage, a journey on a beautiful small ship (600 passengers) taking in the best of New Zealand and ending (officially) at Sydney, where Australia as we know it, began. Can’t think why I never did this before. e


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10 SIMPLE STEPS FOR A MORE

SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE 60 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021


1.

STOP BUYING BOTTLED WATER Plastic water bottles are hugely wasteful, consuming massive quantities of oil and water to produce with most of them ending up in landfill. It’s easy to stop buying bottled water by simply drinking water from the tap, using a water filter if you need to, and taking a reusable water bottle with you when you’re out and about.

As awareness continues to grow around the importance of reducing our impact on the planet, it can be hard to know where to begin and this can cause people to lose hope. To help us see that it doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated to make a positive change, the team at Eco Passion are sharing their ten-step plan to leading a more sustainable lifestyle. WORDS SARAH SPENCER, FOUNDER OF ECO PASSION

2. TAKE REUSABLE BAGS TO THE SHOPS Millions of plastic bags each year end up in landfill, breaking down to small, toxic particles which are bad for the environment. Many end-up in our oceans, and it’s estimated that 100,000 marine animals die each year due to ingesting plastic. So, stopping using plastic bags is one easy change to make. Reuse any you have until they break, recycle them properly and then purchase a few reusable bags. Get into the habit of taking them to the shops by leaving them in the boot of the car, or by the door and they will last you for years.

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REDUCE YOUR MEAT INTAKE

3.

According to Greenpeace, mass farming of cows, pigs and chickens generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, trucks and automobiles combined and we know the meat industry destroys vast amounts of forest per year for grazing pastures. We recommend becoming vegetarian, vegan or reducing the level of meat in your diet, by just a few meals per week, and encouraging others to do the same.

RECYCLE

4.

Recycling is very important as waste has a huge negative impact on the natural environment. By recycling all your waste, you’re reducing the pollution it causes and helping to preserve natural resources, as recycling requires much less energy than making products from raw materials.

5. REDUCE YOUR CARBON EMISSIONS Use the car less, choose leg power or public transport whenever possible and cut back on flights. Switch to sustainable energy sources where avaiable.

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8. BECOME A MORE CONSCIOUS CONSUMER

6. PURGE THE PLASTIC FROM YOUR BATHROOM Our bathroom cabinets can contain a huge number of plastic bottles and so this is a great place to focus on as part of your fight against plastics. Step one is to use up what you have, clear out your cupboards and recycle the bottles. Step two is to find plastic-free alternatives – there are lots of options out there.

MAKE YOUR KITCHEN AN ECO-FRIENDLY ZONE

7.

Reduce plastics, adopt a zero-waste mindset and buy locally-grown food.

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You can save money and reduce your impact on the environment simply by consuming less. Think before you buy and ask if you really need it. When you have to buy something, be an ethical consumer and shop local.

9.

SWITCH DISPOSABLE WIPES FOR REUSABLES There are lots of alternatives out there and it might take a few tries before you find the replacement that works for you, but think how you can reduce single use items like these which are difficult to dispose of.


i To find out more about applying these changes to your life and becoming more sustainable, download Eco Passion’s free guide on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @ecopassionspain. Visit www. ecopassion.es for more information and inspiration on how to buy eco-friendly products to help you on your journey.

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www.ecopassion.es

Editor’s note

I

10. GROW YOUR OWN This will benefit your health and the environment. It avoids food and packaging waste and can help eliminate the pollution involved with transporting food. e

f you are looking for ways to reduce waste in this world, I can highly recommend Tru Earth’s amazing laundry detergent replacement, the eco-strips that I started using a few months ago and I will never look back! Goodbye to the traditional water inflated liquids in large plastic bottles that create a big waste on a regular basis in every household. Their #TruEarthMovement set a goal to prevent 2 million plastic containers from entering landfills by the end of 2020 which they already reached by the 22nd of October! Just think about the impact this has on our planet and I am proud to be a part of it. Tru Earth is a Canadian company but their product is available world-wide. Each Tru Earth eco-strip packs ultraconcentrated, convenient, ecofriendly cleaning power into a tiny, pre-measured strip of laundry detergent that you just toss in the wash. It’s zero-waste and it desolves in hot or cold water without any mess. It works in all washing machines front or top load, and the best of all is that it’s free of all the baddies! No

parabens, chlorine bleach, added dyes or phosphates, it’s vegan and readily biodegradable as well. It is gentle enough for the most sensitive skins yet I found it just as powerful as any detergent I bought before in my local supermarket. If you want to try it out, order a pack that fits in an envelope for 32 or 64 loads and give it whirl. I love their fresh linen scented strips but fragrance free is also available. I haven’t even mentioned the space I save storing them! If you are like me, you will love this product and being a part of making a big change to our future together.

CLICK TO VISIT www.tru.earth

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MASERATI WORDS TONY WHITNEY PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF MASERATI

MC20

There are few more storied names in the history of performance cars than that of Maserati, so it’s especially good to see that for 2021, the Italian maker is bringing us an all-new super sports car – the MC20.

M

aserati made up for several delayed launches, understandable in 2020, to debut the MC20 with a spectacular web event every bit as impressive as a major auto salon effort, even though there was no audience present. The car proved to be well worth the trouble and expense. The MC20 certainly has a DNA that very few carmakers can get anywhere close to matching. The five founding Maserati brothers were involved with cars from the beginning of the 20th century and the company’s racing history dates back to 1926 and a win in the famed Targa Florio race. The company’s trident logo, highly respected in the sports car world, was based on one depicted on the Fountain of Neptune in Bologna.

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In the years to come, Maserati was a winner in every class of racing from Grand Prix to sports cars and remains the only Italian maker to have won the Indy 500 and has, in fact, won the big American race twice. This is the kind of background that inspired the new MC20, a model that is quite different to anything the firm has ever built.

UNCHARTED TERRITORY The MC20 is a class of car Maserati has never constructed before and is being trumpeted as part of a new era for the brand. It’s a spectacularlooking sports car with sinuous, highly aerodynamic, lines and a layout common among sports supercars. It’s very light at 1,500 kg and with its

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630-horsepower, the power to weight ratio is exceptional. The engine is a 3.0-litre V-6 with dual turbochargers, mated to an 8-speed dual clutch automatic. This endows the MC20 with impressive performance figures right up there with some of the best competitors in the industry. The engine will be built by Maserati, its first after a 20-year spell of using sub-contractors, including Ferrari. Of course, everyone has been asking whether or not there will be an electric MC20 and according to Maserati, this will appear over the next year or two. Reportedly, it will use three electric motors to provide 700-horsepower and a zero to 100 km/h time of 2.0-seconds.

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ITALIAN ELEGANCE The interior of the MC20 combines luxury with practicality, resulting in a cockpit ambiance that Italian makers do so well. Two 10-inch screens are used, one for cockpit information and the other for touch-control functions. There’s a handy storage compartment beneath the centre armrest, useful in a type of car where cabin stowage is often at a premium. There’s a wonderful simplicity about the cockpit controls in the MC20 and many often-used buttons are mounted on the leather wrapped steering wheel. Maserati has a very desirable range of vehicles, ranging from the Quattroporte saloon to the Levante SUV plus the Ghibli and GT sports cars, but nothing remotely like the MC20. There’s no doubt that this car will give a considerable boost to the fortunes of Maserati, even if only to draw attention on the showroom floor. If, as Maserati points out, this is the dawn of a new era for the brand, there will be some exciting models emerging from Modena over the next few years. e

Z ENGINE: 3.0-litre, 630-horsepower twinturbo V-6. Z TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic. Z ACCELERATION: Zero to 100 km/h in 2.9-secs. Z TOP SPEED: 325 km/h plus. Z I LIKED: Outstanding styling, a landmark for Maserati whose models have not been that eyecatching in recent years. Performance promises to be well to the fore of its class. Promised electric version could be even more exciting. Z I DIDN’T LIKE: Buyers will have to accept all the downsides of cars in this class, including difficult ingress/egress,

limited stowage space and restricted visibility. Performance should make these points easier to bear. Z MARKET ALTERNATIVES: Ferrari F8 Tributo, Audi R8, Porsche 911 Turbo S, Honda NSX, McLaren GT, Lamborghini Huracan. Z WHO DRIVES ONE? Maserati enthusiasts who have waited for this car for a very long time. Present owners of performance exotics who’d like to try something different with an equally famous nameplate as Ferrari, Lamborghini or Porsche. Z PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: €216.000 estimated.

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You must remember too that the kitchen is a pressured environment. It’s hot, it’s smelly, it’s unwelcoming and it’s the place where the demands on you are incessant, and where absolutely everything you produce will be scrutinised to the hilt.”

GORDON RAMSAY WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY FROM 24KILOS

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The ease with which Gordon Ramsay was able to transport his own unique brand of culinary reality TV to American shores confirms a number of different thing. Firstly, that both the UK and the US love to see a job done properly. Next, that there’s a shared passion for food, the type that has offered our chefs all the adoration and acclaim of international film stars.

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here’s also the point that both Atlantic bedfellows clearly love an angry man, as typified by Ramsay’s sometimes terrifying pursuit of chefs, kitchen hands, front of house staff, restaurateurs and, on occasions, even the diners themselves! Of course, the 54-year-old Scot refutes the tag. “Angry? Me?” he questions, with a wry smile. “I think the big thing is wanting a job to get to the point where you sit back and savour it. And the fact is, if you have some idiot stood in your way, preventing that, then of course you’re going to get mad.” “You must remember too that the kitchen is a pressured environment. It’s hot, it’s smelly, it’s unwelcoming and it’s the place where the demands on you are incessant, and where absolutely everything you produce will be scrutinised to the hilt.” Does he miss that environment, now he can sit comfortably and let others endure the stress, burns and unsociable work shifts. “Fuck yes, I miss it like hell!”

Q: You’ve never been afraid of hard work, we know that much. RAMSAY: To become one of the best you’ve got to work with the best, and that’s exactly what I did, so as my mates were progressing into the first-team [Ramsay was a promising

footballer who was on the books with Scottish soccer giants Glasgow Rangers] and getting professional contracts there I was buzzing my arse off in France, taking shit from the French, being called ‘rosbif’, all sorts of names, and “what are you doing over here?”. The harder the time I got, the more focused it made me.

Q: Talking about the way you learned your trade, it seems we live in a food and entertainment culture that makes everything look accessible and, dare I say it, even entitled, yet still there is no easy fix when it comes to making an impact. Do you agree? RAMSAY: I don’t think there’s a problem with effort, but I do believe we have produced a culture where young people, and adults, can see that others have had what appears a very easy path into a profession or to success. Largely, they don’t see the hours, days, months and years that went into cultivating that craft – they don’t see everything that happened behind the scenes. If they did, there wouldn’t be this layer of expectation, or level of disrespect towards people who have made it. Unfortunately, what social media has given us is unparalleled access into the lives of rich and famous people, and typically what you see those people doing is whatever they’re up

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to in their leisure time. You are not witnessing the hard graft, so it becomes something of a distorted picture, and I do think that’s dangerous. Is there a way out of that? I don’t think so – not unless Twitter and Instagram explodes. I think the next generation needs to manage, or have managed for it, its expectations though, because some of them are totally off the scale.

Q: Were you worried about your ability to crack America? RAMSAY: Worried? No, because that’s not in my nature. I have always had extreme confidence in myself when it comes to work, largely because I’ve achieved everything I’ve set out to achieve, so did I worry it would be a success? No. What’s more we had a few really good formats in the UK that we’d played about with, and 72 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

had some real traction with, and I knew that whatever worked in the UK should work in the US, just with two or three times the scale. What did concern me and the production team were some of the intricacies and certain colloquialisms that we’d have to overcome. It’s a basic communication thing, and communication is everything on TV and in the kitchen. But did I believe it would work? Yes.

