Essential Magazine, August 2022

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ANDALUCÍA - SPAIN

N º 273 - AUGUST 2022

essential

He C T A W -pag on OS VIDE

MARBELLA

VIRGIN

VOYAGES

ANNE

HATHAWAY ASTON MARTIN VALHALLA HYBRID

FINCA CORTESIN

AND SON NET LUXURY

WATCHES

SAILING ON A CATAMARAN

HOUSE OF FLOW

BENAHAVÍS THE BEACH

LA RESERVA

MIAMI VIBES

SWIMWEAR 2023 - P164

W W W.E S S E N T I A L M A G A Z I N E.C O M I T R AV E L I T R E N D S I C U LT U R E I LIFES T Y L E I P R O P E RT Y I G O U R M E T


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Luxury villas

NEXT TO EL CAMPANARIO GOLF & COUNTRY HOUSE BEST AMENITIES AROUND I 10 MIN TO THE BEACH BETWEEN MARBELLA & ESTEPONA

PRICES FROM

990.000€

Focus on Excellence JUNIO2022.indd 1

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contents

ESSENTIALS

22 Publisher’s Letter GO TO SPOTLIGHT

32 Virgin Voyages

48 Son Net, New Sister Hotel to Finca Cortesin

58 Club Catamaran Les Rivages 68 Luxury Watches 78 Virtual Clothing 88 Photovoltaic Energy 100 Aston Martin Valhalla Hybrid 106 Car Classics

146

114 Anne Hathaway 122 Radio Daze GO TO TRENDS 128 Hot New Films 132 Cool New Series 136 New Book Releases 140 What’s Cool

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GO TO LIFESTYLE 146 Timeless Design in the Marbella Hills 158 SAGA Homewear 164 Miami Vibes — Swimwear 2023 172 Emotional Support Animals

GO TO SPA 174 Armani Beauty 178 BioDrip

206

GO TO ENTERPRISE 182 Business News 192 The Vibe

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198 Darryn Welch and House of Flow

GO TO GOURMET 206 La Reserva Club The Beach 212 Gourmet Bytes 218 Pablo González of Hotel La Bobadilla 220 White Wines

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El Madroñal

7 BEDS, 7 BATHS BUILT 920 M , PLOT 5.511 M 2

2

7.800.000 € | E&V ID: W-02PGOV

www.marbella-ev.com | marbella@engelvoelkers.com


Sierra Blanca

4 BEDS, 5 BATHS BUILT AREA 522 M², PLOT 1.108 M2

4.950.000 € | E&V ID: W-02NFRO

www.marbella-ev.com | marbella@engelvoelkers.com


Bespoke elegance. Privacy and exclusivity Beds 6 Bath 6

Built 1.258 m2 Plot 5.294 m2

Price: 5.950.000 € Ref: DM3200-02

This elegant residence is set within La Zagaleta, the most exclusive gated residential resort with 24h security, two golf courses, equestrian centre, helipad and concierge services, all surrounded by nature; only 9 kms from Puerto Banus and 15 kms from Marbella centre. Designed by renowned local architects, the bespoke villa has been crafted to engage with the mountain scenery. Floor-to-ceiling windows and numerous balconies frame the landscape bringing light inside across the three levels of the house. The layout offers generous accommodation with six en-suite bedrooms, several reception rooms, a formal dining room and an office. The lower level hosts a spa area with heated pool, gym, sauna and steam room; a games room with home cinema and a self-contained apartment with independent entrance.

As Marbella Luxury Real Estate specialists for three decades and exclusive representatives of Knight Frank for the Costa del Sol, we are committed to offering our clients the best property portfolio, excellence in service and a completely secure experience when selling or buying a property.

Over 384 offices in 51 territories


Mediterranean charm. Countryside living with sea views Beds 7 Bath 7

Built 920 m2 Plot 5.438 m2

Price: 7.800.000 € Ref: DM4979

A home full of character in El Madroñal, a gated community of villas offering peaceful countryside living with 24h security, in close proximity to all amenities and 9 kms from Puerto Banús. Situated on an elevated southfacing plot, it enjoys far reaching views of the surrounding hills and the coast The property has been recently renovated whilst still maintaining many of the original features of a Spanish Cortijo. It is distributed around a central courtyard with a fountain. Bedroom suites are found in all three levels of the villa with spacious living areas and many terraces to enjoy al fresco dining. Indoor amenities include a gym, sauna, steam room, games and t.v. room. Outdoors, a large heated swimming pool and impeccable garden with mature trees.

Marbella Av. Cánovas del Castillo, 4 - Tel. 952 765 138

info@dmproperties.com DMproperties.com


OTTO 20.000.000€ LOS FLAMINGOS GOLF BED 12, BATHS 12, PLOT 3.223 M2, BUILT 2.470 M2

DISC OV ER

M A R B E LL A ´S

L ARG E ST

S EL EC T I O N OF TU RNK E Y V I LL AS I N P RI M E LOCATI ONS

NUEVA ANDALUCÍA BED 5, BATHS 5, PLOT 1.109 M2, BUILT 599 M2

OLIVOS 8 3.595.000€

LAS BRISAS BED 4, BATHS 4, PLOT 1.171 M2, BUILT 350 M2

VILLA ROMA 3.995.000€

B L V D . P R I N C I P E A L F O N S O VO N H O H E N L O H E , M A R B E L L A C L U B H OT E L , O F F I C E 1 0 , 2 9 6 0 2 M A R B E L L A , S PA I N


OLYMPUS 27.500.000€ CASCADA DE CAMOJÁN ‑BED 9, BATHS 10+3, BUILT 2.449 M2 , PLOT 4.674 M2

E X C L U S I V E L Y

W I T H

P R O P E RT Y D E V E L O P E R S & A DV IS O R S

NUEVA ANDALUCÍA BED 4, BATHS 4+1, PLOT 1.038 M2, BUILT 435 M2

NUEVA ANDALUCÍA BED 5, BATHS 3+1, PLOT 800 M2, BUILT 373 M2

AURIGA 1 3.300.000€

T:

+ 34

9 5 2

7 6 5

0 6 0

M :

+3 4

BELLEVUE 3 3.250.000€

6 27

813

545

IN FO @S O LVILL A .ES

SO LVILL A .ES


Issue 273 – August 2022

STAFF

PUBLISHER & DIRECTOR IAIN BLACKWELL director@essentialmagazine.com DIGITAL & CREATIVE DIRECTOR ANDREA BLACKWELL andrea@essentialmagazine.com

DID YOU KNOW? THOUSANDS SIGN UP TO RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER EVERY MONTH WITH HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR LATEST STORIES. KEEP IN TOUCH WITH MARBELLA! S IG N U P NOW !

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ASSOCIATE EDITOR MARISA CUTILLAS marisa@essentialmagazine.com DESIGN & LAYOUT ANDREA BLACKWELL, INMA AURIOLES design@essentialmagazine.com OFFICE ADMINISTRATION MÓNIKA BÖJTI essential@essentialmagazine.com WRITERS IAIN BLACKWELL (JAMES SINCLAIR), ANDI BLACKWELL (MADDIE QUINN), GILES BROWN, MICHEL CRUZ, ALICIA DUGGAN, SAM HEXTER, KAROLINA KIVIMAKI, ANDREW LINN, GAËLLE MOUSSET, TONY WHITNEY editorial@essentialmagazine.com KEY ACCOUNTS MANAGER ADRIANA VILLA ACCOUNTS EXECUTIVE MARIANO JEVA cuentas@essentialmagazine.com STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER KEVIN HORN www.photographermarbella.com PRINTING JIMÉNEZ GODOY A. GRÁFICAS, MURCIA DEPÓSITO LEGAL D.L. MA-512-99

LOOK OUT FOR THE SEAL! MEMBER OF

EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING OFFICES COMPLEJO LA PÓVEDA, BLQ. 3, 1º A, CN 340, KM 178, 29600 MARBELLA, MÁLAGA. TEL: 952 766 344. INFO@ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM

READ OUR DIGITAL EDITION WITH ENHANCED LAYOUTS, INTERACTIVE LINKS AND ON-PAGE VIDEO CONTENT!

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www.essentialmagazine.com CONDITIONS

The publishers make every effort to ensure that the magazine’s contents are correct, but cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information published herein, or be held accountable for any errors, omissions, or claims for damages. Marbella Magazine cannot accept responsibility for the claims, goods or services of advertisers, or for the copyright of materials used by them. © Publicaciones Independientes Costa del Sol S.L. for Marbella Magazine. No part of this magazine, including texts, photographs, illustrations, maps or any other graphics may be reproduced in any form without the prior written consent of Publicaciones Independientes Costa del Sol S.L. Printed on recyclable paper, produced without wood and bleached without chlorine.


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Marbella Hill Club

3.200.000 € | E&V ID: W-02PHNS 5 BEDS, 5 BATHS | BUILT 495 M2, PLOT 1.643 M2

Beachside Marbesa

Paraíso Alto

3.990.000 € | E&V ID: W-02OIED

2.550.000 € | E&V ID: W-02PU7Y

5 BEDS, 6 BATHS | BUILT 735 M2, PLOT 1.266 M2

4 BEDS, 4 BATHS. BUILT 838 M2, PLOT 1.586 M2

Frontline Beach, El Rosario

Frontline Beach, Los Monteros

1.995.000 €| E&V ID: W-02JBER

2.150.000€ | E&V ID: W-02L1VS

3 BEDS, 3 BATHS | LIVING AREA 239 M2, TERRACE 96 M2

3 BEDS, 4 BATHS. LIVING AREA 256 M2, TERRACE 203 M2

www.marbella-ev.com | marbella@engelvoelkers.com


Frontline Golf Los Naranjos

4.750.000 € | E&V ID: W-02OM5T 6 BEDS, 5 BATHS | BUILT 597 M2, PLOT 1.430 M2

Altos Reales

Monte Mayor

3.900.000 € | E&V ID: W-02PH0W

2.750.000 € | E&V ID: W-02PJTY

5 BEDS, 6 BATHS | BUILT 496 M2, PLOT 1.284 M2

6 BEDS, 7 BATHS | BUILT 766 M2, PLOT 4.046 M2

Frontline Beach Golden Mile

Frontline Beach Puerto Banús

2.750.000 €| E&V ID: W-02ONL9

2.750.000 € | E&V ID: W-02JKFG

2 BEDS, 2 BATHS | LIVING AREA 164 M2, TERRACE 91 M2

5 BEDS, 5 BATHS | LIVING AREA 419 M2, TERRACE 128 M2

www.marbella-ev.com | marbella@engelvoelkers.com






D WORDS BY IAIN BLACKWELL PUBLISHER

THE HEAT IS ON!

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elcome to the August edition of essential which, like the weather, is almost too hot to handle in terms of searing content. We step aboard Sir Richard Branson’s new Mediterranean Virgin Voyages and experience the pleasures of going to sea in a catamaran. Back on dry land, marvel at the new Aston Martin Valhalla Hybrid, and relive iconic cars from yesteryear on their special anniversary years. Find out why there is an explosion going on in the luxury watch market and see how trying on clothes virtually is changing the industry.

22 / AUGUST 2022 ESSENTIAL MAGAZINE

Enjoy our exclusive interview with Anne Hathaway. We also talk with Darryn Welch, owner of Hustle n’ Flow about his new baby, House of Flow. Rene Zimmer presents a stunning new hotel project in Mallorca and Giles Brown delivers some amusing anecdotes about his life as a radio presenter. Finally, don’t miss our report on The Beach at La Reserva Sotogrande, the place to be this summer.

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“ROLL OUT THOSE LAZY, HAZY, CRAZY DAYS OF SUMMER” NAT KING COLE 146

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DESIGNED FOR BETTER LIVING Each design-led home at Vista Lago will be quite unlike anything that has gone before. All 18 villas, as well as the furniture and fittings in them, are different from each other. The commonality they share are the breathtaking views across the Mediterranean Sea to Gibraltar and Africa beyond.