Q: Are our appetites so different? RAMSAY: Well the one thing that unites the Brits and the Yanks is that we fucking love our food. What also unites us is the fact that, collectively, we get slagged off by so many other countries, and it is this unity we have that keeps us together, and that’s really fucking special. But beneath all of that is the

fact we, genuinely, have many of the best minds in cuisine in the whole world. The French, the Italians… yes they will always be right up there, but we have joined them at the top, and it is our diversity and ability to draw in, celebrate, style and reimagine traditional global cuisine that has taken us to the next level. The French won’t do that – they’re not interested. The French want to be the French, and they’re bloody good at it. The Italians have probably the best food staples you could ever wish for, so there’s no need for them to branch out; whereas the UK and the US have always been a melting pot – if you’ll excuse the pun – for styles from around the world, and the fact now is we’re overtaking other nations because our dinner plates have a strength and a versatility that others just can’t get near. These are exciting times.


Q: Do you think people in America have come to terms with the level of swearing in your shows? RAMSAY: My advice on this one has always been the same – if you don’t like it, turn over. To appreciate why the odd swear word might pop out of my mouth you have to acknowledge the pressures of the kitchen and the food environment. It always looks like a lovely serene, woolly, fluffy place front-of-house and that’s the whole point – you wouldn’t want to keep turning up for meals where the staff were ripping shreds off one another… in fact, perhaps you would… but still, the point is it’s all calm in the dining room, but to establish that calm it needs to be high pressure out the back. And only when you’ve seen that situation do you really appreciate what it is we go through. It’s stress – pure, unadulterated stress. It’s not pleasant for anyone, and someone being offended by an expletive is really going to be the least of my fucking worries!

Q: What keeps you motivated after all these years? RAMSAY: it’s not that many fucking years – Jesus [laughs]. What keeps me motivated is the next thing.

Q: What advice would you give for people looking to get to the top? RAMSAY: Be disciplined, be bloody-minded, be organised, be clear in your goal, and perhaps even be selfish, put yourself first because you can bet your life if you give someone else a leg-up they’re going to take it, and then you’re playing catch-up. As I said before, success doesn’t just fall into your lap, as seems to be the expectation of a new generation. You’re going to have to work fucking hard for it, but I will guarantee you that with the right amount of effort and a basic requirement that you’re not an idiot, you can get somewhere… anyone can.

Q: How do you relax away from work? RAMSAY: My family are obviously key for me. I have a lovely wife and beautiful children – I have lovely homes and I enjoy the people around me. I like to cook – in fact I like to cook more now than I did before because I’m not spending every waking moment in the kitchen as I was in my younger days. Aside from that, the gym is important – it’s a big stress reliever and I know a lot of other chefs say the same thing. In a way it’s not that different to the kitchen because it’s hot, sticky and uncomfortable, but whereas over a hot stove you’re perspiring and becoming more stressed, at the gym you’re easing out all that intensity, all that shit. It’s an beautiful feeling and certainly something I need.

Q: Do you like pressure? RAMSAY: Yes – love it. When [wife] Tana and I sold our first home to raise the money for my breakthrough restaurant, it was a nervy time. We were back in rented accommodation in London with no guarantee whatsoever that things would work out the way we hoped, but that fear was the absolute driver in terms of pushing forward and ensuring that every last ounce of effort was invested in the brand and the business. As you get older and become wealthier, you have more to fall back on, but still it amounts to the same thing whether it’s a big investment or a small one – you don’t want to fail, and that fear of failure is the one fuck-off thing that will forever galvanise me more than anything else. I love the feeling.

Q: Who has been your biggest inspiration? RAMSAY: Probably Marco Pierre White, who I worked under and learned so much from. Angry, brutal, exacting and hard as nails. I don’t think too much of him rubbed off on me… [laughs] e

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the trend

CHECK OUT SOME OF THE LATEST MUST-WATCH SERIES AND CRUCIAL VIEWING DOCUMENTARIES. CATCH UP ON RECENT READING RELEASES AND WHAT’S COOL IN SPAIN AND ABROAD. FIND OUT WHAT’S NEW ON THE MUSIC SCENE.

GO TO PAGE 96 FOR WHAT’S COOL


GO TO PAGE 78 FOR HOT SERIES

GO TO PAGE 94 FOR ANIMAL LOVE

GO TO PAGE 82 FOR VITAL VIEWING

CINEMA SERIES MUSIC NEWS 78 Hot New Series 82 Vital Viewing 86 Books – New Releases 90 Music News 94 Animal Love 96 What’s Cool


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HOT NEW

SERIES JAMES SINCLAIR ASSEMBLES SOME HIGHLY ENTERTAINING VIEWING TO CHECK OUT!

LUPIN NETFLIX

» Created by: George Kay, François Uzan » Actors: Omar Sy, Ludivine Sagnier, Clotilde Hesme Inspired by the adventures of Arsène Lupin, Omar Sy personifies gentleman thief Assane Diop who sets out to avenge the death of his father following an injustice perpetrated by a wealthy family. Watch the slick and elusive Assane demonstrate incredible abilities to pull off the seemingly impossible time and time again. The first big release from Netflix for 2021, this five part mini-series moves along at a blistering pace that viewers will find difficult to stop watching once started.

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THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT NETFLIX

» Created by: Scott Frank, Alan Scott » Actors: Anya Taylor-Joy, Chloe Pirrie, Bill Camp Anya Taylor-Joy adeptly stars as the orphaned Beth Harmon who discovers a prodigious talent for chess which sees her defeat all comers in 1960s USA, eventually succeeding to the world title in Russia. A superb production that is completely absorbing and inspiring, it has broken all records for a Netflix series release and has enhanced the global popularity of chess enormously. Many are hoping for a 2nd season but this is unlikely as the min-series follows the book by Walter Tevis, published in 1983.

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BRIDGERTON NETFLIX

» Created by: Chris van Dusen » Actors: Phoebe Dynevor, Regé-Jean Page, Nicola Coughlan This period drama, set against the backdrop of Regency-era England, follows the courting season in the ‘Ton’ and the fortunes of the children of the late Viscount Bridgerton and their neighbours, the Featheringtons. Full of intrigue, scandal and especially gossip, much stirred up by the mysterious Lady Whistledown, the costumes are outstanding, the colours vibrant and the acting finely honed. Based on the novels by Julia Quinn, each of which is centred on one of the eight Bridgerton siblings, there could be lots more of this to follow.

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UTOPIA AMAZON PRIME

THE MANDALORIAN (DISNEY+)

» Created by: Jon Favreau » Actors: Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Giancarlo Esposito This is the one Warsies have been waiting for as it brilliantly encapsulates the Star Wars narrative, beginning five years after the events of Return of the Jedi. Kind of like a space western, the Mandalorian is a Clint Eastwood style lone bounty hunter who takes off on many spectacular risky adventures accompanied by Baby Yoda. Season 1 was released in 2019 and Season 2, which is even better, was aired between October and December 2020; a third series is in pre-production.

» Created by: Gillian Flynn, David Fincher » Actors: John Cusack, Sasha Lane, Rainn Wilson Utopia is a conspiracy thriller which follows a group of young geeks who meet at a convention to bid for the comic book Utopia, which they believe to hold hidden clues for a virulent virus that will be unleashed on humanity, and end up on the run from agents of the Christie Bio corporation, a big tech outfit headed by the evil Dr Kevin Christie (Cusack), who will stop at nothing to eliminate them. They have to foil Christies masterplan to mass distribute the vaccination that will supposedly counter the virus, but also has other terrible effects they battle to unveil. e WWW.ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM / 81


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VITAL

VIEWING Iain Blackwell presents three crucially important documentaries you shouldn’t miss.

KISS THE GROUND

» Directors: Joshua Tickell, Rebecca Harrell Tickell Eloquently narrated by Woody Harrelson, a long-term vegan and environmentalist, the film succinctly shows how the modern-day farming practices of tilling the soil and applying pesticides are transforming healthy, biodiverse soil into barren earth which

cannot sustain crop generation. We see how soil sequesters carbon, from the CO2 absorbed by the plants it supports, releasing oxygen back into the air, and how soil is composed of microbes, bacteria, and decaying matter which are critical to its capacity to transport the nutrients required by all plants to grow. Stripping the land of its native grasslands, meadows and forests

and replacing them by vast tracts of single crops and cattle ranches has resulted in a fundamental loss of biodiversity. To make matters worse, bare soils release carbon back into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming in an ever-increasing vicious spiral. The makers present us with the startling statistic that within 60 years, the world’s topsoil will be gone, giving us only 60 more harvests. Although that is an extremely alarming claim, this documentary is compelling viewing as it conveys a message of hope, showing how we can readily reverse the situation, with a heartwarming demonstration of this having been achieved on a grand scale. Vital Viewing because without soil health, humanity is a lost cause. This film advocates a way forward that promotes diversity involving healthy crops and animal rearing. Everyone should take the time to absorb its message.

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THE SOCIAL DILEMMA » Director: Jeff Orlowski The Social Dilemma is an absorbing production that charts how Social Media providers take advantage of users via sophisticated algorithms which are monitoring our behaviour. It is filmed in a docu-drama style, with actors and different scenarios, to help convey its message that tech giants are targeting, manoeuvring and manipulating all of us resulting from our search patterns, responses, and the things we spend time viewing. If this is not bad enough for responsible adults who can presumably exercise some form of rationalisation, it is all the more concerning for

younger age groups who notoriously spend the most time on these platforms, especially when the Silicon Valley engineers being interviewed in the film confess to being fearful about what is being perpetrated and, time after time, state that they would not allow their own children to have unchecked lengthy access to their devices. Not surprising, when we see the effects on the unfortunate victims in the stories being played out. Vital Viewing as it portrays the dangers involved in altering the psychological makeup of users, creating fundamental problems. Although shocking and appalling throughout, it’s imperative that all of us, especially parents, are aware of what’s going on.

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DAVID ATTENBOROUGH: A LIFE ON OUR PLANET

» Directors: Alastair Fothergill, Jonathan Hughes » Narrated by: David Attenborough In his 94 years, Sir David Attenborough has visited every continent on the globe, exploring the diversity of the planet and documenting the living world in all its variety and wonder. But during his lifetime, he has also witnessed first-hand the monumental scale of humanity’s impact on nature. Here, in a stark warning to humanity, he convincingly conveys that our time on mother earth is fast running out if we continue to blunder along our current destructive path which is leading us towards a cataclysmic mass extinction. Directed by Alastair Fothergill and beautifully filmed as always, the documentary begins and ends with Attenborough at Chernobyl, while along the way, during his successive decades as a natural historian, we see the enduring impact

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our practices have incurred on our surroundings, with loss of habitats and species, contamination and erosion, all against the backdrop of everincreasing quantities of carbon in the atmosphere. Just when we reach the bleakest point with seemingly no hope for the future, Attenborough, in a gut-wrenching emotional scene, informs us that it’s not too late, if we act NOW! This is his message during the final half hour: that we have to halt the growth in the world’s population, to establish no-fishing zones, to drastically reduce meat consumption, to become aware of the seriousness of the situation and to act accordingly. It’s really about saving ourselves by saving the planet.

Vital Viewing if you care about our planet earth, about future generations and about animals and nature. Hats off to the indefatigable Sir David Attenborough for always being there to make us think and hopefully to react positively. e


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SOME LITERARY

HIGHLIGHTS

FOR FEBRUARY AND MARCH WORDS ALICIA DUGGAN OF THE BOOKSHOP IN SAN PEDRO DE ALCÁNTARA , CC LA COLONIA LOCAL 21, SAN PEDRO DE ALCÁNTARA. TEL: 951 779 785. WWW.THEBOOKSHOP.ES

THE SURVIVORS BY JANE HARPER Set in a small town on the coast of Tasmania, this is Jane Harper’s fourth Australian Noir thriller. When the body of a young woman washes ashore at Evelyns Bay, secrets long thought forgotten threaten to resurface. When he was young, Keiran Elliott made one stupid mistake with devastating consequences which changed his life. Keiran’s return to his hometown, which coincides with the discovery of the body, forces him to face his guilt as his past comes back to haunt him. As the investigation proceeds, old mysteries are brought to light involving a sunken ship and a missing girl. Harper has, again, crafted a powerful and wonderfully evocative psychological thriller.