SEE MORE

BUILDING LICENSE APPROVED · CONSTRUCTION STARTED prices on application | (+34) 648 981 111 | info@by-bright.com | vistalago.es


The view from your sofa at Vista Lago Residences


antimahomes.com / @antimahomes


Antima is a family run property developer creating one of a kind private residences. — Sign up for our newsletter or follow us on instagram @antimahomes to stay in the loop on current and upcoming developments. Antima is represented by Solvilla.es please call +34 627 813 545 for sales information.

antimahomes.com / @antimahomes


1971

Class of 2022 This year’s International Baccalaureate Diploma exam results are better than ever with 100% pass rate and 9 students scoring over 40 points. Special congratulations go to Roni Masri who gained a full marks score of 45 points (achieved by only the top 1% of students worldwide). The featured students gained over 40 points, putting them in the top 10% of IB students worldwide, while almost 50% of students scored 37 points and above, which would typically put them in the top 22% of students worldwide. This was a tremendous result in the school’s 50th Anniversary Year. These students now leave us perfectly prepared for the next phase of their lives. The IB Diploma continues to be the Gold Standard in Sixth Form education and we look forward to another 50 years of success.

ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE. PASTORAL CARE. EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT JS SI advert IB 2021 vDPS V2.indd 1

22/7/22 13:15


45 points

44 points

44 points

Roni Masri

Nabil Aldihni García

Samuel Reque Gallego

43 points

42 points

42 points

Mencía Castaño García Valdecasas

Lucía Solé Bravo

Felipe Bilder Cordero

42 points

41 points

40 points

Severino Bonvini

Mia Gale

Pauline Desbiolles

Congratulations to the whole graduating class of 2022 who will now take up their offers at universities around the world, including the University of Toronto (on a scholarship), the University of Bristol, Durham University, NYU in New York, IE, ICADE and Complutense in Madrid, among others. (38 points is equivalent to 3 A grades at A level)

DEDICATED TO TEACHING AND LEARNING FOR OVER 50 YEARS JS SI advert IB 2021 vDPS V2.indd 2

22/7/22 13:15


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spotlight

FANCY A LUXURY CRUISE AROUND THE MED OR A DAY AT SEA ON AN AWARDWINNING CATAMARAN? INSTEAD, HOW ABOUT CRUISING DOWN THE HIGHWAY IN THE NEW ASTON MARTIN VALHALLA HYBRID OR AN ICONIC CLASSIC CAR FROM YESTERYEAR? CHECK OUT LUXURY WATCHES AND VIRTUAL CLOTHING.


CULTURE TRAVEL HISTORY MOTORING 32 Virgin Voyages 48 Son Net, New Sister Hotel to Finca Cortesin 58 Club Catamaran Les Rivages 68 Luxury Watches 78 Virtual Clothing 88 Photovoltaic Energy 100 Aston Martin Valhalla Hybrid 106 Car Classics 114 Anne Hathaway 122 Radio Daze


DSPOTLIGHT SPOTLIGHTtravel cruises DD SPOTLIGHT travel

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NO KIDS, NO KIDDING

VIRGIN CRUISES IN THE MED Cruises are an acquired taste, you either love them or hate them. Being on board with noisy children or pensioner couples and having to select from a buffet every single meal might be your ultimate nightmare. Richard Branson’s Virgin Voyages has eliminated all these hassles and offers an adults-only experience at sea, serving all food à la carte, even breakfast. Add a terrace cabin with a red hammock, over twenty different restaurants, a stunning spa, workout facilities on the deck and great entertainment – honestly, what’s not to love? Karolina Kivimaki gets on board the red Virgin mermaid Valiant Lady.

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s a cruise sceptic, I didn’t quite know what to expect when boarding Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady, the second addition to the fleet, at its homeport of Barcelona. I knew I was in for a different experience when I was handed a red robe bracelet instead of a key card to my cabin. The wristband also acts as a hands-free wallet to pay for onboard purchases and to get a glass of Champagne just by shaking my hand, which activated my location. “When we started Virgin Voyages, we knew we wanted to create something special, unlike anything ever seen before in the cruising world. The result is something I am tremendously proud of,” says Virgin Group founder Sir

Richard Branson. Virgin ships dare to be different, like giant luxury superyachts with interiors for those young at heart. To get that boutique hotel feel, Virgin chose designers who haven’t worked on cruise ships before. Dutch architectural firm Concrete Amsterdam is known for its quirky design details in CitizenM hotels. New York based Roman and Williams worked on the Royalton hotel in The Big Apple and the Ace Hotel in New Orleans, while British designer Tom Dixon transformed the Pullman Hotel in Paris. London based Softroom is known for its highly conceptual London Olympic Park footbridge, and Knibb Design is one of the hottest designer names in LA. ›

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D SPOTLIGHT travel

As I settled into my sea terraced cabin, I couldn’t resist having a quiet moment in the red hammock and taking in the seaview. Most cabins come with a terrace equipped with cosy hammocks, which are handwoven by artisans from Yellow Leaf, a social enterprise that fosters women’s empowerment and community transformation in rural Thailand. Everything in the cabin is well-thought to maximise the space and comfort, including a clever hack of transformable bedto-sofa, making more space to entertain

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friends. The bathroom is equipped with a separate toilet and a spacious rain shower wet room. There’s a night mode of red and purple tone lighting that comes on automatically after sunset. For extra luxury and a VIP treatment, the Mega Rockstar suite will set you back €25.000 for a week and comes with extras like a vinyl turntable and a guitar, a fully kitted out bottomless in-room bar, a massive terrace with sun loungers and a Jacuzzi. All Rockstar suites have access to an exclusive Richard’s Rooftop deck, perfect for relaxation and an aperitif

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to catch the sunset. Touring around the ship, I saw that I would be spending most of my time on the upper deck where all the action seems to be, chilling on the beach club-style sun loungers by the swimming pool at the Athletic Club or in one of several Jacuzzis dotted around the ship. The whole upper deck is designed by Concrete Amsterdam with a

decadent 1920s vibe and a lot of Virgin trademark red. For me as a runner, the real pièce de résistance is the running track that goes around the whole ship, six laps equalling one mile. A well-equipped outdoor gym and a boxing ring offer other ways to burn calories, and a giant net trampoline with nothing but the sea underneath, well, this one is not for the fainthearted. ›


E XC E P T I O N A L S E R V I C E F R O M U S T O YO U .

C H O O S E E X P E R I E N C E D P R O F E S S I O N A L S TO S E L L YO U R PROPERTY WITH THE HIGHEST QUALITY MARKETING We are passionate about our work, and we want to share this passion with you. We provide personal and flawless service to our selling and buying customers. All of our property advisors have a profound knowledge and understanding of the real estate market here in Spain with many years experience. Operating from Malaga to Sotogrande we have access to all the properties for sale along the coast. Our team speaks 20 different languages and also includes content producers, marketing experts, visual merchandisers and photographers.

+ 3 4 6 7 6 9 0 1 5 1 9 I N F O @ S T R A N D. E S S T R A N D. E S


D SPOTLIGHT travel

After a sun-drenched day outside, I was ready to have a glass of bubbly in Sip Lounge, before heading for dinner at Pink Agave, a rose pink-hued Mexican restaurant designed by Tom Dixon. The stunning attention to detail was already evident in the entrance, as I walked through an archway lit up with hundreds of glass bubbles imitating octopus tentacle suckers. Inside, I found myself transported to its vibrant streets with authentic Mexican flavours including Tlayudas, Memelas and Tamales. The corn

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dish Esquites is out of this world, a piece of Mexican home cooking. Instead of wine, I opted for tequila, sampling several different ones curated by a Mezcalier, who is there to create a unique tequila and mezcal experience for the diners. Valiant Lady boasts the largest tequila and mezcals selection at sea, with over 150 varieties. Diners are spoiled for choice with so many different eateries. The Wake, a mid-twentieth century chop-house style restaurant designed by Roman and Williams offers a sophisticated take

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on steak and seafood and a great selection of Champagnes by the glass. Razzle Dazzle, all black and white stripes with red lighting, devised by Concrete Amsterdam, offers a plant-based menu in an American style diner. Purple cauliflower is a must-try dish. Then there’s the laboratory-like Test Kitchen (again created by Concrete Amsterdam), which is a

part cooking school and part restaurant. There’s no menu, only a list of ingredients is provided, making it the ultimate experimental dining experience. In terms of entertainment, there are festival-like line-ups by the likes of New York theatre producer Randy Weiner and Broadway choreographer Sam Pinkleton, a Japanesestyle karaoke lounge (which also multitasks


as a gaming and movie lounge), and The Manor nightclub to dance the night away. Oh, and let’s not forget the Art Decoinspired Redemption Spa conceived by Kibb Design, perfect for detox with a hydrotherapy pool, mud room, salt room, Finnish-style sauna, hammam, cold plunge pools and rejuvenating spa treatments. I’m told that the spa transforms into an evening spa party with a DJ – a mermaid hideaway extravaganza as Virgin calls it. In true Sir Richard Branson style, there are several retail surprises too. A well-stocked record shop, Virgin Vinyl, pays homage to Sir Branson’s Virgin Records which was born back in 1970 and wait for it – a tattoo parlour. Who would have thought of getting a tattoo while on a cruise but it’s proving popular. ›

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D SPOTLIGHT travel

Now to the important bits of the actual cruises. Valiant Lady will be setting off from Barcelona and cruising around the Mediterranean on three different routes all summer until midSeptember with seven-night itineraries. “We are so excited to finally bring our beautiful Valiant Lady to Barcelona and begin her European tour. With her sister ship Scarlet Lady sailing the gorgeous Caribbean seas, the stunning Mediterranean was the dream destination for our next home. From Palma

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de Mallorca to Cagliari or Toulon, we’re thrilled to be able to offer passengers access to some of Europe’s most stunning destinations,” says Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages. Catering for a younger clientele, which Virgin affectionally calls Sailors, and not the typical over 60s, there are longer port stays and overnighters at some of the European party hotspots. Virgin has compiled a comprehensive selection of tours they offer in each location, or you can explore on your own. ›

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D SPOTLIGHT travel

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Every cruise spends one night in Ibiza, perfect to discover hidden gem beach clubs and restaurants or party the night away. Santa Eulalia Bay, 20 minutes-drive from Ibiza town, is worth exploring with its pristine beaches, a picturesque yacht marina and great little boutiques. For dinner, the 40 / AUGUST 2022 ESSENTIAL MAGAZINE

trendy hotspot La Llama (meaning flame), part of W Ibiza, is all about the roaring fire in the open kitchen where each plate is prepared. If you prefer a different al fresco dining experience, the sister restaurant of New York’s il Buco in Ibiza, Bottego il Buco, has launched an on-island

delivery service with Ibiza Runners. Perfect for a deluxe picnic lunch or dinner at your chosen spot on the island. The Irresistible Med cruise heads to the French Riviera, followed by Corsica, the Tuscany coast and Sardinia. The first stop is Toulon, from where it’s easy to pop over to St. Tropez for the day. The next berth is at Marina di Carrara, the region famous for Carrara marble. Opt for Virgin’s guided boat trip to Portofino and Santa Margherita or take a short taxi ride to explore Forte Dei Marmi’s designer


boutiques and Michelin star restaurants. Also, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is less than an hour’s drive away. The following day is spent at the little Corsican gem Ajaccio, with plenty of local delicacies to explore. The journey

continues along the Sardinian coast to the medieval hilltop town of Cagliari. There’s a guided tour to Ferruccio Deiana winery, or if you want to adventure alone, I’ve heard that the restaurant Josto by Pierluigi Fais is a must-try. ›

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D SPOTLIGHT travel

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Spanish Obsession cruises around the Balearic Islands, with day stops at idyllic Palma de Mallorca (where Virgin offers a tour of the famous Coves del Drach in the fishing village of Porto Cristo), Gibraltar, Málaga and Ibiza, before heading back to Barcelona. French Daze & Ibiza Nights stops at Marseille (a perfect day trip to do some sightseeing and sample authentic Pastis), the yachting city of Olbia in Sardinia (head to cobblestoned Corso Umberto lined with wine bars, restaurants and shops), and celebrity hotspot Cannes. Virgin Voyages Mediterranean cruises start from €2.360 per cabin. All food, soft drinks, water, coffee, as well as tips, are included. Also, WiFi and all fitness activities are free. To keep up with the Covid guidelines, there are pre-boarding testing and vaccine requirements, plus a special air filtration on the vessels. i www.virginvoyages.com