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THE GILDED ONES BY NAMINA FORNA

THE GIRL IN THE WALLS BY A.J. GNUSE

A YA fantasy novel set in the world of Otera, a deeply patriarchal society where women are second class citizens, denied education and raised to be good wives and mothers. In their adolescence, the girls are subjected to a blood letting ritual to determine their purity, red is pure and gold is impure. When 16-year-old Deka’s blood runs gold she is branded a demon and tortured repeatedly, her golden blood giving her the ability to heal and resurrect herself. However, because of her strength and healing powers she and others of her kind are recruited to the emperor’s guard as elite warriors to fight the monsters threatening the empire. The Gilded Ones is both an exciting and engaging fantasy novel, and an examination of patriarchy with a message of hope and heroism for young women.

When 11-year-old Elsie suffers a tragedy, she returns to her old family home, however a new family live there now so Elsie hides. She lives in the attic, the walls, under the house, secretly and hidden. The house is Elsie’s last connection to the parents she has lost. Eddie is thirteen and calls the same house home, however, Eddie senses there is a girl in the house, just out of reach in his peripheral vision. When his older brother admits to sensing her too, they formulate a plan to get rid of the presence they are not sure even exists. A captivating and tense novel examining grief and fear of the unknown.

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THE ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF LENNI AND MARGOT BY MARIANNE CRONIN Seventeen-year-old Lenni is living on the terminal ward of Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital and eighty-three-year-old Margot is waiting on heart surgery in the next ward. When Lenni and Margot meet in the hospital’s art class they realise that between them they have lived 100 years. They decide to paint 100 pictures to commemorate their lives and, in the process, a beautiful and unlikely friendship develops as they learn each other’s stories and share the details of their lives. The book manages to be light-hearted yet sensitive while dealing with serious topics. A beautiful, touching, and captivating story that shows age is no barrier to friendship. 88 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

FIND YOU FIRST BY LINWOOD BARCLAY The bestselling author of Elevator Pitch is pack with another nail-biting page turner. Miles Cookson is a billionaire who has been diagnosed with terminal Huntingdon’s disease. Before making it big in the tech industry, hard up Miles sold his sperm to a fertility clinic for some extra cash. With no children of his own, Miles feels obliged to find his genetic offspring and inform them that they may have inherited this disease. He also decides to leave his vast wealth to them. However, as Miles tracks down the children they begin to disappear in mysterious circumstances. A riveting and compulsive mystery thriller from one of the masters of crime noir. e

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WORDS RIK FOXX

¿QUÉ PASA? ...on the music front L

ast December (12th), Primavera Sound gave the world hope with a trial event featuring DJ's and local artists at Barcelona's Sala Apolo without social distancing. Of the 1,047 volunteers tested 463 were allowed to enter the venue for the five-hour event. A statement read, "The 463 granted entry were given a certified N95 cloth mask at the venue entrance, which they were required to wear during the entire event, except when drinking. No physical distancing was required in the concert room, where singing and dancing was permitted as well". As of January 12, none of the participants had tested positive.

Foo Fighters© DFree / Shutterstock.com

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In the meantime Primavera Sound organisers have pencilled in June 2 to 6 for this year's festival with THE STROKES, GORILLAZ, IGGY POP and CHARLI XCX headlining. One gig going ahead is the prestigious American football Superbowl half-time show in Tampa, Florida featuring Canada's R&B superstar THE WEEKND. The TV audience for this is expected to break global viewing records thanks to the pandemic – and there will be approximately 16,500 spectators present. The half-time show takes place during the early hours of Monday February 8 (about 01.45).

Billie Eilish© Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock.com

As this coronavirus continues to hold us all to ransom we can only hope restrictions will one day be lifted – until then… All information on this page was correct at the time of writing.


This year's 63rd Grammy Awards have been put back from January 31 until March 14 with BEYONCÉ nominated for nine trophies while TAYLOR SWIFT, DUA LIPA and US rapper RODDY RICH are up for six each. There is TV coverage but no artists have been named to appear live yet. More on Miss SWIFT – rumours circulating suggest the recent reselling of her song rights came about as her fans boycotted on-line tunes and the song's owner wasn't making any money out of them. TAYLOR was not happy that she was not offered a chance to buy her back catalogue but said she is enjoying rerecording all songs from her first six albums for fans to stream.

Taylor Swift© Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com

At the start of 2020, BILLIE EILISH was taking the world by storm and a documentary, The World’s A Little Blurry, will air from February 26 taking an “intimate look at the singer-songwriter’s journey, navigating life on the road, on stage, and at home, while creating her debut album”. The 19-year-old has revealed a ‘new era’ of 16 new songs, written during lockdown, which will be released soon. The SEX PISTOLS six-part TV series, Pistol, starts filming March 6 and crew workers have created

large plastic ‘spit rig’ special effects screens to recreate the ‘punk rock gobbing’ which happened at gigs in the 1970s – back then a hail of spit would be aimed from the punters at bands on stage. The forthcoming show’s audience extras will follow the then trend but the screens will stop anything hitting the actors. The DANNY BOYLE directed series is based on guitarist STEVE JONES’ 2018 memoirs Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol. Another biopic TV series on the drawing board features the ROLLING STONES, specifically mapping their careers from their 1962 origins through to 1972.

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Rapper PA SALIEU took the first honour of the year winning the BBC Music Sound of 2021 award and will perform at the Brits Awards which have been moved from its usual February date to May 11. Last year's winner, CELESTE, released her debut album, Not Your Muse, on January 29 that includes A Little Love, which featured in last Christmas' John Lewis TV advert. One album release that recently slipped under the radar was Vacare Adamare by ARO – the initials of one AIMEE OSBOURNE,

LP, Medicine at Midnight, on February 5. Other expected February sellers include ALICE COOPER returning to his roots with Detroit Stories and C&W legend WILLIE NELSON with his second FRANK SINATRA covers album That's Life, both on the 26th. In March: KINGS OF LEON with When You See Yourself on the 5th; STING with Duets featuring ERIC CLAPTON, MARY J. BLIGE, ANNIE LENNOX and CHARLES AZNAVOUR among others; LANA DEL RAY with Chemtrails over the Country Club and RINGO STARR with Zoom In featuring PAUL McCARTNEY and DAVE GROHL (all on the 19th). KYLIE has confirmed a musical based on her songs is in the making, also Down Under stickers and posters of the five-foot tall pocket-rocket are being used to help people with social distancing saying "Stay a Kylie apart from other people”. e

Kings of Leon © Christian Bertrand / Shutterstock.com

the daughter of rock demi-God OZZY. The eldest of the three siblings from his second marriage declined to take part in the family's famous TV reality show but has now emerged from the shadows with this GOLDFRAPP and PORTISHEAD influenced synthpop collection. The 37-year-old also wants to record a duo with her Dad, who had a UK number one single with a remake of the 1972 BLACK SABBATH classic Changes, with her younger sister KELLY, in 2003. Meanwhile OZZY, and DOLLY PARTON are the latest artists to consider cashing in on their whole back catalogue of songs following the likes of BOB DYLAN and SHAKIRA. Another daughter going into the studio is 14-year-old VIOLET GROHL, and Daddy, DAVE, will be on hand to supervise her shoegaze (subgenre of indie and alternative rock) offering. His band, the FOO FIGHTERS, fly in with their latest

Kylie Minogue © Leigh Bruin / Shutterstock.com

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Animal Love COMPILED BY JAMES SINCLAIR

WHICH IS THE CLEVEREST DOG? Recently, Genius Dog Challenge saw six of the world’s cleverest Border Collies go tail-to-tail in a virtual stream test that involved them performing a number of advanced tasks including learning the names of multiple toys. Border Collies, commonly used as sheep dogs, are reckoned to be one of the smartest dog breeds, along with German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Doberman Pinschers, Labradors and Rottweilers. It’s commonly known that well-trained dogs can learn many commands and the series, available on Facebook and YouTube, presents Rico, Whisky, Max, Squall, Gaia, and Nalani demonstrating some impressive feats of memory. i www.geniusdogchallenge.com

CATS COME HOME More than 10,000 cats have been rehomed in the UK since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic thanks to a pioneering new project developed by a leading animal charity. Cats Protection launched the new initiative called Hands-Free Homing last March, using interactive video to pair prospective owners with potential pets, before delivering the felines to the new owner’s doorstep following a successful match. As it is well known that having a cat at home to interact with helps to reduce stress, anxiety and depression, this is great news for abandoned animals and their new owners in these trying times. i www.cats.org.uk 94 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021


WORLD’S LONGEST DOG TONGUE

BRITAIN’S NAUGHTIEST DOG Cooper, a mischievous male Boxer, has been labelled the naughtiest dog in Britain. Impressively, starting his mayhem around 6 months-old, he has managed to destroy eight sofas, six mobile phones and the legs of two dining tables, as well as a number of remote controls, costing his owners thousands of pounds. Owner, Jill Kirkham, from Chester says that her pet is well exercised and loved and that she wouldn’t give him up. Following consultation with expert trainer, Graeme Hill, his conclusion was that Cooper simply loves the attention he receives when he has done something naughty. Now at a somewhat calmer five and a half years old, he may be growing out of his wayward ways. “He hasn’t eaten our latest sofa yet,” Jill said. “It’s a leather one and I don’t think he likes the taste of it.”

It’s official – Mochi, an 8 year-old Saint Bernard from Sioux Falls, South Dakota has gone into the Guinness Book of Records for having the longest tongue on a dog. Measuring an incredible 18.5cm, Mochi’s record-breaking tongue is truly something to behold and, though it may be good for fast eating and fur preening, it has its drawbacks. Apparently Mochi requires extra large food and water bowls and is prone to inadvertently pick up dirt or debris when her tongue is hanging out. However, her owners wouldn’t have her any other way and are proud of their record-breaking pooch, calling her a “resilient, happy-golucky dog, with a big personality.” e

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YBRID PREMIUM H ST BE – 0H 45 RX US X ium Hybrid Vehicle at the LE coladed as the Best Prem been ac cars. The Lexus RX 450h has ite dedicated to electrified bs we sh iti Br g din lea e th level DrivingElectric Awards – to evolve, offering a high ed inu nt co s ha RX e th n, tio Now in its fourth genera i www.lexusauto.es y. ur lux d he nis -fi nd ha d of comfort, refinement an

A AWARDS XXIV CEU ÁNGEL HERRER e CEU Ángel Herrera th The recent 24th edition of García-Sanjuán, Awards honoured Sandra the Starlite Group and Founder and President of others. The Awards Rafa Nadal among many the intention of were created in 1997 with aching and research recognising the social, te oups belonging to work of individuals or gr blo CEU University the centres of the San Pa u.es Foundation. i www.ce

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BMDstudio / Shutterstock.com

NORWAY LEADS THE WAY IN ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Following great government incentives for electric car owners, under its objective to become the first nation to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2025, such as the elimination of sales tax on EV, the reduction of toll payments and the abolishment of road tax, and now with more than 16,000 publicly accessible charge points across the country, the majority of the cars sold in Norway in 2020 were electric. i www.elbil.no

SOLLO – MICHELIN GREEN STAR

THE Michelin Guide for Spain & Portugal awarded Sollo a Green Star for its efforts in promoting sustainable practices in the hospitality sector. This is a wonderful recognition for the work of Diego Gallegos, the Founder and Head Chef of the magnificent establishment located at Higueron Hotel Málaga, Curio Collection by Hilton. i www.sollo.es

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BANG & OLUFSEN BEOLIT 20

The new Beolit 20 portable speaker delivers a very powerful performance from its compact dimensions. Featuring extended battery life, Qi wireless charging capability and omnidirectional True360 sound, it represents another great addition to the Bang & Olufsen range incorporating the latest technological innovations. i www.bang-olufsen.com

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CRESTA COLORADA BARCELONA

Cresta Colorada is a new Mexican rotisserie at L’Eixample de Barcelona specialising in Mexican-style roast chicken and natural wines. Enjoy all your favourites here in this cheerful and colourful locale such as quesadillas, tacos, salads and guacamole, accompanied by a natural wine list and an assortment of cocktails with mezcal. i www.crestacolorada.com


FIRST VEGAN MICHELIN STAR

ONA, which stands for Origine Non Animal, is the first vegan restaurant to receive a Michelin Star. Located in Ares, a seaside resort in southwest France near Bordeaux, and founded by owner and chef Claire VallĂŠe, the restaurant has been awarded the prestigious honour as well as being granted a green star, which Michelin began awarding last year for excellence in sustainable practices. i www.clairevallee.com

CAR POWERED BY SALT WATER

German company Nanoflow Cell unveiled a sleek looking fully electric Quant 48Volt at the Geneva Motor Show. The vehicle which comprises two tanks of liquid with dissolved metallic salt has an astonishing range of 1,000 km and can reach 100km/h in only 2.4 seconds. Will we see this technology adopted by a major car manufacturer? i www.nanoflowcell.com

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the style

ADMIRE EXAMPLES OF FAMOUS ARCHITECTURE INSPIRED BY NATURE, MARVEL AT THE CREATIONS OF WINDFALL CONTEMPORARY CRYSTAL LIGHTING, CHECK OUT THE PANTONE COLOURS OF 2021, AND DELIGHT IN CHIC WINTER WEAR, COURTESY OF CASABLANCA SKI CLUB.