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NE X T LE VEL VILL A LU X URY

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tephani Zambrano’s career has been active and intense; a young, American-trained civil engineer from Venezuela, she built up her own company only to have to start all over again in Canada when Venezuela fell to a Communist system and private enterprises were nationalised. “It was tough,” says Stephani, who despite having a Masters in Construction Management found herself to be a woman in a man’s environment. So, she created her own opportunities, working very hard in sub-zero conditions

Z

on Canadian shopping mall and skyscraper building sites while also completing a Project Management degree. It was while working for a large real estate development corporation that she met her husband, and while on vacation in Marbella saw the potential of this region and launched a villa project that she oversaw from beginning till end. “Again, I encountered the same initial resistance, but showed my dedication and perseverance, and eventually earned respect for my knowledge and hard work. Now I’ve built up a tight-knit team

STEPHANI

AMBRANO

LE Y Z AC

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of experts who share my vision,” says the young mum, who can be found on the building site in different colour hardhats that add a sense of fun to the process. This supercharged lady is shaking the market up with a growing portfolio of stand-out modern villas in the €5 million-plus segment in Nueva Andalucía, and a new project involving the development of a €25 million-plus modern mansion in La Zagaleta. “New clients are contacting us because they like the fresh new styles and the way we incorporate design and

technology elements not commonly seen in these parts, including high-end furnishings that are made exactly to the fit of each of the home’s rooms.” Individual branding reflects the uniqueness of each of the villas created by Lavele, whose attention to detail is such that the home’s very own logo appears discreetly in different parts of its décor. “I bring Latin passion and a young, female touch to creating exciting new villas in Marbella.”

What advice would you give to other young entrepreneurs? To be fearless and relentless in the pursuit of your projects, and to know that this kind of drive is what it takes to succeed. Be respectful and maintain a certain humility – you can and will learn from others throughout your life – but don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. If one approach doesn’t work, find a new solution. You’ve got to believe that you can make a difference, and this sense of purpose will show in everything you do and become the driving force of your business.

Do you think there are barriers for women in construction? Let’s face it, there are very few women in the industry, and virtually none on construction sites. When you turn up as a young female to manage a project there will be resistance from the men who work there. They will question your knowhow and your right

to tell them what to do, but you just have to be professional and when needed tough. Before long, they will realise that you know your stuff and that women can add value to any industry, including construction.

How would you describe a Lavele residence? Lavele is a development company that specialises in the design, construction and detailed finishing of villas that epitomise modern luxury. At present, our projects are in Marbella and Toronto. What makes our homes stand out is a very distinctive flair – born out of a passion for design and technology that creates an edge. I believe we look at Marbella homes from a fresh perspective, and it shows in an out-of-the-box end result that is unique and enticing.

What new projects can you share with us? Stay tuned to follow the creation of El Unico in La Zagaleta, a spectacular property that is Marbella’s first curved design villa.

v (+34) 610 315 729 m info@lavele.ca i @lavele.ca

A young woman in a man’s world, Stephani Zambrano has taken Marbella by storm with a new interpretation of luxurious villas for the 21st century.

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Rene Zimmer, Managing Director of Finca Cortesin and Son Net

RENE ZIMMER OF FINCA CORTESIN

HOTELS & RESORTS BREATHING NEW LIFE INTO SON NET MALLORCA PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF FINCA CORTESIN AND SON NET

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way” John C. Maxwell

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The majestic estate of Son Net

Comfortable and stylish country suites at Finca Cortesin

excellent culinary offerings have marked the Finca as one of Europe’s most successful luxury resorts. Today, however, he is heeding the call of a new project. It will see him divide his time equally between Finca Cortesin and Son Net in Mallorca.

T

here are very few projects in a General Manager’s life that take them back home. This gift, however, is one that has come at an ideal time in the life of Finca Cortesin’s Rene Zimmer, who has been at the helm of the Finca since its launch. Previously, Rene had been called to raise the bar for renowned establishments like La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel in Mallorca, and Grand Hotel Europe, A Belmond Hotel in St. Petersburg, Russia. At Finca Cortesin, he has expressed his

perfectionism and passion for client service for over 13 years, ensuring that this serene, naturefilled land estate continues to entice high-end clients from across the globe. Rene’s hard work has given fruit. Even in challenging times like the initial post-Brexit era and the height of Covid, the resort still managed to enjoy full occupancy. The combination of cutting-edge biophilic design, an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Cabell B. Robinson, a 2.200m2 Spa, and

SON NET MALLORCA: DEBUTING IN SPRING 2023 Son Net, located on the soulstirring island of Mallorca, is a stylish, understated, art-filled hideaway located in a private Majorcan estate that dates back to 1672. Nestled in the foothills of the UNESCO World Heritageprotected Tramuntana Mountains and just a 15-minute drive from Palma, this stately manor house was owned by several prominent families and is considered one of the most prestigious residential estates on the island. › WWW.ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM / 49


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Sophisticated country design at the new Son Net

AUSPICIOUS BEGINNINGS Today, Son Net is coowned and managed by the acclaimed Finca Cortesin team. Its partnership with David Stein (who purchased Son Net before converting it into a hotel) prompts the Son Net story to come full circle, since David Stein’s The Stein Group provided advice to Finca Cortesin prior to its opening. Currently, Son Net is being lovingly and meticulously restored

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with caring respect and thoughtfulness and it is scheduled to launch in March, 2023. The hotel will have just 31 suites and will juxtapose elegant, palatial architecture with relaxed, romantic, intimate interiors. Guests will enjoy breathtaking views over the landscape, tranquil strolls through lush Mediterranean gardens, and the uplifting fragrance of citrus orchards. ›


For the ultimate Mediterranean experience

Reinventing Marbella’s boating heritage S AYM AR BEL L A.CO M C H A RT E R & B RO K E R AG E


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The 50m Olympic size pool at Finca Cortesin

PAYING HEED TO TRADITION Son Net is famed for its history and classical design and it will preserve many of its original features – including rustic beams, stone floors and archways, carved wooden ceilings, antique fireplaces, an original 17thcentury interior courtyard, a spring-fed well, and a private family chapel. The Hotel will additionally house a private art collection.

IN NATURE’S EMBRACE Spanning 57,000m2 of boundless private landscape, Son Net will have multiple pools flanked by private shaded cabanas, encircled by impeccably tended lawns and flowerbeds that will give way to an ecological vegetable and herb garden, small farm, and private vineyard. Food will all be locally sourced and the list of gastronomic temptations will feature native orange and lemon 52 / AUGUST 2022 ESSENTIAL MAGAZINE

Arrival at Finca Cortesin

trees growing on the bucolic estate, fresh seafood procured directly from the island, and fresh olive oil tastings from a centuryold olive press. A private vineyard will produce Malvasia white wine, which will, in turn supply a large, open wine cellar and fuel delectable tastings.

A BRAND-NEW SPA Son Net will also boast an entirely new feature: a luxury spa with enticing design features such as warm ochre-hued interiors, detailed tiling, and arched windows that offer a serene view over the mountain ranges. The Spa will boast various spaces – including treatment rooms, a pool, and relaxation areas. It will offer beauty lovers a myriad of facial and body treatments that promote relaxation, turn back the hands of time, and boost recovery after an active day out.

HOMEWARD-BOUND For Rene, spending a good part of his working schedule in Mallorca has an added bonus. He explains, “My family is based in Mallorca and I developed a keen knowledge of the island and its people by working for seven years at La Residencia. My family and I have fantastic memories of Son Net. I have an excellent relationship with Son Net’s great founder, David Stein, which was further solidified when he and his management team gave us input and know-how during the pre-opening process of Finca Cortesin Resort.”

A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS Seasoned guests know that it is very hard to separate Finca Cortesin from Rene Zimmer. The Managing Director has developed friendships with many of the guests and is a favourite among locals as well. He is a well-known figure in Marbella, where he is


reputed for his approachable, people-focused personality. The Finca will not be losing an iota of Rene’s passion and purpose, for he will be alternating his time between both resorts evenly. “It will seem like I have never left Finca Cortesin; on the days I am not there, my capable team will ensure our guests’ stays continue to be a luxury, pampering, relaxing experience.”

WHAT’S NEW AT FINCA CORTESIN? Regular guests of Finca Cortesin know there is always something new to look forward to. Rene and his team are constantly looking to improve, cater to new demands, and present clients with a worldclass experience. Some things are perfect just as they are – think the oasis-like beach club with its vertiginous palm trees, the carefully manicured gardens, the luxurious spa that entices with pampering Thai treatments, four swimming pools, tennis and paddle tennis courts, mouth-watering gastronomy, and of course, traditional Andalusian architecture. Every year, however, you will notice updates, changes, and improvements, thanks in no small part to Rene’s relentless pursuit of perfection.

NEW AT FINCA CORTESIN: REI RESTAURANT The resort recently unveiled a brand-new Asian restaurant called REI, which serves exquisite traditional Asian cuisine, Asian fusion, and Mediterranean-inspired

dishes of the highest quality. In Japanese culture, the name ‘REI’ refers to gratitude, courtesy, and reward. The Chefs work primarily with seafood and raw ingredients and all produce is sourced locally in line with the hotel’s ‘zero km’ ethos. They prepare dishes in a unique open kitchen, where guests can view the young Chef, Luis Olarra, at work. Olarra combines the finest seafood and raw materials with produce grown nearby or in the Hotel’s own vegetable garden, and fish obtained from sustainable fisheries in the local Straits. The menu features signatures dishes such as Galicia Razor Clams in sashimi with a smoked avocado emulsion, lime zest, and yuzu air, finished with pea shoots; Blue Fin Almadraba Tuna Belly Tartar with dashi jelly, flaked with smoked dried bonito and beluga caviar; and Turbot marinated in white miso, cooked in a Josper grill and accompanied by organic seasonal vegetables. The team is inspired by the unforgettable words of Confucius: “If you serve nature, she will serve you.” This is, without a doubt, a uniquely fulfilling time in the life of Rene, who is always up for a big challenge. This time, however, the experience is infinitely more enriching, for it calls him back to a place where he and his loved ones created many cherished memories.

Delectable offerings at REI, Finca Cortesin

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CLUB CATAMARAN

LES RIVAGES

The finest luxury residences on the Costa del Sol come with their own pools and bathing decks set within landscaped gardens, indoor spas with gymnasiums and heated swimming pools, and sometimes even paddle / tennis courts, concierge reception and owners’ club — but the boutique developers of Les Rivages in Estepona and Le Grand Large in Marina del Este, Almuñecar, have taken home ownership on this coast one step further by introducing a private catamaran service. WORDS MICHEL CRUZ PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF CLUB CATAMARAN LES RIVAGES

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Enjoy the sea in style

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t’s a good thing that owners of the luxurious apartments and penthouses at Les Rivages, and private modern villas of Le Grand Large, enjoy a beachfront setting with direct access to the sea, as in addition to on-site luxuries such as a spa, gym and pool club they will

also each co-own a stylish new catamaran, complete with 12 days of free usage throughout the year. “It’s a complementary privilege that comes with buying a property through Les Rivages,” says Michel Dupey, founder and CEO of the French boutique developer that has made such a name

for itself with its offering of fine quality modern homes. “Access is spread evenly among homeowners, each having four days of free usage in each of the high, mid and low seasons, complete with skipper and all on-board amenities.” The initial fleet of two stateof-the-art catamarans › WWW.ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM / 59


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comprises the Aventura 37 – an 11- metre-long double-hull high-tech sailing boat with four luxurious cabin suites, indoor kitchen, dining space and lounge, as well as the catamaran decking that simply spells out a privileged, active lifestyle. “The interiors are modern, tasteful and beautifully finished in the finest materials, the vessels are high-tech and with a width of six metres and two hulls, they are far more stable and comfortable than single-hull yachts.”

A PRIVATE SAILING CLUB The boats are managed and maintained by Club Catamaran Les Rivages, which in addition to organising trips for homeowners within and beyond their 60 / AUGUST 2022 ESSENTIAL MAGAZINE

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personal quota also hires out the catamarans for day groups, events and also longer on-board itineraries and vacations. “The revenue goes back into the club to cover maintenance costs and a return on investment,” says Michel, “and homeowners can also extend their quota by paying for extra days of usage and/or adding optional services such as waiters, chefs and on-board entertainment. Our homebuyers have been delighted by this unusually elegant opportunity to invite and relax with friends, family and business acquaintances.” He leads the catamaran club with business partner François Bellotte, a highly skilled sailor whose many years of experience

as a sea captain encompasses everything from French Navy destroyers, huge tankers and container ships to private yachts and sailing competitions. “What he doesn’t know about the sea and sailing has yet to be invented,” says Michel with a smile, and the two are great fans of the stability, sailing qualities and technical characteristics of the catamaran. “It is the fastest-growing type of pleasure boat exactly because it is so comfortable and enjoyable,” says François, “and out of all the options available we were so impressed with Aventura that we not only chose their Type 37 for the club but have also become the brand’s sole representative for Spain.” ›


Anuncio 230 x 300 Essential CCLR.indd 6

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AVANT-GARDE SAILING WITH AVENTURA Though less than 25 years old, the French boat builder selected by François and Michel dedicates itself exclusively to the design, development, construction and fitting of state-of-theart catamarans that have won a variety of international awards, including ‘Best Catamaran’ within its size category at the prestigious Salon de Cannes in 2021. “In addition to operating two of our own Aventura 37 models, we will be

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selling and leasing the entire range, including a rental management service on behalf of owners,” says François, who will also be adding further models to the fleet of Club Catamaran Les Rivage, including the larger Aventura 45 and the futuristic Aventura 14 powerboat. “The latter is especially exciting, and one of the best of its kind in the world.” As well as with homeowners – who are automatic club members – and private and group/corporate clients, Catamaran Les

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Rivages also works with top hotel groups such as Club Med, for whose Marbella resort (the beautifully redesigned Hotel Don Miguel) it is an important reference on the Costa del Sol. “We’re very pleased to add a rather exciting and

luxury lifestyle service to the range of leisure options on this coast,” says Michel, who offers these vessels of floating luxury with teak wood and soft leather finishing to his homebuyers as part of a series he calls Tierra & Mar –


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land and sea. “It’s a continuation of the luxury lifestyle amenities and concierge service that comes with our properties, such as the 15 villas of La Grand Large, which will be delivered at the end of this year.” The pioneering concept of Club Catamaran Les Rivages adds further elan to the lifestyle-orientated offering of boutique developers such as Michel Dupey, and in the process contributes to the Costa del Sol’s position as a centre of luxury living and well-being. g Avenida de España 3, Estepona. Tel: (+34) 952 937 825.

CLICK TO VISIT www.clubcatamaranlesrivages.com

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LUXURY WATCHES What do a Rolex and gold have in common? Both items maintain and increase their value in times of war and economic and social uncertainty. This fact cannot be denied, given the expansion of the market over the past two years. Indeed, in recent months, we have witnessed a spike in the prices of luxury watches, especially those for men, to the point that some brands simply have little left to sell. If you’re interested in purchasing a Rolex, Patek Philippe, or Audemars Piguet watch, for instance, you may have to be placed on a waiting list for several years before becoming the proud owner of your chosen design. As a result, the second-hand luxury watch market has skyrocketed, and some models are now selling for 10 times the retail price. What factors have caused the vertiginous growth of this market? Let’s engage in a quick analysis of this trend and take a look at some special models. WORDS GAËLLE MOUSSET

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THE EXPLOSION OF A CRAZY MARKET THE EVOLUTION OF THE WATCH CONCEPT Whereas in the past watches were used almost exclusively to tell the time and famed brands like Rolex or Omega were used by specific professionals such as engineers, scientists or divers, today they are often worn for style and

to affirm one’s privileged social status. A luxury watch is not necessarily a sign of good taste, but it is considered to be a signal of success, especially at the professional level. Luxury watches are among the products that best demonstrate the importance of the Veblen effect, according to which certain products sell less when their price falls and

more when they are more expensive. This is the exact opposite of traditional consumer goods, which enjoy better sales figures when their prices fall, and worse ones when prices rise. Luxury watches therefore experience an increase in sales when their prices rise. Many customers of luxury watches are interested

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in these products primarily because they are expensive and often inaccessible to the average person. Simply owning and showing them off is indicative of success and a demonstration that one belongs to an elite group.

THE MADNESS OF A SHORTAGE MARKET The Covid crisis marked the beginning of the price surge in the watch market – a bullish movement that commenced in August 2020, well before the start of galloping inflation. The unstable climate and the fear of losing everything have undoubtedly pushed some

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to invest in tangible assets. Luxury watches are one of them. The watchmakers’ market is facing such a surge in demand that manufacturers are having to refuse customers. Patek Philippe has no watches in stock (the waiting list exceeds 10 years for some models) and Rolex is not even taking any more orders. Moreover, the prices of some luxury watch brands are continuing to rise. If we exclude some speculative models, Rolex prices have risen 147 per cent in 10 years on average,

Audemars Piguet 119 per cent, and Patek Philippe 126 per cent. Since 2021, we have entered an inflationary phase that is pushing watch manufacturers to increase their prices. Breguet has raised its prices by three per cent, as has Patek Philippe. Inflation pushes some people to buy watches today that they will not be able to afford tomorrow. In the short term, inflation will in fact add to the organic growth of the price of luxury watches and make them even more elitist. ›


TAKE A MOMENT

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THREE MODELS THAT ARE WORTH A LOOK The World’s Most Luxurious Smartwatch with Three Bezels: the One Buggati Smartwatch

Priced at $1,299.00, the Bugatti Smartwatch is without a doubt the cheapest item bearing the Bugatti name. It is the product of a collaboration between Bugatti and the Austrian smartwatch brand VIITA. Previous Buggati watches were made by Swiss watchmaker Jacob & Co. and cost up to $1.3 million each, and you must own a Bugatti to buy one. With the Bugatti Smartwatch, that requirement doesn’t exist. Bugatti’s smartwatches come in three distinct styles and form the Bugatti Ceramic Edition One collection. This trio of styles corresponds to the different special editions of Bugatti cars: La Noire, Pur Sport, and Divo. The watch itself is exactly the same, the only thing that differs is the interchangeable bezel. Features include water resistance to a depth of 100m, a 10-day battery life, sapphire crystal, a ceramic case, a five-year warranty, and extreme elegance. All these factors make this watch very special.

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PHASE 2: 10 VILLAS

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Patek Phillipe and the Nautilus Tiffany

From designers uniting with big clothing companies to big luxury fashion brands getting together, collaborations have been taking over every industry, including the watch world. One of the most significant collaborations of 2021 saw Patek Philippe join forces with Tiffany & Co. to give us the coveted Nautilus Ref 5711, with a Tiffany blue dial. This will be the last Nautilus 5711 released by Patek Philippe, which makes it even more interesting. In 1851, the two brands joined forces when the Swiss company wanted to conquer the American market and Tiffany became the first Patek Philippe retailer in the United States. This association was an

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outstanding success and this is the latest Nautilus. Limited to 170 pieces, it celebrates the 170th anniversary of this union. It is obviously distinguished by its dial, which features the famous Tiffany blue. It also highlights the double signature with Patek Philippe at 12 o’clock, and Tiffany & Co at six o’clock. The indexes are black, as on the white dial version ref. 5711/1A-011. Written over the transparent background on the back is the message: 170th anniversary, 1851-2021, Tiffany & Co - Patek Philippe. The case is identical to the 5711/1A-010, with a diameter of 40mm and a thickness of only 8.3mm. The first model was sold to a New York bidder for $5,350,000, making it the eighth most expensive watch ever sold at auction.


Coussin de Cartier, the Watch with a Shape that Deforms When Touched, One of the Revelations of Watches & Wonders 2022.

Part of the Richemont group, Cartier presented some superb new products at the Watches & Wonders Geneva 2022 exhibition. Among them was the Coussin watch. Its case is made of intertwined gold mesh. Inside this flexible grid pattern – entirely paved with precious stones – the watchmaking engineers have integrated an innovative and secret element that allows the watch to return to its original shape as soon as you finish ‘playing’ with it. In fact, feeling the watch react to the touch becomes very quickly addictive. The watch market has not finished surprising us and is undoubtedly in constant evolution, and the second-hand market

is also developing in leaps and bounds. We can consider that watchmaking today is a specialism where marketing and speculation are dominant. While there is a speculative bubble for some models, for others, there isn’t in the least. Investing in luxury watches is therefore very interesting if you go for models that have not been affected by this speculative madness. e

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VIRTUAL

FITTING ROOMS

PHOTOGRAPHY ZYLER, WALMART AND SHUTTERSTOCK

Fashion visualisation with Zyler

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PROFILE PICTURE

ORIGINAL

VISUALISATION

RESTORING POWER TO THE PEOPLE

Online shopping has overcome one of the fashion industry’s biggest challenges – the need for greater personalisation, diversity, and inclusivity. Thanks to innovative AR tech, major fashion brands are making digital shopping more real, dynamic, and egalitarian than ever before. Read on to discover more about the vital synergies being created between tech and fashion. WORDS MARISA CUTILLAS


“Diversity drives innovation – when we limit who can contribute, we in turn limit what problems we can solve”

out fits Sharing l media ia on soc ler with Zy

Telle Whitney

BRIDGING THE GAP ‘try on’ practically any BETWEEN IMAGINATION item they could desire, AND REALITY ranging from suits

E-COMMERCE VS RETAIL SHOPPING: SUSTAINABILITY WARS

Virtual reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are far from being newcomers to the world of fashion. The global virtual fitting room market size was valued at €2.72 billion in 2020 and is expected to enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 25.2 per cent until 2028. Virtual shopping experiences enable customers to

E-commerce is booming, with shoppers currently able to choose from up to 24 million online stores across the globe and an increasing number of shops being launched every day. The penchant for digital shopping was born out of the wish for convenience and the need to save time. These days, however, it

to jeans, and even luxury watches. The technology matches the buyer’s tastes with items having a particular style, colour/ print, and texture. Research indicates that virtual fitting apps can boost customer engagement by over 280 per cent, and increase conversion by more than 30 per cent.

is playing an important role in putting fashion on the road to zero net emissions. Research indicates that online shopping is 17 per cent more carbonefficient than visiting traditional stores. It enables cars to stay off the road, thus promoting cleaner air. It also eliminates the energy consumption (for lighting, heating, and cooling) required to keep retail stores open. ›

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E-COMMERCE WINS, BUT IMPROVEMENT IS IN THE AIR There are, of course, areas in which e-commerce can and should do better to reduce its environmental impact. Weak spots include transport, data use, and packaging. At least 30 per cent of all products ordered online are returned, compared to only 8.9 per cent of items bought in brick-and-mortar stores. Virtual clothing try-on technology can make it easier for customers to order items in their correct size from the word go.

RIDING THE WAVE OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVITY One of the most powerful

forces in fashion and beauty is the push for diversity and inclusivity (D&I). Companies have taken a host of measures to design and advertise items for all body shapes, and genderfluid fashions have hit the industry in a big way. Finally, supply is meeting demand.

THE CHANGING PANORAMA OF FASHION Clothes sizes in wealthy nations have increased significantly over recent years. If the average size for women was 14 a decade ago, today it hovers at between 16 and 18. Waist circumferences have also expanded somewhat, as found in a recent study by researchers

at Boston University. Lead researcher, Neelam Vashi (a Professor at the Boston University School of Medicine), stated that these numbers “represent a potentially changing ‘weight ideal of beauty’ that is moving farther away from the characteristics of the average American woman. However, a constant idealised average waist to hip (WHR) ratio remains intact.” Delve into the health debate if you will, but when it comes to clothing, one thing is undeniable: everyone needs clothes, and fashion that is limited to improbable standards fails to tap into a myriad of potential markets.