GO TO PAGE 114 FOR WINDFALL, JEWELLERS OF LIGHT


GO TO PAGE 127 FOR EXCLUSIVE VEGAN FUR VESTS

GO TO PAGE 128 FOR THE CASABLANCA SKI CLUB COLLECTION

INTERIORS ARCHITECTURE ART FASHION 102 Organically-Inspired Architecture 114 Windfall, Jewellers of Light 124 Pantone Colours of 2021

GO TO PAGE 102 FOR ORGANICALLYINSPIRED ARCHITECTURE

127 Exclusive Vegan Fur Vests 128 Casablanca Ski Club Collection


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THE WORLD’S BEST

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There is a powerful new tendency sweeping through the world of design and construction, and for once it is not purely related to style trends or new technologies. This movement is above all driven by environmental concerns and the desire to find a balance between development and construction on the one hand, and not being wasteful with resources or adding to our environmental problems on the other. In other words, the world of architecture is undergoing an exciting shift from creating concrete jungles to looking for solutions to them – with nature and humans the winners. What’s more, look deeper and you'll notice that this ‘new’ direction is not really all that novel. WORDS MICHEL CRUZ PHOTOGRAPHY SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

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or well over a century now we’ve been showing nature who’s boss. Having mastered the elements during the industrial revolution, engineers and architects, not to mention their developer clients, imposed upon the world’s surface a veritable deluge of bricks, steel, glass and concrete. In the process, the more organic wooden and stone structures of the past were replaced and after almost two centuries of intensive building, in particular in the period following the Second World

War, the world increasingly resembles a concrete jungle. With some cities now sprawling over vast areas and containing populations of over 25 million, the need for change is clear, and the green, organic movement is providing an alternative that may colour our urban environment green. The concept of organic architecture, however, isn’t entirely new, and includes famous works by some of the greatest masters of the field. Here’s a small selection.

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FALLINGWATER, PENNSYLVANIA FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

T Fallingwater – now a classic – is an early example of organic design

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he fact that some of greatest and also earliest modern architects were inspired by the concept of organic design integrated into nature is reflected by such iconic works as the Fallingwater villa created in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, by none other than Frank Lloyd

Wright. One of the early engineers of modern architecture, he showed that modernity and an organic approach needn’t be mutually exclusive, especially when you realise that avant-garde technology and design are not limited to an industrial approach using manufactured materials and shapes. Fallingwater was built as far back as 1935, and while it makes use of advanced construction methods and materials, linear modern styles and a pioneering open-plan distribution, this is a villa that has become an icon in its own right for the way in which it blends futurism with environmental sensitivity. The latter comes from the way the property is positioned in an intimate setting within a wooded area, right by a cascading waterfall that inspires its name. Like a modern version of The Hay Wain, Fallingwater has become part of its natural surroundings, adding to the scene rather than detracting from its beauty – something that all good architecture should aspire to.


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S H O W R O O M M A R B E L L A - A V D A . B LV. P R Ă? N C I P E A L F O N S O D E H O H E N L O H E . U R B . C A R O L I N A P A R K Opening hours Mon-Fri: 10:00-18:00 Sat: upon appointment T. + 3 4 9 5 1 9 1 9 0 9 2 - M . + 3 4 6 2 6 9 1 8 3 9 2 w w w. a a l t o e x c l u s i v e d e s i g n . c o m


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The curved lines of Zaha Hadid’s design for the London Aquatic Centre

LONDON AQUATICS CENTRE ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS

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aha Hadid was a very popular choice for big public projects, contributing also to the 2012 Olympics in London, and in this case with the design for the Aquatics Centre. It is a futuristic project featuring her characteristically organic signature lines, which trace a curvilinear outline that looks modern yet somehow less rigid than typical buildings of this type. It became an iconic part of the London 2012 Olympics heritage and continues to serve the community today with modern, flowing lines that merge in with and soften their urban surroundings while also offering the very latest in contemporary technology and conveniences.

Convex shapes define the London Aquatic Centre, created for the 2012 Olympics

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The Gherkin has become an icon of the London skyline

THE GHERKIN, LONDON FOSTER + PARTNERS

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fficially known as 30 St. Mary Axe, the Gherkin is another example of contemporary architecture with an organic twist. Norman Foster, usually an exponent of internationalist modernity, changed tack with this project to produce a design that is surprisingly rounded and soft-edged. Although thoroughly modern with its extensive glass surface, this is a skyscraper with a different kind of aura – one that evokes a sympathetic smile rather

than the awe of diminutive humans caught within its towering shadow. Quite apart from the more appealing impact on the urban landscape and the fact that it makes it more liveable, the Gherkin has also become one of the immediately recognisable landmarks of London and, thanks to a wide range of energy-saving innovations, uses half as many resources as a similar structure might have done. In other words, a fine example of modern urban organic design. WWW.ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM / 107


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back to CONTENTS The Lotus Temple in New Delhi at night

THE LOTUS TEMPLE, NEW DELHI FARIBORZ SAHBA

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The intricate, flower-inspired forms of the Lotus Temple in New Delhi

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modern building for a modern, humanistic religion, the Lotus Temple in New Delhi displays a suitably naturalinspired design that takes the form of a giant flower opening majestically. It is the global centre of the Bahá’í faith, a progressive religion that welcomes believers of all faiths to worship side by side within its walls. Bahá’í has its origins in Iran, which is also where architect Fariborz Sahba hails from. He had the difficult task to create a modern temple that reflects the peaceful, humanistic values of the faith, which naturally also include respect for life and all living creatures. Add to this a love of the environment and you have quite a brief, but the architect has done wonders with it, creating a monument to organic design not only in the aesthetics but also in the harmony of proportions.


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Though modern and somewhat industrial, the Learning Hub’s rounded forms and greenery soften its urban surroundings

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Inside, the Learning Hub in Singapore feels like a jungle temple

THE HIVE, SINGAPORE

THOMAS HEATHERWICK

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Greenery interacts with concrete at this university campus in Singapore

hive of advanced learning, The Learning Hub forms part of the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. At first glance, the structure created by English architect Thomas Heatherwick is industrial and concrete, but a closer look reveals its natural rounded shapes, its neatly arrayed anarchy of dimensions and forms, and lofty greenery sprouting from the top of its towers. Though unmistakably urban, technological and contemporary, The Hive also has a very natural quality to it, not least because of the striated texture of its rounded concrete turrets, which not only create a more natural, stone-like effect but also give the complex the aspect of an Indian temple. Given that South East Asia and the Indian subcontinent share a lot of cultural heritage, this detail adds to the organic credentials of Heatherwick’s first major project in Asia.

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The fluid forms of the Kunsthaus in Graz

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somewhat wacky example of the organic genre in the classic Austrian tradition, the Kunsthaus is one of those public projects designed to add character to a city. It was commissioned to celebrate Graz’s European Capital of Culture 2003 election and received a mixed reception, but it’s undeniably organic in form, sporting the shape of a giant whale. The acrylic panels that help to create this look also provide solar power. An example of Blob Architecture, it’s part of a contemporary trend of flowing, ‘blobby’ shapes made possible by modern materials and

construction technologies, but it also serves to soften the urban horizon with its rounded forms and low energy footprint – making it one of many new expressions of a growing range of organic, green architectural styles. e

KUNSTHAUS, GRAZ COLIN FOURNIER/SIR PETER COOK

The Kunsthaus is like a spaceship that has landed in the centre of Graz

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The whale-like shape of the Kunsthaus Museum in Graz stands out from its surroundings


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Jewel Wall lamp, handcut crystals on chrome finished frame

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heir first joint design was called SCARLETT – a crystal cascade, encased by a transparent, colourful Organza cylinder shade – which to date continues to be very popular internationally. Shortly afterwards they gave life to HELLBOB, a new lighting concept for crystal chandeliers which entailed a sphere of crystal made to measure using their unique 'Windfall curler' technique. The Windfall designs became characterised by floating crystal objects illuminated by cascading

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Jewel Five chandelier in a private residence, Jakarta

JEWELLERS OF LIGHT

WINDFALL

Clarissa Dorn and Roel Haagmans pursued their love for light and crystal when they established the Windfall company in Munich back in 2004's summer, to pave new ways in crystal luminaires design. By then, Roel had made his name on the international scene with his designs for classical and oriental chandeliers for the Sultan Quabos Mosque in Muscat and the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, and Clarissa brought long-term experience in art, interior design and organisation to the partnership. Together, they went on creating an illuminated history. WORDS MADDIE QUINN PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF WINDFALL

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lights and the resulting effects induced surprisingly powerful emotions in those within their vicinity. Providing this kind of spatial charm soon set a new standard in luxurious lighting. Naturally, the unusual designs rapidly drew the attention of interior designers and private owners alike, and the company was soon commissioned to take part in projects all over the world. Like a tornado, Windfall has stirred up the traditional lighting sector.

Scarlett Stand floor lamp in blue organza

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Bespoke lamp in Neo One mansion, Zurich, interior design by Thobias Ackermann


Projects: Penthouse L, Penthouse H & Villa M

Interior Design & Property Development Showroom: Avenida Canovas del Castillo 25, Marbella blackshawinteriordesign.com +34 951 403 787 Essential Single Page Blackshaw_January_2021_4.indd 1

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Maze Wall lamp, in a custom made form, as always.

The first major projects were commissioned by architects such as KCA International, David Chipperfield and SHH of London, and Paul Steelman Designs from Las Vegas through which many new designs and techniques were custom created. In 2006, Windfall inaugurated the CLASSIC WITH A TWIST series with BALANCE, one of the most beloved chandeliers in the collection. BALANCE adapts to many different illumination projects and is particularly advanced with regards to the fluctuating dispersion of light. This chandelier manages to be both modern and classic at the same time and has turned dreams into reality in both Arabic 118 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

Palaces and the Royal Albert Hall, as well as in nightclubs in Brussels, bars in Moscow and in mansions all around the world, from Hollywood to Singapore.

LIVING UP TO THE GOLD STANDARD The personal, passionate handling of their work, proximity to customers and the constant willingness to change has given this small company from the Maxvorstadt district of Munich the opportunity to collaborate with companies such as British Airways, Cartier International, Phillippe Starck, UN Studio, Candy & Candy, Roberto Cavalli and Montblanc.

Downtown Elements chandelier, presented in 2019 with brushed brass and 28 lines of handcut x-prisms


But this achievement is not coincidental – projects such as Roberto Cavalli’s flagship store in Paris, the Casino at the Empire, Royal Albert Hall or the Ritz Carlton in Dublin, show that the success of Windfall’s work is down to visionary ideas and meticulous planning. It is in the focus on details as the decorations are planned down to the last millimetre, fortified by years of experience in chandelier creation. It is in the well-founded knowledge of ornamentation, the use of the best materials and a passionate dedication to the work. The reference list of projects, architects and light planners is a testament to the quality and the standard Windfall adheres to.