Walmart teams up with Zeekit

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AR BOOSTS DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN FASHION The online sites of major fashion brands such as H&M and Zara now feature models of all sizes, genders, races, and ages. It’s fabulous to click on

a site like Shein, select an item you like, and see what it looks like on dozens of people. Shein encourages customers to upload images of themselves wearing their purchases, by rewarding

them points for doing so. The points can later be redeemed in the form of discounts. In the recent past, companies also began using personalised virtual models to provide more inclusive and diverse shopping experiences to their clients. That is, shoppers were able to select digital models with similar body types and skin tones within a virtual dressing room set-up. Current virtual fitting rooms have taken personalisation to the next level by allowing consumers to take the power back from fashion companies and create their own digital identities using their exact measurements, not those provided by retailers. ›

The FXMirror automatically measures body dimensions in real time, letting users switch between items quickly while fitting to their unique body.

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How virtual fashion works with Zyler

VIRTUALLY REDUCING THE RATE OF RETURNS It is estimated that up to 40 per cent of shoppers purchase items in three different sizes, with the intention of returning two of these garments. As reported by Fashion United, brands like Revolve make revenues of over 450 million but have lost over 500 million owing to returns and exchanges. AR technology can reduce this financial burden for companies and in eliminating the hassle of having to organise pick-ups or visits to the postal office to return unwanted items.

HOW DID VIRTUAL FITTING ROOMS START OUT? Virtual shopping commenced with the development of 2D overlays, which were useful

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for determining the general look that a clothing item might have on a buyer. Developments in areas such as 3D body scanning and AR technology reinvented the retail experience. Currently, there are high-tech fitting rooms in a myriad of stores, with brands like Macy’s, Adidas, and Walmart enabling customers to virtually try on clothing, makeup, jewellery, and accessories. Emerging tech company, Zeekit, reports that this service has helped reduce return rates for their partners by an impressive 36 per cent.

WHAT SOFTWARE IS INVOLVED? One thing you might notice when you commence your virtual shopping experience is that there is a wide array

of virtual software that varies greatly in sophistication. As mentioned above, some solutions allow you to view clothes on a digital mannequin with a similar body type to your own. Others invite you to choose from a selection of human models of various shapes and sizes, or indicate your measurements so you can create a personalised avatar. Technologies like YourFit by 3DLOOK, meanwhile, have over 86 points of measurement that can be taken via a speedy body scan conducted via smartphone. This information is then mapped to the brand’s product data, delivering a highly realistic fit experience that gives one a real sense of how good an item will look.


Finding the perfect jeans with Zeekit

AR TECH IS BEING EMBRACED BY NUMEROUS INDUSTRIES

Virtual shopping boosts diversity with Zyler

AR and VR are being incorporated into many additional industries outside fashion. Porsche, for instance, utilises web-based AR and interactive 8D content to take employees on a journey through the brand’s history, and teach them about the construction of cars. Paint brand Dulux, meanwhile has a visualisation app that shows what a customer’s walls would look like in a specific shade. Toyota allows car buyers to glean a better understanding of specific car models

by inviting them to point their smartphones at their chosen car, so they can see how the engine, battery, and other major components work. If you love fashion but don’t have a lot of time, virtual fitting apps enable you to stay on top of your style game without heading to the stores. By creating your own avatar, you can get a pretty good idea of fit and see if an outfit is hitting its mark. Consider it a way to take a little power back when it comes to checking out how items fit, and a means to save time and try on more outfits than you could ever manage at a retail store. ›

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TOP SOFTWARE FOR VIRTUAL FASHION SHOPPING For an idea of how much fun virtual fitting rooms are, check out the following apps, which work with a plethora of brands. They are useful even for those who enjoy shopping at the mall since they help shoppers create shortlists of the outfits that are actually worth the trip to the store to try on. Z GUCCI As far back as 2019, Gucci was already enticing fashionistas with its AR technology. It all began with the luxury brand’s partnership with Wannaby, which was mainly centred on shoes. Today, AR features can be used to decorate spaces and try on eyewear, hats, sneakers, masks, and lipstick. The app is complemented by additional technology, including immersive 3D experiences that enable you to discover specific 84 / AUGUST 2022 ESSENTIAL MAGAZINE

collections. You can also explore the Gucci Garden and visit a growing array of special sites. Z ZYLER A fun app that is so easy to use. Just answer a handful of questions regarding your height and size, upload a picture of yourself, and use ‘sliders’ to adjust everything from your shoulder width to your waist or hip size. Use the Discover button if you like to discover a host of outfits for every occasion from brands running from Karen Millen to Femme Lux. Z PICTOFIT SHOPPPING This app allows you to try on outfits from numerous companies with your own photorealistic avatar. It asks you to provide physical dimensions and scan your face, so you can get ready to build your own virtual wardrobe.

Z GOODSTYLE To use this app, you must take a selfie and specify attributes such as skin type, body type, gender, personal preferences, and other information. It then displays your image in your chosen outfits and shoes. Z WANNA KICKS / ADIDAS If you are mad about sneakers, make it a point to visit Wanna Kicks. It allows you to ‘try on’ numerous models from luxury and affordable brands alike. Just point the camera at your feet and you will immediately get a hyper-realistic view of your chosen shoe. If Adidas is your weakness, take a look at their virtual try-on tool, which is easy to use and which works in the same way as Wanna. Point your camera to your foot and wiggle your tootsies around! e


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BUILT AREA: 489 M2 PLOT: 5228 M2 BEDROOMS: 4 BATHROOMS: 3 PRICE: 2.500.000€ The house is set on two plots guaranteeing the fabulous views. On the ground floor we find the living room with a separate TV area, the wonderful country-style kitchen that is it is fully equipped, with plenty of space for dining and entertaining. There are also 2 ensuite bedrooms, each of them with access to a terrace. Upstairs is the master suite with dressing room, 2 separate terraces and an office/ library which could also be used as a 4th bedroom. There is a two-car garage and a patio with access to the laundry room. The villa offers underfloor heating throughout by heat pump, and air conditioning in the master bedroom. Furniture is included in the purchase price.

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LIGHT UP THE WORLD WITH

PHOTOVOLTAIC

ENERGY

After decades of talk and relative inactivity, the world finally seems poised to make the shift to renewable energy sources. Naturally, this process will in itself take several decades to complete, with solar power one of the main sustainable energy sources we’re currently betting on. But just how much potential does it have to take the world where it needs to be? WORDS MICHEL CRUZ 88 / AUGUST 2022 ESSENTIAL MAGAZINE


O

ne of the most talkedabout sources of renewable, sustainable and clean energy is solar power, but what exactly goes into the process of producing electricity this way? Firstly, solar energy can be used for heating as well as generating electricity, and the technology used for the latter revolves around the photovoltaic process by which solar rays captured on devices such as solar panels are converted into electric power with the use of

semiconductor materials such as silicon. The concept was originally developed by Canadian inventor George Cove, who created the world’s first solar electric generation equipment over a century ago – almost 50 years before Bell Labs produced the first industrial prototype. By the 1990s, the technology was ready for commercialisation, and got a major boost from the first large-scale installation in a Japanese brownfield in 1994. Since those early days, when

expensive solar panels limited the potential of the technology, it has really taken off, with the economies of scale reached reducing prices by 90% within little more than a decade, though costs have again spiralled during the latest bout of inflation. For all that – and the hundreds of thousands of panels that have been installed on the ground, on rooftops and even as part of solar farms – solar energy still supplies little more than 2% of global electricity demand. ›

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CHALLENGES

HOW IT WORKS The essence of solar power generation is the conversion of light into electricity, a process by which solar panels – or rather, the solar cells they are made up of – catch the sunlight that hits the earth’s surface and feed this energy into an electric grid, be it a localised one or the greater power grid. Though they operate best at an oblique angle, solar panels can be mounted on the ground, fitted to a wall or attached to a flat or sloping roof, as is often the case. They can be fixed in one position or follow the sun with a ‘solar tracker’ for optimal productive hours. Solar energy is therefore a renewable and sustainable energy source that is free of CO2 and other harmful emissions, though the latter does occur in the manufacture

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and installation of its main elements, including the solar panels themselves. The main material used as the semiconductor, silicon, is abundant and cheap to produce, though others, such as silver and polysilicon are more costly. Production is highly scalable and in recent years new advances in the technology and equipment that underly solar power have greatly improved output and efficiency. However, certain problems remain, not least of which are the environmental cost of the infrastructure and the fact that the solar panels – which have a useful lifespan of 10-30 years, cannot be recycled. Though the energy generation itself is clean and renewable, solar power as a whole does come at a cost. ›

These and other factors explain why, for all its almost limitless potential, solar power has lagged in third place among renewable energy sources, behind hydroelectric and even wind power. The latter seems so much more cumbersome and has many of its own shortcomings – not least of which are the unsightly ‘wind farms’ themselves, but even so it outperforms solar in both investment/ funding and output. One problem solar power shared with Aeolic (wind) is the irregularity of production – basically, electricity is produced when there is sunlight/ wind and nothing is created when there isn’t. This compares very unfavourably with conventional power stations, which produce as much or as little as we want, and if need be, 24 hours per day. It creates a massive supply, storage and distribution headache for electricity companies that they have not had to deal with before. ›


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D SPOTLIGHT energy

back to CONTENTS Up to now, power storage has been a problem for renewable energy

Solar panels on rooftops – the best way to use an otherwise dead space

New home battery systems are becoming ever more efficient

The above explains why solar power has so far enjoyed limited growth, given its enormous potential, and why it is still not that much of a large-scale form of electricity supply, and more of a localised source, based upon the installation of solar panels on the roofs of individual homes and buildings, which feeds into a local grid powering the electricity needs of the home, office or warehouse. 92 / AUGUST 2022 ESSENTIAL MAGAZINE

Any overproduction is sold into the grid, but so far this has been resisted by energy companies.

FUTURE POTENTIAL In 2019, global solar power production was 665 gigawatts (GW), a fraction of what is possible, yet some core problems will have to be resolved before this renewable energy can truly take off and be produced on the kind of

scale it deserves. That said, there is nothing wrong with the model, which sees local production in homes and buildings being stored in ever more efficient batteries and used to satisfy local needs, with the remainder fed to the grid. In fact, the trend to create solar farms on acres of open land, let alone prime agricultural resources, is a dangerous practice that harks back to an antiquated


TOP 10 PV COUNTRIES IN 2019 (MW) Installed and Total Solar Power Capacity in 2019 (MW)

Data: IEA-PVPS Snapshot of Global PV Markets 2020 report, April 2020

industrial revolution way of thinking. Put simply, it is not environmentally friendly – which is the whole purpose of solar energy – wasting precious land when there are so many rooftops available on which to place solar panels, out of sight and better positioned to feed into the grid. New battery storage and power distribution systems will have to be developed, but more localised

production reduces costs and energy loss in transport, while new research is also opening up other, more cost-effective and/or efficient forms of producing solar-powered electricity. At the moment, they include thin-film PV, which uses a new semiconducting material, perovskite, and the advent of more attractive solar rooftiles that are lighter and more flexible than roof panels. › WWW.ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM / 93


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It would be a waste to cover nature and valuable agricultural land in glass panels

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LOCAL IMPLICATIONS The majority of engineering production not surprisingly takes place in China, with much of the technology coming out of places such as the USA and Germany, where the relatively sunny

city of Freiburg leads the way in research, investment and production on a continent where countries such as Spain have such a huge natural advantage that it shouldn’t take long before Andalucía,

and indeed the province of Málaga, become major European producers of solar power. If successful, this could spark a valuable tech sector at the heart of the Costa del Sol. e

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D SPOTLIGHT motoring

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ASTON MARTIN VALHALLA HYBRID SUPERCAR When two Formula One teams get together to create a supercar the results are bound to be something special and that’s certainly the case with the Valhalla, a new hybrid exotic that’s the fruit of a collaboration between Aston Martin and Red Bull racing. WORDS TONY WHITNEY PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF ASTON MARTIN

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Q

uite how the two great racing rivals got together to initiate this project is something of a mystery, but the resulting sports car is proving to be well worth the effort. This is not Aston Martin’s top sportster, the Valkyrie holds that vaunted spot, but the manufacturer points out that it’s more usable as an everyday car. The Valhalla is Aston Martin’s first series-production midengined supercar. As a plug-in hybrid with a big V-8 at its heart, the car won’t quite please EV purists, but it’s certainly a highly practical proposition with no range anxiety for owners to suffer from. It’s a sleek and slippery styling job with just a hint of Aston Martin around the nose. This will be a limited production model, but the 999 units promised by Aston Martin would seem quite generous. › WWW.ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM / 101


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The source of the Valhalla’s remarkable performance figures is a mid-mounted AMG-built 4.0-litre V-8 with dual turbochargers. AMG, a division of Mercedes-Benz, produces some of the worlds most respected performance powerplants for road cars and also supplies the Aston Martin F-1 team. Supplementing the V-8 is a 150KW/400V battery hybrid system that contributes 204-horsepower to the total of 950. Transmission is an 8-speed automatic with manual override and the car features all-wheel drive. The Valhalla will run to 130 km/h in electric-only mode but

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the range is only 15 km, so most driving is intended to be done with the seamless hybrid system working continuously. The basic ‘tub’ of the car is fabricated from carbon fibre, as is the engine cover. There are almost no straight lines in the bodywork at all and the Valhalla is a mass of compound curves adding up to a car that most will agree is sensational to look at from any angle. The famed Aston Martin badge appears in several places and the words ‘Aston Martin’ are writ large across the rear of the car. The opulent interior

includes all the features buyers expect nowadays, including infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Audio. There’s also blind spot monitoring – probably essential for the driver of a car like this. The seats are fixed in place with differing driver heights taken care of using pedals that adjust fore and aft. Cabin stowage space is expectedly limited, though better than many supercars. There’s some luggage room up front and more stowage room behind the seats. There’s even space to stow the charging cable. ›


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D SPOTLIGHT motoring

The Valhalla is a bold move by Aston Martin but a necessary one. Aston Martin’s range of elegant sports coupés and convertibles are well known and will continue to enjoy a robust demand, but for companies in the exotic car segment and boasting an F-1 team, a supercar like this near the top of the range makes good sense. There is the multi-million

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euro Valkyrie of course, but that cannot really be considered a volume production product and will be built in tiny numbers. Aston Martin hopes that the Valhalla will sell strongly, hence the high production figure, and looking at the spec sheet and styling, there’s no reason to think the company is on the wrong track. The cars should reach customers sometime during 2023. e

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Z ENGINE: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V-8 plus two electric motors, 950-horsepower total. Z TRANSMISSION: 8-speed DCT automatic. Z ACCELERATION: Zero to 100 km/h in 2.5-seconds. Z TOP SPEED: 350 km/h. Z I LIKED: Superlative styling in every way. Like nothing the brand has ever done, yet still an Aston Martin. Astonishing performance in all respects. Added torque and economy boost associated with hybrid powertrain. Choice of Mercedes-AMG as an engine supplier

Z I DIDN’T LIKE: Limited EV only range. Stowage limits grand touring capability. Z MARKET ALTERNATIVES: Ferrari 296 GTB, Ferrari SF90, McLaren Artura, Lamborghini Countach, Honda NSX. Z WHO DRIVES ONE? Aston Martin enthusiasts who’d like a supercar from the marque but won’t run to the astronomical price tag of the multimillion euro Valkyrie. Z PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: Estimated €720.000. Orders now being accepted for 2023 delivery.


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MOTORING

MILESTONES THE PINNACLE PAST This year marks some significant anniversaries in the motoring calendar; with three iconic cars, each acting as a momentous generational punctuation mark in the timeline of the motorcar. Each is somewhat different to the last, and all present something unique. To this day, they offer a perfectly distilled time warp back to their respective eras. To start this retrospective ride, we’re taking a trip to a small town called Abingdon, located just south of Oxford, England, to commemorate a true British motoring icon… WORDS SAM HEXTER PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF THE RESPECTIVE MANUFACTURERS

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SWINGING 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MGB Over its expansive 18-year run from 1962 to 1980, the MGB cemented itself into the archives as arguably one of the most quintessentially British motoring marvels of the last century. These dainty sports cars offered way more than a one-sizefits-all approach, with a vast array of configurations on offer over its lifespan. Early models sported a solid 4-cylinder, upped to a 6-pot in later versions. Body types ranged from sleek two-seat soft tops to a tin-top coupe and even a 2+2 GT version that featured a punchy V8. The little feature-rich MGB was packed full of potential. 1965 was the year the MGB finally reached its most beautiful form, in the guise of the GT. Designed by famed Italian coachbuilder, Pininfarina, the GT boasted a refined and highly elegant design. In its new skin, this British-born grand tourer would evolve to be dubbed ‘the

poor man’s Aston Martin’, but that sounds like nothing but a compliment. And ironically, later in its life the MGB roadster would go on to be driven by Ian Fleming’s fictional super spy in The Man with the Golden Gun, piloted by Roger Moore in 1974. But by the late 1960s, the MGB began to struggle under the British Motor Corporation, with more affordable and better performing cars from Japan now proving irresistible to the expansive US market. Cars like the Datsun 240Z put many European automakers on notice, and BMC bosses thought they had just the solution to add

some more spice to the mixture for this plucky two-seat sports car. Their answer was a massive V8. The catalyst was the merger between MG and Rover, operating under an offshoot of AustinMorris. Rover’s lightweight aluminium V8 was perfectly suited to the MGB, providing ample power to this dainty chassis, which would now see 100km/h in 8.5 seconds – hair-raising stuff in 1969. After just a few years in production, the company decided to drop the 3.5-litre V8 from the MGB, making them a reasonably rare find in today’s market thanks to modest production numbers. ›

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Fancy yourself behind the wheel of one of these baby Bond cars? The UK market has plenty on offer for brave buyers. A 1960’s Mk 1 in solid condition, the most desirable of the bunch, will set you back around £25,000. But if you want something a little more ‘hands on’ and in need of some attention, you can pick up one of these British beauties for as low as £5,000 – or less if a working engine isn’t a requirement. There’s still a huge love and appreciation for the MGB in many owner and enthusiast communities across Europe, and it’s not hard to see why. These beautiful little barchettas still hold so much feeling on the road and offer a gateway to serious motoring nostalgia at very attainable levels in the current market. Despite something of a rocky past, the MGB will go down as a true staple in motoring history. ›

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30 YEARS OF THE MCLAREN F1 From one quintessentially British motoring marvel to another: few cars stir the soul quite like this one. Born in 1992 and limited to just 106 road-legal cars, making it one of the most exclusive cars in the world today, this all-new McLaren spawned a new era of road-ready racers. Adorning the bedroom walls of many a keen petrolhead, the F1 was something truly unique and a

car for the ages. Designed by the automotive legend, Gordon Murray – now responsible for a spiritual reprisal of the F1 in the GM T50 and T33 – the F1 ushered in some radical new changes and proprietary technologies that were distinctly McLaren. Boasting a futuristic threeseat layout and central driving position – something not seen again until the unveiling of the marque’s 1,040bhp Speedtail – the F1 was just as soul stirring


Jarlat Maletych / Shutterstock.com

on the inside as it was on the out. The orchestral section sat neatly behind the three-person cabin was the real delight; a stonking 6.1-litre V12 engine that produced 618hp and 479 lbs of torque, giving all occupants an other-worldly induction noise fitting to its performance. Mated to a snappy gated 6-speed manual transmission, the F1 would see 100km/h in just 3.2 seconds. And for almost three decades after its inception, the McLaren F1 still to this day holds the record for being the fastest naturally aspirated production car ever made – this mighty McLaren could reliably push on to a ballistic 391 km/h. For reference, that’s faster than the Virgin

Hyperloop One bullet train, in something with the same length wheelbase as a modern Ford Focus. It’s an engineering marvel. On the outside, the F1 was elegant and distinctive. Hidden within its sweeping lines were ducts and vents, teased delicately out of view. McLaren’s motorsport lineage was adorned all over the car, from the Le Mans-inspired lights to the iconic central hood scoop that would draw in cool air from over the hood to feed that mighty BMW-derived V12. In all, the F1 was an awe-inspiring instrument of great theatre, and represented the pinnacle of progress in a roadgoing motorcar. It roused the interests of a new

generation of out-of-the-box thinkers and would go on to pave the way for some of the most incredible supercars, as well as all

the new-fangled hybrid hypercars we celebrate today. The McLaren was the benchmark, and in many ways, still is. ›

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FERRARI ENZO TURNS 20 From one true ‘poster car’ to another, the Enzo, like the McLaren, represented the apex of design and engineering for its time. In the eyes of many, the Enzo remains to this day one of the best-looking Ferraris ever built. Loaded with aggressive, angular lines and long, sculpted panels, the Enzo made the most of Ferrari’s latest Formula One technology, and featured a full carbon-fibre body, ceramic composite disc brakes and active aerodynamics. The mantra of the Enzo was to truly

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push the boat out on what would be capable in a road car, and it certainly achieved that ambition, and then some. In similar fashion to the McLaren, the Enzo appeared decades before everything went turbocharged and featured another monstrous naturally aspirated V12. Capable of clocking 100km/h in a mere 3.14 seconds and reaching a staggering 355km/h, the Enzo truly made its mark in motoring history – as did its namesake, Ferrari’s own founding father. This ferocious new

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Ferrari was revealed at the Paris Motor Show in 2002, and upon its public debut, was completely sold out. ‘Invitations for purchase’ were sent to an exclusive list of existing customers who had previously secured an F40 or F50, and production numbers were exceedingly limited – with just 493 production units ever to be sold. Ferrari was up against some stiff competition from its rivals at the time too. Hot on the heels of the Enzo just a couple of years later came petrol-powered monsters like the supercharged

Mercedes-McLaren SLR and the Porsche Carrera GT, packing that sublime V-10 engine. As there has been many a time in the company’s history, it was critical for Ferrari to get the Enzo right. And they delivered. The Enzo went on to provide the development platform for the formidable homologation special, the Maserati MC12, lending its chassis, transmission, and engine to its younger sibling. And yet despite sharing so many integral components, the only visible shared exterior part, is the curved bubble


windshield. The Enzo would also provide the starting point for its advanced development program, and paved the way for the incredible €1.3 million Ferrari FXX – but that’s an entirely different proposition altogether. Cast your mind back to 2002 and the Enzo would have set you back around €550.000, had you have been lucky enough to have your name on Modena’s list of VIPs. If you fancy getting

your hands on one of these automotive icons today, you’re looking at an average auction price in the region of an eyewatering €2.5 million. Which is hardly surprising, given this was to be Ferrari’s final naturally aspirated, mid-engined supercar. There’s no denying it, the Enzo is dripping with cool and looks just as fresh today as it did rolling out of the factory 20 years ago. Icon status: achieved. e

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t y jus tly, a w a Hath up. Firs o e n n A ’t add meone s n s e do can so lented how emely ta also be supr beautiful arth and and wn-to-e nd what s so doming? A kindnes char bout herthat is it awarmth ury in a e and es such f r of onlin evok ll numbe the sma iduals – indiv

E N Y N A A THAW A H med a n y l uous The truthar g i b unam-haters? r-old Osc Hath e 39-yea bly is too t is, th er proba wood, bu winn for Holly bination nice his com and e it is teeliness that mak of st erability mpelling vuln uch a co her s rmer. perfo

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W

ith a career that has involved playing roles such as a Disney princess, Catwoman and a 19th century French pauper, we ought to think twice before trying to place the mercurial star in a box. “I think versatility is probably the most important thing when it comes to surviving in the movie industry,” she begins. “I am lucky in the sense that I’ve been offered roles that move across various different genres, but also the fact that I’m perhaps too easily bored when it comes to doing the same things all the time. “I couldn’t ever imagine being one of those actors who is happy to stay as one type of character over the course of a career.” Versatility in recent years for the New York-born actress has also meant embracing motherhood. Since son Jonathan arrived in the world in March

2016, followed by brother Jack three years later, Hathaway has become regarded as a

endured more than her fair share of setbacks on the road to building a family with actor,

passionate and caring soul whose greatest role yet is as a mum. By her own admission, it seemed that for someone who had

producer and jewellery designer husband Adam Shulman, the end destination was finally worth the journey. “I did feel as if it

was in some way a reward for some of the nasty stuff I had been through,” she says. “Of course, we all have setbacks and challenges, and the world doesn’t differentiate these on how many social media followers you have or how much money you’ve got. “Yet, for once, I felt like I had something that was totally and completely mine, was flawless and perfect, and that no-one else had a claim on, apart from my partner! My son was beyond the realms of the industry noise and that has been such a perfect, reliefgiving feeling.” With the arrival of children, you immediately sensed that none of the fog that accompanied Tinseltown was ever going to matter again for the actress. In bringing her boys into the world she had discovered purpose and importance far beyond learning lines on a script. ›

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Professionally though, Hathaway cannot stop. In 2022 she has no fewer than three films out – Armageddon Time (as Esther Graff, in a coming-of-age story about the strength of family and the pursuit of the American dream), Sesame Street (a brave reworking of the iconic kids’ TV show) and drama/mystery Eileen – as well as well-received TV mini-series We Crashed. And with a flurry of other cinema releases in production, the amiable Hathaway looks set to be reaching her most creative point yet, despite the rigours of home life… and that’s saying something for someone who has clocked up more than 60 movies across a 20-year service to the industry.