Scarlett Round hanging lamp, with noisette organza

Boules Wall lamp, with the world's largest crystals, made exclusively for Windfall

Jewel Five chandelier, with 3 chain elements of hand-cut crystals 119 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

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SHOWING OFF THE GOOD WORK The years ahead were filled with presentations and trade shows that propelled the company forward. In September 2012 the ‘jewellers of light’ Clarissa and Roel opened their flagship showroom in Munich and in April 2013 they presented their new collections JEWEL THREE, FOUR, FIVE and SCOTTY in Milan, at the Palazzo Durini with great success. In April 2014, Windfall celebrated their 10th anniversary when returning to Milan to the now newly restored Palazzo, showcasing an even more impressive portfolio of new designs including SERENE, a chandelier produced in collaboration with the worldrenowned French company Lalique.

Jewel Three, with integrated light

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Serene Round chandelier, with the 'Bacchantes' motif, designed by René Lalique for the Orient Express, in 1929 Scarlett Round hanging lamp, with its cylindrical shade wrapped in fuchsia organza

Swirl Round chandelier, in single version, with 6 elements all in crystal beads

The following year, staying on trend, they introduced visitors of the Milan Design Week to their unique interpretation of the potentialities the latest LED technologies could offer, embodied by SISSI Candle, JACK Lantern and SISSI Chandelier. Their popular classics such as the BALANCE, HELLBOB and FLOWERS chandeliers also made an appearance. Soon the chandelier SERENE took its seat in the French region of Alsace, radiating its crystal elegance in the sumptuous bar of the then newly opened Château Hochberg, and in the restaurant of the historical residence Villa René Lalique.

HITS AFTER HITS After their journey touring all over Europe, more and more luxurious and spectacular concepts were born. Windfall broadened its offer of products by adding new colours with the Swarovski buds seen in the EDEN and FLOWER chandeliers. The JEWEL 2 and FLOATING CRYSTAL TIERS were one of the most noteworthy creations from this time, that were both included in the project Beau House in London, led by Oliver Burns, the well-known architectural studio specialised in luxury interiors. Hits followed with the the JULES table lamp, the CORONA SUN wall

A tailor made Scarlett Stand floor lamp in orange organza, with long crystal cascade

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Eden chandelier with chromed branches and petals in opal white, blue shade and crystal clear drops

Multiple branches multi-coloured Eden chandelier, in a mansion by WOW Architects and WarnerWong Design

lamp, the BOULES chandeliers collections, the LULA SILK and LULA PASSEMENT collections, as well as the EDEN wall lamp. Their latest novelties include the DOWNTOWN chandeliers and wall light, the DOWNTOWN ELEMENTS chandeliers, the BOULE FRAME chandeliers and the BOULE wall light. Windfall doesn’t seem to run out of inspiration to impress. All their concepts can be made to size and planned into the environment of a property to achieve the best potential

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of that specific design and to create a dreamlike atmosphere. Grandiose, modern, romantic or classic they may be, their lights project the opulence of luxury living, with energy beaming around bounced off floating crystals, emulating the rays of sunshine in whichever part of the house they may be. e

CLICK TO VISIT

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Call to find our distributor closest to you!

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CLICK TO VISIT www.solpuri.com

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“The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude. Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a colour combination that gives

us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit,” – says Leatrice Eisemann, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. So why not get ready for the summer season with Solpuri’s new collection? Always on trend, German outdoor furniture specialist, Solpuri, already offers carefully chosen, beautiful grey tones for its lounge and dining collections which can be accessorised in Illuminating yellow to create a refreshing and spirit-invigorating outdoor living space. Be inspired in 2021!


PANTONE COLOUR OF THE YEAR

The American Color Institute Pantone has recently announced two colours – ‘ULTIMATE GRAY’ and ‘ILLUMINATING’ – as the new Pantone Colors of the Year 2021. COMPILED BY MADDIE QUINN

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fashion THE STYLE d

KEEP WARM IN STYLE

We just discovered these exclusive vegan fur vests from Barcelona premium fashion label Paulita Errázuriz. These unique pieces are entirely made in Spain with striking, extravagant but timeless designs, perfect for the mild Marbella winters. We especially love the Bulldog, that could easily become a highlight of any wardrobe. COMPILED BY MADDIE QUINN

“My style is bohemian. Every piece is handmade and delicate, and each project a part of me” admits the designer.

CLICK TO VISIT

www.paulitaerrazuriz.com

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pped to the snow-ca in d re tu n e e v a c r collection. Th bel Casablan te la in n w ia d s e ri ir a p P s ic Ch ski-in ffering owcase its new Sierra Nevada ski-season, o h s to s in ta n ry u mo peak of the ewear for luxu e g th n t u a lo s y u z d o c n fi d f sets an new styles reimagining o tching denim rn a e m d , o s p m a -u n s o a tt and known breezy bu Casablanca is n youthful lux . e g e in tw v e li b le n ty io s -s resort h his new Ski esthetic, a fu a it w rt o rk p a -s s m e rè p th a tays on the timeless um of comfort Charaf Tajer s ri r e ib d il n u u q e fo n d a n a h nd em wit leisurewear, ign that will ble crafts every it s r e d je a d T n . a n o ts ti n c ri e dish p Club coll QUINN ed with outlan in LED BY MADDIE b PI m M o c CO , . e le c n ty a s life and eleg h the Marbella beautifully wit

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Casablanca Autumn-Winter 2021 Digital Presentation, premiered on 23rd January 2021 Z 4:51

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CLICK TO VISIT i The Casablanca Ski-Club Collection is available at www.casablancaparis.com

Creative Director - Charaf Tajer Photographer - Remi Ferrante Artistic Coordination - Sid Beaulieu Models - @yunggoldilox, @ambo_mendy, @sidoudainiabeaulieu & @rastacame Style - Goldie & Sid Beaulieu Make Up - Naima Bremer Hair Styled - Ilham Mestour Set Design - Daphnee Lanternier

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the spa

MASK WEARING HAS CHANGED OUR FACIAL EXPRESSION – CONSIDER HOW MAKEUP CAN HELP DEFINE YOUR PERSONALITY. DISCOVER ETHICALLY GORGEOUS PRODUCTS FROM TARTE COSMETICS, AND SEE HOW MARBELLA IS DEFINITELY GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH.

GO TO PAGE 148 FOR SOME EXPERT ADVICE


GO TO PAGE 142 TO SEE WHY MARBELLA IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

GO TO PAGE 140 FOR TARTE COSMETICS

PRODUCTS BEAUTY SPA HEALTH 138 Mask-On Mask-Off 140 Tarte Cosmetics 142 Marbella is Good for Your Health

GO TO PAGE 138 FOR MASKON MASK-OFF TIPS

148 Emotional Maturity in this Brave New World


n THE SPA beauty

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Rihanna @fent

MASK-ON MASK-OFF

With Covid-19 still not under control and safety protocols to be observed even after it is, for now, masks are not likely going anywhere. And let’s face it, masks bring a number of issues which stand in the way of our usual skin care and beauty routines. For one, it makes sense to move away from the ‘full make-up’ look which has shifted trends to new practices that are expected to be hot in 2021. WORDS MADDIE QUINN Fenty Beauty – Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

@katiejaneh

ughes

NATURAL GLOW Last year we learnt to prioritise skincare, to embrace our natural look and use less products. There is a substantial increase in online searches for ‘how to get glowing skin’, ‘face yoga exercises’ and ‘natural everyday makeup’. Unfortunately the ‘maskne’ is real and many struggle to keep break-outs under control. Experts advise to use a gentle peel, non-greasy hydration and retinol or glycolic serums for the night that help rebalance your skin’s defences. For the day under the mask, instead of heavy, layered foundation opt for much lighter coverage, cream-based products, concealers and illuminisers. Ariana Grande

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@arianagrande


MATCH THE COLOUR If you are like me and crazy for a ‘one product cover all’ foundation that doesn’t rub onto your mask here are a few to try. Rihanna’s cruelty-free Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation offers the most inclusive range of shades. No matter your skin type and undertone, you will find your perfect match from a groundbreaking 50 choices that Fenty offers. Best of all, this light-as-air, long-wear product is undetectable on your skin and is said to be transfer-proof. Among others, Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Stay-in-Place and KVD’s Vegan Beauty Lock-It foundations are also recommended.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE EYES! It’s time to focus on those gorgeous eyes, and frame the door to your soul in the funkiest and wildest ways. Having to cover with a mask means losing some facial expressions and smiles so you should focus on your eyes to add more character. 80’s style bold colour eyeshadows are seriously trending this year, so you avoided parts of your palette before, finally you can give those shades a whirl! Colourful cat eyes, graphic eyeliner, lavish lashes and naturally shaded slightly arched eyebrows dominate on most celebrity social channels.

Miley Cyrus

@CJelbrjpg

la

@fentybeauty

PAIR THE HAIR Natural hair is the focus this year and warmer tones like peach, cinnamon brown, and strawberry blonde are hot. If you have taken the plunge and cut yourself a lock-down fringe then you are in luck, because bangs are officially in again! Gigi Hadid, J.Lo, and Ariana Grande are showing off their curtain bangs and the trend flows towards easy-to-style casual hair wears that are, well, easy! Shag haircuts, layered textures, thick highlights, messy buns and claw clips are all the rage so don’t worry if you scheduled a video call just after having gotten out of bed.

The bottom line is that we are adapting again – adjusting to the new normal, which is less formal, less fussy, more healthy and more social even if it is not physically so. Oh and don’t forget, don’t overdo it, you are pretty just as you are! e

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ETHICALLY WORDS MADDIE QUINN

GORGEOUS As we became more and more health conscious even before Covid-19 hit, the beauty industry has worked tirelessly to innovate, transform and improve the ingredient list of the products we use daily. In the last decade many new independent and celebrity cosmetics lines – like Tarte – were born, offering the one commodity we all seek – looking youthful for longer. You can only achieve this by cutting out the bad stuff you put on your skin every day. Exchange the ‘feelgood’ products for the ‘good-for-you’ ones and if it looks and works great, is ethical and takes care of mother nature, it really becomes a no-brainer as to which one you’ll choose.

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FOR CLEAN SKIN Tarte started in 2000 with a dream of combining glamourous makeup and good-for-you ingredients. Today, they have evolved into a sought after brand that offers not only cruelty-free cosmetics but hypoallergenic and vegan skincare products too, free of all the harmful parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan and gluten. Presenting a range of eco-chic beauty products that are not only natural but also look trendy and are highly effective enabled them to compete with world-leading traditional brands successfully and become one of America’s most popular cosmetics labels.

CLICK TO VISIT

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CLICK TO VISIT

www.sephora.es

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GIVING BACK

HIGH PERFORMANCE NATURALS 3

They pioneered what they call ‘high-performance naturals’ which are some of the most efficient ingredients found around our planet that can be used to meet our health and beauty objectives without compromising quality. The long-wearing, skin balancing amazonian clay that forms the base of an entire make-up line or the highly nourishing, non-greasy maracuja oil found in their ‘Juicy skin is in!’ maracuja products are prime examples. Tarte is most noted for a bestseller, their ‘Shape Tape Contour Concealer’ which is a creamy, full-coverage liquid that can be used to cover up blemishes, dark circles and uneven skin tone so successfully, that both traditional and social media went crazy about.