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How are your current projects shaping you? I feel I am being as ambitious and as broad as ever despite having so much else going on in my life. Covid and the various lockdowns have created a situation where so many movies have ended up being concertinaed together, but that’s okay… providing people don’t get sick of the sight of me! What’s your process these days for choosing and assessing a script? There is no set process, per say, but I think the best scripts are those that I read and really can’t work out. It’s about choosing stuff that, in whatever way, pushes the boundaries of filmmaking… so

trippy, totally left of centre – the sort of thing that will make me fall back in the love with why I do this… something that teleports me to another, visceral experience. Esther is that in its entirety – it’s a very strong and engaging story. It’s real people in real places in real situations, and that feels very exciting for me. Do you find it easy to portray dark, challenging characters, as well as the funny, light ones? Certainly, because we’ve all been to dark places as people. That’s inevitable – it just is. We all get down, despair, wonder will it get better, and it inevitably does. I’m making it sound much worse than it has been in the past, but we’re all the same, life’s a rollercoaster.


Do you reprioritise when you have children? Being a mother has certainly made me reassess so much of what is important – and what isn’t – in my life. Alcohol and hangovers are strictly out – it just feels so wrong now to leave that mark. With both of my pregnancies it took so much to go through fertility and pregnancy issues, so when you emerge out the other side there is a feeling of really wanting to protect everything you’ve invested so much in. Any bad side? Certainly, as a parent, you realise it’s a hard life with a lot of guilt and self-loathing thrown in there. I try not to beat myself up about things I did or didn’t do, about the way I have lost my temper… but it is very difficult, and I think I am improving. It’s a journey. › What has parenting given you? There is just something about having a child that makes you go

‘I don’t care, I’m going to be happy, and I’m going to make choices that make me happy’, and that goes right the way through to the movies I choose to make. I don’t think I necessarily knew how to be happy, or I was trying too hard to be happy. Having a child gives you that perspective, and I am so grateful for that. Fight scenes are my favourite because I’m such a tomboy. Any time I get the chance to do them, I’m into it! Even when I was pregnant with Jonathan, there was still so much I wanted to do, but I knew I had to hold back. Now in returning to work I feel I can look for roles once again that offer a physical side – I feel I am exploring new ground again, and that’s a great feeling for an actor. Who has been your favourite actor to star opposite? I’ve said it before, but Matthew McConaughey is just a very easy guy to be around. It’s so easy

when you’re working with people who don’t take themselves too seriously. He is, of course, an actor of incredible stature, but he’s one of those people who expresses that stature in the roles he plays and the performances he turns in, not in his day-to-day demeanour. What I also admire about Matthew is that ability to reinvent. I know a lot of actors talk about stepping outside of genres and playing about with different characters and different styles, but you watch some movies and you know the actor is really someone else much different to the person they are playing. With Matthew, I’ve always found him totally believable, totally absorbed, in whoever he is playing. ›

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D SPOTLIGHT people

So is being an indemand star and a parent to two a tough juggling act? You seem to be making it look impossibly easy… I was so fearful that I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant, it wasn’t the easiest journey and it’s something I wanted for a long time, but it happened and my children are here, so everything after is a gift. The experience has just made me want to push on and I would never dare complain about the workload. I feel incredibly lucky, as an actress and a mum, so I just go with it.” Someone told me the other day you were teetotal… that must help! No, god no. I am not [laughs]. Before I went to college, maybe, but then I went to Vasser, I let loose, maybe went a little further than I should have sometimes. It was never out of control but yeah, I think most people are shocked to learn I’m not teetotal, far from it.

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Emily Blunt said she used to un-focus her eyes to play drunk. What was your trick? I don’t know if she did the same but what I found very helpful in those scenes where I’m playing drunk, who’s trying to be sober [laughs], before they’d say action, I’d spin around in a circle as many times as I could and when they’d say action, I’d be in this very disorientated, wobbly space and I’d attempt to walk in a straight line. Which is impossible. It worked [laughs]. You seem happier and content, in yourself now? I’m very happy with how my life is evolving. I’ve figured out that I don’t have to stress myself as much and can just enjoy everything more by being true to who I am. Your honesty is very warming. It’s just I’ve realised over the years that you don’t ever want to look like you’re trying too hard, and I know I do sometimes, or at least, I did. But then I figured

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out that I don’t have to put on an act, and I can still be appreciated just for who I am in my own awkward, contradictory, messed-up self. I don’t try to hide behind some façade that isn’t me. Does being settled make you look back on past relationships and experiences? I do like to reflect because it proves to you how far you have come. I guess every relationship is different. Sometimes you fall in love very hard and sometimes it takes time to develop. I remember many years ago when I was at a low point and a stranger entered my life and we had this fairly intense time together even though it didn’t last very long. Unfortunately we wound up going our separate ways and we no longer have any contact, but he had this incredibly positive impact on my life, and it was one of those relationships that changes you for the better. In general, though, a relationship becomes

real once the initial glow wears off and you each start to reveal yourself and become much more open. That’s when you’re going to find out if it’s going to last. Ultimately, I am very lucky with who I fell in love with… a keeper, so I kept him. He was smart enough to know I still had a lot of demons to battle and gave me my own time and space. What’s next? A return to music? Music is a big part of my life and always has been. As a young girl I sang in choirs and trained as a soprano. I also sang in an acapella group in college. My mother also toured the country with Les Mis and music and musical theatre was a huge part of my upbringing. I would often listen to Evita in my room and imagine myself as Eva Peron singing on Broadway, but I always associate music with performing and acting and I realised a lifelong dream when I played Fantine [in Les Misérables, for which she won an Oscar].


And you can play the guitar, right? I know a few songs like Sea of Love that I can play on the guitar and feel pretty comfortable at it, but I don’t see myself ever becoming some sort of folk singer [laughs]! Also, songwriting is not one of my skills. What about comedy? Sure, I do love and will always love doing comedy. I’m a big fan of stories that explore relationships and try to understand what brings people together as lovers or friends. Humour is a great way of presenting those… of finding a way in. Is acting still as much fun now as in your teens when you were starting out? I don’t think it will ever not be

fun – it is a constant journey, as much about yourself as it is the character you embody. I love that thrill, always have and I’m sure always will. For as long as people want to watch me then I will carry on performing, because it is such a pleasure and the most exhilarating thing I think I could possibly do. What I will say is variety is important to me in how I move from one role to another, but to have the role in the first place is the ultimate thing for me, and despite the things I have been through I do always consider myself very fortunate. Bringing my children into the world and sharing all those magical experiences with them has been the best story I’ve ever told. It has been a pleasure in almost every way.” e

“I’m very happy with how my life is evolving. I’ve figured out that I don’t have to stress myself as much and can just enjoy everything more by being true to who I am” WWW.ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM / 119


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D SPOTLIGHT radio

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Ever wondered what it is like to present a radio show? Giles Brown, Marbella’s man behind the microphone, lets us in on a few secrets from the studio…

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ike so many things in what is laughingly referred to as my career thus far, I fell into radio by accident. A decade ago, I was editor of a glossy magazine that reported on the good, bad and frequently extremely ugly goings on of celebrities in Marbella. This was at the height of The Only Way is Essex fever, and so mainly entailed the exploits of Arg, Joey Essex, Gemma and other intellectual heavyweights as they partied with a seemingly inexhaustible array of soap stars, footballers and assorted WAGs and Influencers. Pulitzer Prize winning journalism it wasn’t. It did, however, lead to me being invited to provide a weekly

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guest slot on Talk Radio Europe, discussing who was doing what to whom, where, and frequently for how much. As the shy and retiring person that I am (stop sniggering at the back) I took to radio like the proverbial fowl to water and was ultimately asked if I would be interested in hosting my own show. Being the solitary type of person who spends most of his spare time sitting in a darkened room, talking to himself and playing music, hosting a live radio show, where you sit on your own in a darkened room, talking to yourself and playing music, required very few new skills. Although on air you are merrily wittering away to several

thousand people – or at least you hope you are. One of my first shows was a weekend late night slot, where the audience seemed to be made up entirely of old rockers who had been on the ‘vino collapso’ all day – you know, the ones that come in cartons – and would call in, somewhat ‘over refreshed’ and ask for Judas Priest. Eventually I progressed to shows where I had the opportunity to interview live guests. The way it normally works is that the interview subject has a biography or autobiography to publicise, so is perfectly happy to chat for 20 minutes or so. Anyone who has lived in Marbella for


connection at an airport, including writing Good Times and having David Bowie sit on the end of his bed playing the acoustic version of a song he had just written, Let’s Dance. a considerable amount of time has the necessary skill set to conduct these interviews as we have all had those friendly half hour conversations with strangers, normally at the bar, that go along the lines of “where are you from, what do you do?” There are some interviews however, that you must do your homework for. Interviewing former ministers such as Jack Straw, Lord Howard or Geoff Hoon, or the then British Ambassador Simon Manley, required considerable research if I wasn’t to appear more clueless than normal. Even then, some interviewees can be difficult. Columnist Peter Hitchens dismissed me out of hand, while another British journalist claimed that I had been curt to her husband when I called to check

she was still available for her live interview (I hadn’t). She took me to task for my perceived rudeness in no uncertain terms 30 seconds before we went live. Needless to say, it wasn’t one of my favourite interviews. On the other hand, some celebrities have been a joy to talk to. Being a complete petrol head, I was a little bit nervous about interviewing ex Formula 1 winner and now Sky Sports commentator Johnny Herbert, but we talked all things motor racing for 45 minutes. Long Way Round star, Charlie Boardman was a genuinely lovely bloke who confessed that he couldn’t wait to get on a motorbike and blast up the Ronda road. The great Nile Rodgers from Chic told me story after story as he sat waiting for his

AND THEN THERE WAS EVA LONGORIA… I have a thing about pint sized Latina pocket rockets and especially the Desperate Housewives star. I was once having a conversation with a friend about changing surnames when you get married. “If I married Eva,” I famously said, “I wouldn’t care what I was called. I’d be happy being known as Fluffy Longoria.” And hence a new nickname was born. So, I was more than a little excited when I actually got to interview Eva at a Press event for the Global Gift Gala. I was cool, calm, collected and totally professional, until the moment that she sat down across from me. ›

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D SPOTLIGHT radio

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Suffice to say that she is one of those stars who are so beautiful that you find yourself grinning insanely and asking the most banal questions. Not only that, but for some inexplicable reason my left leg decided to start shaking at the beginning of the interview in a strange and deranged Riverdance manner. At least she had the good grace to smile, answer my questions and pose for a photo with me, rather than just reaching for the taser and zapping me. The Festive Season is also one of my favorite times to be on air. Not because I am awash with Christmas Cheer, but there is usually a huge supply of chocolate in the studio. Being virtually impossible to have live guests on the show, I tend to present ‘Best of’ compilations that involve me saying, “Here’s an interview that I did earlier this year,” pressing the

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play button, making another coffee and deciding whether I should plump for hard or soft centres. The Christmas morning show is without doubt the best of the year. The listeners are always in a good mood, as they are normally on the second Bucks Fizz of the day. My first Christmas Day broadcast was a little more harrowing, however. I threw open the phone lines and started to take calls from listeners thanking me for the show, as they were on their own and I was the only English voice they would hear that day. I finished that first twohour stint a blubbering mess. Finally, there is ‘Viewpoint’, the current affairs phone-in show where listeners get a chance to air their opinions on the issues of the day. It is obviously a live show, and by that, I mean that when I open the phone lines I have absolutely no idea what the caller is going to say.