What’s beautiful about Tarte is that they also prioritise sustainability. CEO Maureen Kelly personally seeks out cooperatives for the harvest, to empower the local communities where the ingredients are found. Their maracuja oil for instance is being pressed in the rain forrest by an all-female farming community, from fruit that would normally be discarded. Isn’t reducing our own carbon footprint by helping others a win-win situation? Tarte is also big on charity; one of their biggest movements the #stormoflove fundraising campaign provides relief worldwide during natural disasters. Giving back to the sea for their marine-sourced ingredients, they also help

protect its ecosystem. They partnered with and support the Sea Turtle Conservancy and currently sponsor a loggerhead turtle: Shelly, tracking her for 3 months in her migration. Tarte uses its influence on teenagers for good too, with campaigns of #bullyfreebeauty and girls’ leadership confidence boosting. As a consumer, it is a good feeling to exercise the freedom of choice and to see businesses that are independent, ethical and inspiring bring a fresh breeze to the stillness of the previous decades. Try this brand, both you and they deserve it! e

1 -Tarteist™ PRO REMIX Amazonian Clay Palette 2- Shape Tape™ Waterproof Body Makeup 3- Poreless Mattifying Primer 4 - Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush 5 - Tartelette™ Amazonian Clay Matte Palette 6 - Maracuja Neck Treatment 7 - Shape Tape™ Concealer WWW.ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM / 141


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MARBELLA CAN BE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH TIPS FOR KEEPING OUR IMMUNITY IN TIP-TOP CONDITION

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Marbella and the surrounding coastal regions are some of the healthiest places to live in Europe, according to recent research. For many reasons the Mediterranean lifestyle conquers most others for longevity and quality of life. And that isn’t just because Marbella has some of the best healthcare options on the continent! WORDS VICTORIA WOOD

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ven in the winter months Marbella offers a far warmer climate than much of the rest of Europe. The Costa del Sol, literally meaning Sunshine Coast, offers very few moments when the sun does not shine throughout the year. Marbella is known to have its own ‘micro-climate,’ as it stands between the coastline and the Sierra Blanca Mountains, playing host to an average temperature of 19º C throughout the whole year with minimum temperatures

rarely dropping below 10ºC. You can see from the chart below, that shows maximum, minimum and average temperatures since 2010, (from WorldWeatherOnline. com) that temperatures are pretty consistent year on year. In fact, the Costa del Sol is the sunniest place in Spain, something residents have been saying for years, but it became official in 2016 when a report from the National Meteorological Agency placed the country’s

southern Mediterranean coast at the top of its ranking for the sunniest parts of the country. Getting a healthy dose of sunshine is actually imperative for good health. Of course baking in it all day long is a terrible idea, but if you take ten minutes without sun protection either earlier in the day or in the late afternoon to literally soak up the rays, you are actually doing yourself far more good than harm; in fact you are providing your body with the

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perfect amount of vitamin D for the day, something which is extremely difficult to achieve through diet alone. It is not easy to get a sufficient quantity of vitamin D into our systems as it is scarce among food sources; the ultimate way to achieve the recommended daily dose is through sunlight. Scientists recommend that sun on bare skin is the best way to absorb the essential sunshine vitamin, but to limit the time of exposure to a maximum of fifteen minutes twice a day, following which a high SPF should be applied or shade sought out. During the winter months when the sun is weaker it is less risky to take the sun during the mid-afternoon hours when it is at its strongest.

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In locations where the sun is less available, as well as in cities where the rays are blocked by pollution, it is quite common for people to suffer from vitamin D deficiency.

WHY IS VITAMIN D SO IMPORTANT TO OUR HEALTH? Despite it being possible to store the excess in our body fat, it is not an easy task to supply enough vitamin D for our bodily needs in the first place. We need vitamin D to be able to absorb two vital nutrients into the body, phosphorous and calcium, without which we cannot maintain (or grow) healthy bones. According to an Internal Medicine World Report, vitamin D helps to “prevent bone fractures and

osteoporosis, reduce the risk of cancer, especially colon cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, heart failure, multiple sclerosis as well as helping to improve lung function�. Those who fail to absorb sufficient amounts can potentially suffer with any of the above and so we see why access to the sun is so important to our health. Sunshine can also contribute to our mental health as it has been proven to lift our mood and raise our spirits. The coastal regions in the south of Spain also offer the healthiest diet in the world, the Mediterranean diet. This has been globally recognised as one of the healthiest western diets


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out there. Fresh fish and seafood, olive oil, fresh local fruits and vegetables, pulses and legumes all serve to make this diet top of the list. All the elements of the diet combined help to lower inflammation in the body, improve blood vessel function and reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. It also serves to maintain heart health as well as brain function, being associated with less cognitive decline, reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and better memory and executive function. It is not a new fangled fad diet nor does it hone in on superfoods as key components; it is the inclusion of all the necessary food groups and a wide range of them that consistently makes this the chosen one. And, of course, a glass of Spanish red wine here and there is considered part of the parcel! Due to the weather being so kind in this region, most of the activities here (as well as vitamin D) are available all year round. Golf is of course a huge draw to the coast as it boasts over 50 courses. You can also take

pleasure in the countless hikes and walking trails, rock pools, lakes, rivers, mountain regions, nearby ski resort Sierra Nevada, running and cycling tracks, rock climbing, and nearby surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing. There is no shortage of activities available at any time of year, and if you are brave enough you can even take a mid-winter swim in the sea, from time to time it can be just as warm as in summer! Sunshine, good diet, and plenty of exercise also contribute hugely to our mental health and happiness as well as maintaining a strong immune system. Taking all this into account it is hardly surprising that the south of Spain has been voted as one of the healthiest places to live! e This article was originally published on the BRIGHT blog https://by-bright.com/news/. BRIGHT is a developer of luxury, sustainable homes with a vision of improving the quality of people’s lives through the creation of designled homes. In the BRIGHT world design always comes first.

CLICK TO VISIT by-bright.com

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EMOTIONAL

MATURITY

IN THIS BRAVE NEW WORLD

If you – as many – are anxious, panic-filled, stressed, or fearful at the thought of Covid-19 and our current world situation, realise that the greatest factor that plays a role in causing these feelings is inside your head: your thoughts. If you could, magically, remove those thoughts, the major part of your suffering disappears. This is a crucial aspect of emotional maturity, a topic which future articles will cover with increasing detail. WORDS GABRIELLA KORTSCH

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CLICK TO VISIT

www.gabriellakortsch.com

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ecognise that you, yourself, by continually watching potentially ‘negative’ news channels offering sensationalism to keep you in a state of fear and therefore keep you watching, maintain yourself in that bad place. Stop watching. Ditto much of social media and the online tabloid press.

STICK TO THE SERIOUS PRESS Do yourself a favour and stick to credible sources to stay informed on developments – ones which don’t flood you with panic-inducing pieces of dubious journalism, destined to create fear.

WATCH WITH WHOM YOU TALK Watch the subjects you discuss very carefully. People fill themselves with even greater fear by repeating halfbaked theories they’ve read via their friends’ WhatsApp, or their colleagues’ social media. This creates viral repetition and rapidly your fear infects fifty others. If you inform yourself responsibly with scientificallyverified material, you have no need whatsoever to pay attention to sites that create fear. Avoid them.

KEEP A STRONG HOLD ON YOUR THOUGHTS Do not engage in speculative thinking. Yes, look at your pantry, the petrol in your car and be reasonably intelligent about it all. Make logical (and intelligence-based) preparations,

as opposed to fear-based ones. And again – keep a strong hold on your thoughts. Think of the fearful ones as poison. Would you keep ingesting poison? No. So when they arise, tell yourself that while this problem does exist, and while the solution is not yet fully implemented, the optimal thing you can do for yourself and your family, is to keep a very firm control on your mind.

BE GRATEFUL For your health, for our connectivity, for the good people in the world whose best side is coming out during this incredibly unfamiliar situation for us all. Be grateful for blue skies, grey skies, rainy skies, and for the air we breathe. Be grateful for your loved ones, even if they are far away. Finally, be grateful for your ever-growing inner fortitude that allows you to find joy, even in the midst of all of this. Remember to find small joys every day – if possible, multiple times. Small pockets of joy – that are under your control – can make such a difference to your day – every day.

disks, or your youthful desire to study archaeology, participating on digs in Mesoamerica. If you find yourself in this pandemic on your own, keep in touch with everyone you love, have Zoom dinners or happy hours together, play online games, and above all, remind yourselves that you love each other.

BRING BACK YOUR BALANCE Understand that much of your physical health, your immune system, your psychological health, and that of those who look up to you, depends to a large degree on you taking the recommendations offered in this piece on board. Be well. Take good care of your thoughts. May you feel safe inside your head, heart, body, and spirit. Remember that these are choices you can make, all day, every day. You choose what you focus on. You choose what you think and how you think. And therefore you choose how you feel. Practice not only good physical hygiene, but also good mental hygiene. Think good thoughts. I’ll see you on the other side. e

AND THEN KEEP ON LIVING Read good books. Go for long walks. Enjoy good films. Play board games with your family. Have conversations about subjects you each enjoy. Learn from them and their knowledge. Your teenage son might teach you the history of hip-hop. You might inform him about the dark ages of floppy

Gabriella Kortsch, Ph.D., a multilingual, integral (body, mind, soul) psychotherapist, and bestselling author, with an international practice in Marbella, has been working with clients from 30 countries since 2003. i www.gabriellakortsch.com WWW.ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM / 149


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the pro

REALISE THAT THE COSTA DEL SOL REMAINS AN INVESTOR’S PARADISE IN 2021, LEARN ABOUT SPAIN’S AMBITIOUS PLAN TO CUT CARBON EMISSIONS TO NET ZERO BY 2050, AND FIND OUT WHAT IS HAPPENING ON THE LOCAL BUSINESS SCENE.

GO TO PAGE 158 FOR ENTERPRISE


GO TO PAGE 158 FOR ENTERPRISE

GO TO PAGE 154 FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY IN SPAIN GO TO PAGE 152 FOR AN OUTLOOK ON PROPERTY

BUSINESS ENTERPRISE PROPERTY FINANCE

152 Property 154 Renewable Energy in Spain 158 Enterprise


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Javi Az / Shutterstock.com

WHY THE COSTA DEL SOL REMAINS AN

As long as the sun continues to shine, the area of Southern Spain, and especially the Costa del Sol, will always have the ability to cast a spell on Northern Europeans who are becoming increasingly depressed with long harsh winters and unpredictable summers. WORDS SEAN WOOLLEY

OF CLOUD NINE SPAIN

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he area between Málaga and Sotogrande has always been a holiday hotspot, with the resorts established in the 60s and 70s, such as Torremolinos and Fuengirola, home to a plethora of high-rise 3- and 4-star hotels, but the area further west, encompassing resorts and towns such as Mijas, Marbella, Estepona and Benahavís, offers a very different feel, with some of Europe’s very best hotels, together with some of the finest leisure, retail and sporting amenities available in the Mediterranean. This area, which receives an average of 320 days sunshine 152 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

INVESTORS FAVOURITE IN 2021

per year, has become a magnet for second homeowners over the last 20 years, especially since the advent of low-cost air travel with the likes of EasyJet and Ryanair, which has created plentiful and great-value commuter routes from virtually every European city. Many of these property investors have taken the plunge entirely by moving to the Costa del Sol on a permanent basis, drawn by the outdoor lifestyle, highquality international schools and the improved connectivity and accessibility. The lockdown in 2020 has actually fuelled the already exiting desire of thousands more potential visitors and emigrés to Spain. Dispirited and depressed, most of the Northern European population is desperate for at least a holiday in the sun, and perhaps a longer stay! With the advent of home-working and flexible working practices, many people are seriously looking at basing themselves somewhere warmer

and with a better lifestyle on a full-time basis. After all, why work from home in Middlesbrough or Mannheim, when you can do so from the comfort of your own home in warm and welcoming Marbella?! 2021 could present a perfect scenario for property investors on the Costa del Sol. New development has been on hold for the last 12 months, meaning the market in the strongest and most affluent coastal areas has not experienced an over-supply of new stock. Property owners have refused to panic during the pandemic, meaning that, unlike the global financial recession of 2008-2012, there has been no significant downward drag on prices. Having said that, some much-needed price corrections have taken place which has brought the market back into more sensible pricing parameters. In terms of demand, 2020 saw consistent levels of interest from prospective buyers, especially


at the higher end of the market, but the severe travel restrictions have led to a massive amount of pent-up buyer interest that we expect to see being satisfied once the skies open up again for travel in Q1 or Q2 in 2021. My advice to any investors would be to get in to the market as early as possible in the New Year in case we see a miniboom fuelled by this volume of pent-up demand, which may cause a price hike based on increased buyer competition, especially in already-popular areas such as the Golden Triangle of Marbella, Benahavís and Estepona. With the expected surge in holiday bookings in 2021 and beyond, together with the shortage of good-quality, well-furnished homes available for long-term rental, there are

genuine opportunities for real estate investors on the Costa del Sol. The key, as always, is to purchase in the right locations – ideally close to amenities – and to ensure that community fees don’t eat into your profit margins too much (in Spain, the landlord pays these fees!). Normally, the rule of thumb is that one week’s high season holiday rental equates to a month´s rental on a long-term let. An experienced real estate professional will be able to guide investors towards the best opportunities and provide income and cost estimates to assist with the budgeting forecasts. e Sean Wooley is the Founder and Director of the real estate company Cloud Nine Spain. i www.cloudninespain.com

Editor’s note

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ith the conclusion of Brexit classifying Britain as a ’third country’ when it comes to entering or living in Spain, Britons will now have to adhere to immigration rules and complete paperwork to continue to enjoy spending time in Spain. This predicts a shift in demographics to a slightly younger generation with more substantial financial means because this will be required to be demonstrated to the Spanish government before long term permits or residencies will be granted. However, visitors from Great Britain will still be able to spend 90 days out of every 180 days on the Costa del Sol without any residency, so the holiday home concept should remain viable in the years to come.

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SPAIN’S AMBITIOUS VISION FOR

100% RENEWABLE

ENERGY

I

f the bill gets the go head from the Spanish Parliament, at least 70% of the country’s energy will need to come from clean energy sources, such as wind and solar, and all new coal, oil and gas extraction projects will be prohibited. The new bill goes handin-hand with the Paris Climate Agreement, a global

framework to limit global warming to well below 2ºC, and is also expected to shape the country’s economic recovery from Covid-19. While the plans are ambitious, Spain has already made great headway into shaking up the electricity market in favour of renewable energies. Consumers have been given more flexibility to

Spain aims to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, according to a new climate change bill, which sets out an ambitious raft of targets to tackle global warming over the next 30 years. WORDS BY REDLINE COMPANY switch electricity suppliers, giving green energy companies the opportunity to offer competitive tariffs, while supplying electricity from 100% renewable sources. And, more recently, the removal of Spain’s infamous ‘sun tax’ has paved the way for more businesses and households to generate their own electricity using solar roof

Solar power generation in Andalucía © Denis Zhitnik / Shutterstock.com

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z THE PRO energy

back to CONTENTS Wind turbines – a common sight in Spain © Shutterstock.com

panels. With more than 300 days of sun per year, Spain provides the perfect location for generating electricity from solar power. The former taxes and complex legislation had previously made the process of installing and using solar PV panels prohibitive but thanks to the abolition of these taxes, more and more consumers are choosing to invest in solar energy as a way of saving money and taking a step towards sustainable living. The new legislation on solar PV panels even goes a stage further and allows those who generate solar energy to be financially compensated for any surplus energy they produce, which can then be fed into the National Grid. In addition to the legislative changes, which empower businesses and consumers to be able to generate and consume renewable energy, the government is also committing to installing a minimum of 3,000 MW of wind and solar power capacity, each year for the next ten years. Speaking about Spain’s environmental aims, Laurence Tubiana, chief executive of the European Climate Foundation said: “By planning on going carbon neutral, Spain shows that the battle against climate change is deadly serious, that they are ready to step up and plan to reap the rewards of decarbonisation.” e

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court proceedings in civil & criminal law property conveyancing & construction law international inheritances & real estate donation in Spain

Accepting an inheritance does incur some questions for foreigners with property in Spain. How is the inheritance distributed? How and where should I accept the inheritance? Does your national inheritance law apply in Spain? In which country do I pay inheritance tax and how much? Sirejacob Legal & Tax has specialised for over 20 years in assisting foreigners who want to accept or reject an inheritance in Spain.

www.spaininheritance.com tel +34 952 775 225 • email info@sirejacob.com Avenida Ricardo Soriano 20, 7/A, 29601 Marbella

www.sirejacob.com

M a r b e l l a • A l f a z d e l P i • B a r c e l o n a • M a l l o r c a • Te n e r i f e

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enterprise COMPILED BY IAIN BLACKWELL

NEW DIRECTOR FOR SO/SOTOGRANDE RESORT & SPA Robert Kmita has been appointed as the Managing Director of SO/Sotogrande Resort & Spa which is set to open this year. Kmita, who is Danish, will supervise activities at the luxury lifestyle hotel following the exacting standards of the SO/ banner. SO/Sotogrande Resort and Spa, comprising 152 rooms, will be the brand’s first hotel in Spain and guests can expect luxurious surroundings, creative dining experiences and distinctive ‘Just Say SO’ services celebrating Mediterranean culture. i www.sotogrande.com

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SOHO MARKET – LOCAL RETAILERS COLLECTIVE SOHO Market is a new initiative situated at the Guadalmina Comercial Centre which brings together a collective of small businesses all under one roof. Launched by local entrepreneur Lara González, the market style layout allows local retailers to showcase their products in a chic environment which includes a food truck, Champagne bar and a kids play area. Of her new venture, Lara said, “I created SOHO Market as a place where ‘mumpreneurs’ as well as other shop owners can come together to support each other.” The market has recently been expanded with a new area and additional retailers. i www.sohomarketmarbella.com

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VILLA ALCUZCUZ SOLD! The multi-award winning Villa Alcuzcuz, recipient of Best Architecture in Spain and Best Architecture in Europe from the International Property Awards, has just been sold! Developed by BRIGHT with architecture and interior design by UDesign, the villa is Marbella’s first luxury Passive House and the biggest of its kind in Europe. Villa Alcuzcuz brings sustainability and luxury together, masterfully combining environmentally protective characteristics

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with sheer, unadulterated luxury. Sebastian Jiménez, CEO of Aqua Estates, responsable for the sale of the property stated: “Villa Alcuzcuz impressed me greatly when we first presented it. I’ve seen an awful lot of luxury villas but this was really unique. I knew it would be perfect for our client, whom we had been working with for a while.” For information on BRIGHT’s new sustainable development of 18 luxury villas, Vista Lago Residences, with all building licenses granted, visit. i vistalago.es


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INTERNATIONAL MARBELLA WINE AWARDS The Marbella Club Hotel hosted the 2nd Edition of the International Marbella Wine Awards, organised by Wine Market Management. With the aim of recognising the dedication of different wineries and to make their wines more internationally accesible, the contest comprised 690 wines from 12 countries and more than 80 important wine regions. The professional jury, composed of many industry experts from different countries, took part in the three days of blind tastings. i www.marbellawineawards.com

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STAY WARM WITH COMERCIAL ESTELLER Comercial Esteller is a national reference in the world of fireplaces and stoves, offering some of the best installations on the market from leading European manufacturers, including RĂźegg and Attika from Switzerland. The former is the inventor of closed hearths while Attika comprises a range of contemporary designs that can be customised for size and colour. Among many other models available, Cerampui from Italy features customisable ceramic stoves. They also have a range of plug-in hybrid varieties that perfectly complement renewable light generation systems. i www.comercialesteller.com

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GRUPO FM LAUNCHES VIRTUAL OFFICE

ESTEPONA AYUNTAMIENTO NEWS The Estepona Townhall has been very active in recent times and has announced a number of new and completed projects, including the consolidation of the old town as one of the main tourist attractions of the city, the improvement of public facilities, such as the proposed construction of a new stretch of paseo marĂ­timo in the Guadalmansa area, the creation of a new sports facility for the practise of urban sports next to the San Fernando football field, and the modernisation of municipal offices through the incorporation of new technologies. i www.estepona.es

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Marbella-based Real Estate, Marketing and Consulting Group FM, with decades of experience on the Costa del Sol, has launched an innovative service for the virtual sale of their property developments. The new tool enables clients the flexibility to visit and move around the rooms in show flats or arrange a personalised guided tour, as well as to access specific project information such as floor plans and infographics. i www.fmconsulting.es


VITHAS PARTNERS WITH PHILIPS The Vithas Group have signed a five-year innovation and collaboration agreement with Phillips, a world leader in healthcare technology, covering the areas of precision diagnosis and guided interventionism. The agreement will make it possible to have the

latest innovations in technology for imaging diagnosis, computer solutions and minimally invasive intervention equipment in the group’s hospitals and medical centres, which offer complete health care and advanced medical treatment. i www.vithas.es

NEW DIRECTOR FOR VITHAS MÁLAGA Vithas has appointed Dr. Rubén Sanz Cartagena as the new Managing Director of the Vithas Málaga Hospital and the Vithas medical centres in the capital, while his predecessor, José María Baena has been appointed Vithas Financial and Territorial Business Director in Andalucía. Dr. Sanz has a degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Barcelona and a diploma in Hospital Management from ESADE. His career has been linked to both public and private levels, involving social and health care. i www.vithas.es

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CASINO MARBELLA Casino Marbella has been certified for its protocols in countering Covid-19 by Full Audit, a company specialising in occupational health and safety. This seal verifies the responsible management of the preventative measures implemented at Casino Marbella by the Circa group. The verification process carried out by Full Audit consisted of an exhaustive review of compliance with the regulations and measures laid down by local government for prevention against coronavirus. i www.casinomarbella.com

PERSONALISED TREATMENT PROGRAMS FOR PROSTATE CANCER The Mรกlaga Biomedical Research Institute and SYNLAB Laboratories have pioneered a genetic analysis that will advocate a personalised therapy programme for patients with prostate cancer. The study will allow the rapid and efficient investigation of all the genes involved in the tumorigenic pathways related to prostate cancer, which will guide treatment decisions according to each individual case. i www.synlab.es 166 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021


RESIDENCY APPLICATION EXTENDED FOR BRITISH APPLICANTS The government has announced that British citizens who can prove they lived in Spain prior to 31st December 2020 may still apply for residency. In addition, Spain’s Non-Lucrative Visa allows non-EU citizens to reside in Spain provided they are able to support themselves financially. This may become an option for British retirees and other people who do not plan to work in Spain after Brexit. i www.perezlegalgroup.com

MARBELLA PORT GETS €1 MILLION MAKEOVER Marbella’s Fishing Port is being modernised under a new initiative by the Junta de Andalucía. Ministers from the Junta were in Marbella in December to inaugurate a new ice factory and work has already begun on new workspaces for boat owners in the first

quarter of 2021. Carmen Crespo, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, commented that the renovations are a reflection of the Junta’s commitment “for the modernisation of the fishing sector, whose activity is essential to generate wealth and employment in coastal municipalities.” i www.marbella.es

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the gourmet

DISCOVER HOW DIVOT HAS BECOME SUCH A WELCOME ADDITION TO MARBELLA’S RESTAURANT SCENE, ENHANCE YOUR MOOD AT MANTRA COCKTAIL BAR, CATCH UP ON THE LATEST DINING NEWS, AND SAMPLE SOME GREAT MONASTRELL WINE.

GO TO PAGE 182 FOR MONASTRELL WINE


GO TO PAGE 178 FOR GOURMET BYTES

GO TO PAGE 174 FOR A MANTRA MOMENT

GO TO PAGE 170 FOR DIVINE DINING AT DIVOT

NEWS GASTRONOMY CHEFS WINE 170 Divine Dining at Divot 174 Mantra Moment 178 Gourmet Bytes 182 Monastrell Wine


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DIVOT

WORDS IAIN BLACKWELL PHOTOGRAPHY KEVIN HORN

DIVINE DINING EXPERIENCE

D

ivot Gastro Grill is a welcome addition to Marbella’s restaurant scene which has rapidly become a firm favourite of those in the know. Beautifully located at the entrance to Banús Executive Golf, with ample parking in front, the venue features large floor-to-ceiling windows and a substantial wrap-around terrace which provides panoramic views over the golf course and across the water feature to La Concha at the rear. Formed from tiered wooden beams, supported

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Owners Martins and Ben


by columns and spars which rise to a cupola, directly above the central open cooking area, the natural theme continues throughout the surprisingly spacious interior, with wooden flooring, bar, kitchen and gantry, and brickwork columns. This is offset by refined elegance, with ambient lighting, enticing music, and comfortable chairs with solid tables that are nicely spread respecting generous distancing. It is here that Head Chef, Martins Vanags and MaĂŽtre Ben Mahdaoui, both with many years of partnered

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b THE GOURMET restaurants

experience on the Coast, have set up an international kitchen that can cater to diversity, from couples enjoying a romantic interlude to large-scale events. As its name suggests, the menu is centered around prime quality cuts of meat, which can also be grilled to perfection at the table, but additionally features a good variety of fish and pasta dishes together with a range of starters and desserts. Whatever the choice, the food is prepared with passion and served with flair by the staff who are friendly and obliging, and the resulting feelgood factor 172 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

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is infectious, permeating the entire establishment. Customers are free to relax on the expansive terrace with inviting sofas, reclining chairs and on warmer days, there are not many better places to be. Attentive waiters will see to their every need, whether coffee, drinks, or selections from the extensive menu, which can be savoured in the dedicated dining areas. Or, enjoy a memorable meal within the comfortable interior. At the aptly named Divot, one thing is for sure: you will want to return to experience its charms again and again. e

CLICK TO VISIT g DIVOT Camino del Ă ngel, Marbella. Reservations recommended, Tel: 951 566 172. www.divot.es


Tel: 952 818 392 www.thaigallerymarbella.com

CH

ALL OUR RESTAURANTS ARE OPEN ACCORDING TO REGULATIONS, WITH FULL SAFETY MEASURES!

Puente Romano Hotel, Plaza Village, Marbella.

IN ES E R ES TA U R A N T PO LY

NEW TAI PAN

N

Marbella

ES IA N BA R

Tel: 952 777 893 / 952 775 500 www.taipanmarbella.com Puente Romano, Fase 2, Marbella. Open Daily for Dinner from 8:00

SUKHOTHAI Exquisite Royal Thai Cuisine Tel: 952 770 550 www.sukhothaimarbella.com Marbellamar, L-3A, Marbella. Open Daily for Dinner from 8:00


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A R T N A M t n e m mo DIE QUINN D BY MAD ESY OF MANTRA E R E V O C DIS RT APHY COU PHOTOGR

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antra first opened their terrace and their hearts to the Puerto Deportivo in Marbella 8 years ago. The meaning of Mantra is your most profound moment, it’s your ground zero and a place to return to – that’s why its owner, Ana chose the name. Almost a decade later, the bar has changed a lot but the name remains along with their international crowd of all ages.

What type of music do you play? In keeping with the moving nature of the bar, the music follows the tone set by the day (or night). On a typical daytime in Marbella the bright skies are accompanied by a mix of tropical house, pop and dance music. If you’re visiting on an evening expect more house, dance, reggaeton and R&B vibes. A live DJ often brings a little extra energy to the nightlife with sets from the rear of the bar. Make sure to reserve a

table through our Instagram @ mantraloungebarmarbella if you’re planning a visit as we are often fully booked.

What’s on the menu? What do you specialise in? A wide collection of cocktails from divine bitters to refreshing fruits to classical twists. Along with beer and wine, the cocktails are really a highlight of Mantra’s menu and have been applauded as some of the best you will find on the Costa del Sol. Non-alcoholic cocktails, coffee, teas, smoothies and milkshakes also feature on the menu.

Who makes those tasty looking cocktails? The entire team has been trained by the best professional mixologists in the area. The bar is meticulous in their standards for each and every cocktail. We sample every drink on the menu and can honestly say that they

are made to mouth-watering standards of perfection.

A chill vibe runs through your colourful interior design with Buddha and some other oriental elements. Everything seems natural and hand made. Who decorated? Mantra has transformed into a magical collage of beautiful zen interiors that have been collected, recycled and renovated over the years. The colourful design is an everchanging vision of Ana’s eye for pieces with uplifting energy which come together to form an authentic expression of her bright spirit. The bar has an open terrace with views of the port, a back garden illuminated with fairy lights and comfortable lounge seats to enjoy the sunshine. On colder nights, such as in these winter months, they turn the seating area into an enclosed space with plenty of fireside heaters to keep you warm. WWW.ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM / 175


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Your name is beautifully carved into all your tables, were they locally made? Most objects you’ll see in the bar are sourced locally in recognition of Ana’s desire to support other local businesses. The tables and sofa have been with Mantra since the start of their journey and were constructed by local carpenters and craftsmen – though a revamp is planned for the coming months! Even the golden trees, adorned with glass ornaments, were spotted by Ana in Marbella’s surrounding woodland areas and retrieved to create a mystical display of nature’s beauty. As currently times are frequently changing, Mantra’s Instagram account @ mantraloungebarmarbella will keep you updated on their story with what hours they are open, events and promotions – they have consistently been the go-to 176 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

open bar in Marbella through the pandemic and their friendly staff always give a warm welcome. To cope with the Covid situation, all precautions are taken to ensure the safety of their guests. Tables are disinfected between visitors, hand sanitiser is provided on arrival and staff wear masks at all times. The pandemic has been a challenge for Mantra as for all businesses in Marbella. Tourism has suffered greatly but the team has responded with optimism, enthusiasm and relentless energy. Mantra is a vessel for great times situated in the centre of the heart of Marbella’s Puerto Deportivo and they will be delighted to host you for ‘Tu Momento Mantra’. e

g MANTRA Puerto Deportivo, Marbella. Tel: 608 555 681. Instagram @mantraloungemarbella


OPENING MARCH 2021

e l c hi r in g u it o m a r b e lla |

e c @ p u e n t e r o m a n o.com

+34 6 8 2 1 1 2 2 3 3 | p u e n t e r o m a n o . c o m


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EL OLIVAR

NEW POP UP OF THE MARBELLA CLUB

With the Marbella Club Hotel’s Wellness chef, Andrés Ruiz, at the helm, diners at the new Pop Up El Olivar are assured of an inspired boost to their health regime. Beverages include a wide range of natural juices, smoothies with collagen, and CBD-infused coffee. There is also an all-day breakfast menu, as well as a lunch menu that changes every day comprising fresh, seasonal, sustainable ingredients of the highest quality. i www.marbellaclub.com

HEALTHY PREPARATIONS AT

INDIAN SPICE BENAHAVÍS

Indian Spice Benahavís features a wide range of tasty Indian dishes as well as healthy options, with organic spices and without trans fat, which can be enjoyed in their cozy interior lounge or outdoor terrace. They also offer a gluten-free menu with many vegetarian and vegan options and are now serving chapatis and rotis made with buckwheat flour. i www.indianspicebenahavis.com

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DISCOVER BOHO RESTAURANT Book a table at +34 952 157 222 restaurante@bohoclub.com www.bohoclub.com

LUNCH OFFER Three-course Menu 30€ per person


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MÁLAGA MICHELIN STAR CHEF JOSÉ CARLOS GARCÍA

José Carlos García celebrated the revalidation of his eponymous restaurants Michelin Star in Málaga with a special menu. The acclaimed chef remains true to his zero kilometre philosophy, sourcing from the best local products and delicacies, providing diners with a great variety of options to savour. i www.restaurantejcg.com

NEW CAKE DELIVERY FROM

MY CHEF AT HOME

Can’t make it out to a restaurant and don’t feel like cooking? Then contact talented private chef Andres Ákos for a top notch meal prepared in the comfort of your own home. With a passion for sweets, Hungarian Andres now also offers cakes for delivery. Choose from a variety of elegant cakes or dream up your own, ordered easily through his website, Facebook or WhatsApp. His creations include scrumptious cupcakes, a creamy strawberry-white chocolate cake with vanilla sponge, a Ferrero cake and lots more. All made from fresh, natural ingredients without using palm oil or processed sugar, he offers to prepare the perfect combination that makes you happy. g Tel: 632 023 978. www.mychefathomespain.com

SÁNCHEZ ROMERO CARVAJAL HONOURED

Sánchez Romero Carvajal, the original brand of Jabugo with 140 years of history, has won 3 Gold Stars and the Superior Taste Awards for its 100% Iberian Acorn-fed Ham, Chorizo and Salchichón, awarded by the International Taste Institute. i www.sanchezromerocarvajal.es 179 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021


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WORDS PHILIP HARRIS PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF MONASTRELL

MONASTRELL SPAIN’S GLOBETROTTING GRAPE

For years I laboured under the misapprehension that Monastrell was the Spanish equivalent of the French grape Mourvѐdre. Was it because my earliest encounters with it were French, or the fact that France enjoyed a dominant status not afforded to other countries? It should of course have been the other way around. SCENE-SETTING The first historical recording of Monastrell appeared in Spain about two centuries before it was taken to France. The grape also gives its name to a New World favourite – Mataro. Jancis Robinson MW wrote back in 1986 in Vines, Grapes and Wines that a definite link had yet to be established. Her 2012 book, Wine Grapes reveals its true history and that much has changed over 25 years. First mentioned in Catalonian Empordà in 1381, it is thought its name derives from Monastriellu, the diminutive for monastery. However, most of the vineyards surround the Levant regions of Jumilla, Yecla, Bullas, as well as Alicante. One thought is that it originated from Sagunto in Valencia, whose Catalan name is Camp de Mourvѐdre.

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From there it was introduced to France, namely Provence. Another is that it came from the Catalan town of Mataró, from where it was subsequently planted in the southern French region of Roussillon. Either way, one can see where the differing names spring from. The vine was introduced to Australia from Roussillon by James Busby in 1832 and was later planted in California in the 1860s as part of the Pellier Collection. In both countries it bears the name Mataro, although more recent offerings in California are now likely to be called Mourvѐdre.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION Monastrell is a hardy varietal, not particularly fussy about soil, although it thrives on sand and limestone. Many of the Jumilla vineyards survived the


dreaded phylloxera which ravaged Europe’s vineyards. If there is no clay in the soil, phylloxera can’t take hold, although a bout as late as 1988/9 hit some of Jumilla’s sites. It is quite resistant to many vineyard diseases and pests and is late-budding and ripening. However, its thick skin needs heat to achieve phenolic ripeness. This applies to the skin, as opposed to alcoholic ripeness which refers to the must. The problem is achieving balance – you

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need heat for the skin, but too much of it raises the must’s sugar content, thus causing high alcohol levels when fermented. Its juice is generally quite alcoholic and can be flabby, although growers are now harvesting earlier to retain its acidity and using cooler fermentation.

IT COULD HAVE BEEN A CONTENDER Like its proud Spanish counterpart, Garnacha (and yes, that grape too existed before the French Grenache) its juice can be surprisingly pale before maceration (steeping). When comparing the two, Monastrell is blunter and capable of long ageing, but was deemed to be a workhorse grape. Conversely Garnacha/ Grenache was considered a thoroughbred. Therefore Monastrell was largely used in blends, applying its muscle to them. Other factors against Monastrell were a tendency to produce astringent or reductive

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wines and to throw a strop when grafted onto rootstock. Garnacha has neither of those problems. In the mid 80s, Monastrell was the most planted red variety after Garnacha. Strangely though, since its reputation has grown, its vineyard percentage has decreased and is now behind Tempranillo as well. That said, all of these varietals still lag behind the white Airén…


REDEMPTION Chronic under-investment usually plagues more rustic regions than those which the market has chosen to favour. Sadly the costs of equipment don’t discriminate between the haves and have-nots, so it’s a brave enterprise that battles for a useful but solid grape in an unfancied region. Luckily Monastrell had some doughty standard bearers in the Castaño family in Jumilla and the La Purisima Co-operative in Yecla. Their work and dedication has led to the Murcian government establishing new rules back in 1995 encouraging wines under their autonomy to contain at least 85% Monastrell. Internationally,

Domaine Tempier in Provence (fabulous Rosés), the Californian maverick Randall Grahm and the Australian Charles Melton have pushed Monastrell/Mourvѐdre/Mataro

to the fore. The latter two with their Rhone influenced GSM blends – Grenache, Shiraz/ Syrah, Mataro. Look out for the Castaño label, as well as Estio and Iglesia Vieja from La Purisima, but many consider Juan Gil in Jumilla and Rafael Cañizares of Bodegas Volver in Alicante to be Monastrell’s newest heroes. Try the unoaked Honoro Vera and the Silver Label (12 months in oak) from Juan Gil and the Tarima Monastrell (also available as Orgánico) and Triga (85% ungrafted Monastrell and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon) from Volver to see why. Happy Drinking! e

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