It can make for some, ermmm, ‘interesting’ listening. What with Brexit, Trump and the Coronavirus pandemic, I have had to field the whole spectrum of theories, from the straight down the line scientific to the ‘world being run by a cabal of subterranean shape shifting lizards’ school of thought or even one declaring that Life is a Pina Colada. I have also come in for a fair amount of flak when I cut the wilder calls short, as I am then guilty of being part of the dreaded Mainstream Media and of being an on-air dictator. Guilty as charged, although I do see myself as more of a broadcasting Fidel than Fuhrer. There was one call, however, that left me and the guests in the studio in hysterics. The caller was ranting about immigration – always one of my favourites from the expats out there – and was complaining that young men were moving to ‘places like Birmingham’. He was getting more and more enraged. “They get themselves in the benefits system,” he spluttered. “Are given free council houses,” he went on, turning redder. “And then they bring over their families. “You know,” he lectured me. “Their villages and all their ELK!” I think he meant ilk. But at that point I was on the studio floor, doubled up in laughter with visions of herds of majestic moose striding along Birmingham’s Bullring. e



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trends

TAKE SOME TIME OUT OF THE HEAT AND THE BUSTLE AND CATCH ONE OF THE LATEST BLOCKBUSTERS, START A NEW SERIES, OR BECOME ENGROSSED IN A NOVEL THAT YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO PUT DOWN.


CINEMA SERIES MUSIC NEWS 128 Hot New Films 132 Cool New Series 136 New Book Releases 140 What’s Cool


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HOT NEW

MOVIES MACK & RITA

» Director: Katie Aselton (The Freebie) » Genre: Comedy/ Drama » Actors: Wendie Malick, Diane Keaton, Elizabeth Lail Mack Martin is a 30-year-old homebody who has always felt old beyond her years. She reluctantly joins her friends at a bachelorette party in Palm Springs and partakes in a mysterious ‘ritual’ that sees her body transformed into one of a 70-year-old woman – that of ‘Aunt Rita’! She must find a way to jolt herself back into her more youthful state and learn to make the most of her youth.

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NOPE

» Director: Jordan Peele (Get Out) » Genre: Science Fiction/ Horror » Actors: Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun If you’ve seen the films Get Out and Us, then you know that director, Jordan Peele, is no less than a maestro of the horror genre. Nope sees him team up once again with young actor, Daniel Kaluuya – the convincing lead of his first big hit, Get Out. It tells the story of two siblings (OJ and Emerald Haywood), who live on a ranch and whose father passes away after mysterious objects start falling from the sky. His children aim to capture video evidence of other mysterious occurrences with the help of a documentarian and a salesman.

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NOT OKAY

» Director: Quinn Shepard (Blame) » Genre: Comedy/ Drama » Actors: Zoey Deutch, Dylan O’Brien, Nadia Alexander Danni Sanders is a youngster who would do anything to be famous – including faking to be the survivor of a deadly attack. She is quickly transformed into the darling of the media, but soon learns that online notoriety comes with a terrible price. In the age of social media, influencers are just as likely to build a huge fan base as they are to be surreptitiously cancelled and lose it all in a second.

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SECRET HEADQUARTERS

PAWS OF FURY: THE LEGEND OF HANK

» Directors: Rob Minkoff (The Lion King), Mark Koetsier (20 Lives) » Genre: Animation » Voices: Ricky Gervais, Michael Cera, George Takei, Mel Brooks, Samuel L. Jackson Hank is a little dog who has been down on his luck and who can’t seem to excel at anything. He dreams of becoming a samurai, striking it lucky when a wise cat mentor, Jimbo, agrees to help him. Hank will have to put the skills he learns to the test, for an evil feline called Ika Chu is ready to terrorise the four-pawed creatures in Hank’s village and drive them all away.

» Directors: Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (Catish) » Genre: Action/ Adventure » Actors: Owen Wilson, Walker Scobell, Michael Peña Teenager Charlie Kincaid discovers a secret headquarters under his home that seems to belong to a superhero. He shows it to his friends, and they conclude that the owner of this hideaway is none other than Charlie’s father. If Charlie can solve this mystery, he can experience the adventure of a lifetime and get to know his dad better. e

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TOP SERIES

TO CATCH THIS MONTH There are so many top-quality series this month. Marisa Cutillas brings you a list of favourites that are as highly praised by critics as by audiences.

THE SANDMAN

Netflix

» Creators: Neil Gaiman (Stardust), David S. Goyer (Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D), Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman) » Genre: Fantasy » Actors: Tom Sturridge, Gwendoline Christie, Vivienne Acheampong In 1916, Morpheus, the King of Dreams and one of the seven Endless (a family of beings from the DC Comics universe) is captured during a secret ritual. After being imprisoned for 105 years, he escapes and sets out to restore order to his kingdom of the Dreaming. The Sandman was one of the first few graphic novels ever to be on The New York Times Best Seller list and it has been described by writer, Norman Mailer, as “a comic strip for intellectuals.”

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HOUSE OF THE DRAGON

HBO Max

» Creators: George R. R. Martin (A Song of Fire and Ice) and Ryan J. Condal (Hercules) » Genre: Fantasy » Actors: Paddy Considine, Emma D’Arcy, Matt Smith This highly awaited prequel to Game of Thrones tracks the beginning of the end for House Targaryen. It takes place two centuries before the War of the Five Kings and delves into the battle between siblings. The question everyone wants answered is: ‘Who will rule on the Iron Throne?’

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LOCKE & KEY S3

Netflix

» Creators: Carlton Cuse (Lost), Meredith Averill (The Good Wife), and Aron Eli Coleite (Daybreak) » Genre: Fantasy » Actors: Darby Stanchfield, Connor Jessup, Emilia Jones This is the third and final season of Locke & Key – a series that bridges the divide between fantasy, drama, and horror. Based on a comic book series, it tells the story of a family that moves from Seattle to Massachusetts to take residence in a mysterious home after the family patriarch passes away. The children soon discover that the house contains various keys that can be used to unlock doors and unleash magical forces. They also become aware of an evil force that is searching for the keys for its own demonic purposes.

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INDUSTRY S2

HBO

SURFSIDE GIRLS

Apple TV+

» Creators: May Chan (A Happy Balance), Julie Sagalowsky Diaz (The Shannara Chronicles), Alex Diaz (The Shannara Chronicles) » Genre: Fantasy » Actors: YaYa Gosselin, Miya Cech, Spencer Hermes-Rebello For Jade and Sam, summer is all about surfing and catching a few rays. All that changes when they meet a ghost and they are invited to solve a mystery involving a pirate and a cursed treasure.

» Creators: Konrad Kay (Gregory), Mickey Down (You, Me and the Apocalypse) » Genre: Drama » Actors: Myha’la Herrold, Marisa Abela, David Jonsson Fray The London-based series about the cut-throat banking industry is back for a second installment. The new season will continue to display the ‘work hard, play hard’ philosophy that predominates in the industry while delving a little deeper into the motivations of each of the main characters. When Season One ended, Harper had decided to stay in her high-pressure firm instead of joining Sarah on her quest for a more inclusive, less stressful corporate culture. She also experienced conflict with her best friend when the latter caught her selling a colleague out for her own gain. Harper also continued to hide the truth about a traumatic experience involving her brother. e

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AUGUST IS HOT, BUT THESE NEW TITLES ARE HOTTER! 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

LOVE AND OTHER HUMAN ERRORS BY BETHANY CLIFT Despite finding romantic love and relationships a bit pointless, Indiana Dylan has created Tru, a data harvesting program that matches you to your perfect soulmate. The person who will be your ideal partner, no matter what life throws at you. However, when Indiana pitches Tru to the bosses at dating app JaneDoe, she is pressured into proving the efficacy of the soulmate program by going through the process herself. Set in the nottoo-distant future, this quirky and unusual romantic comedy story explores ideas of love, human error, loneliness, friendship and happiness. Filled with wonderful characters and a brilliant dog, Alan, Love and Other Human Errors is a heart-warming and humorous summer read.

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RUN TIME BY CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD The bestselling author of 56 Days is back with a psychological thriller about life imitating art. Adele Rafferty is an out-of-work actor on the verge of leaving acting for good when a dream job comes her way. She is offered the lead in a horror film being shot in her home country, Ireland, when the previous actress pulls out at the last minute. Adele jumps at the opportunity to reignite her career, however, when she arrives at the isolated film set in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees and devoid of phone reception, the whole thing takes on a sinister hue. Between the script, the book it is based on and the film, this is a story withing a story withing a story, with the lines being blurred between fiction and reality. Are the strange events and mishaps on set real, or is Adele slowly losing her mind? A dark, atmospheric, and entertaining read.

DO NO HARM BY ROBERT POBI Ex-FBI Agent Lucas Page is an astrophysicist, polymath, professor, and all-round genius. He can recognise patterns that most people are oblivious to. Having lost an arm, a leg, and an eye in the line of duty, Page left the FBI to focus on a life of academia. When his wife Ellen, an esteemed surgeon, loses her friend, also a gifted surgeon, to suicide, Lucas Page begins to consider the number of friends Ellen has lost over the past year. All medical professionals, they have lost their lives in freak accidents and now suicide. As Page gathers clues and information on the deceased doctors he realises there is a pattern, and his wife is likely to be the next victim. An exciting and fast paced mystery for fans of David Baldacci and Daniel Silva.

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THE SEVEN MOONS OF MAALI ALMEIDA BY SHEHAN KARUNATILAKA Colombo, Sri Lanka, 1989. War photographer, gambler and closet gay, Maali Almeida, has woken up dead in some sort of afterlife customs office. His dismembered body is already making its way to the bottom of the Beira Lake. In a country ravaged by civil war, dealing with death squads, suicide bombers and thugs for hire, the list of people who could have killed him is endless. However, Maali doesn’t have the rest of his afterlife to figure out what happened. He has seven moons to find a way to contact the people he loves and help them discover his secret stash of photos that he is sure will cause uproar in Sri Lanka. A witty and engaging satirical novel.

THE 6:20 MAN BY DAVID BALDACCI Thirty-two-year-old Travis Devine boards the train to Manhattan at 6.20 every morning. He works as an entry level financial analyst at a prestigious investment firm, Cowl and Comley, where he puts in long hours, six days a week. A former army ranger, Devine had risen to the rank of Captain before quitting to retrain, get his MBA and enter the, not entirely satisfying, world of finance. However, his tedious routine is disrupted when he receives an anonymous email telling him that his colleague and former girlfriend, Sara Ewes, has been found dead at their office, the victim of an apparent suicide. Travis doubts that Sara would take her own life and as the NYPD and the FBI reach out to him his suspicions are confirmed: Sara was murdered. To the NYPD he is a suspect, to the FBI he is a tool. They want him to uncover shady goings on in Cowl and Comely. With The 6:20 Man, Baldacci has produced an action-packed and suspenseful thriller. e

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w TRENDS what’s cool

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? l o o c s ’ t wha COMPILED BY IAIN BL

ACKWELL

ER 23 M AN S SP RI NG/S UM M ime Flamboyant designer, Ja tion from Álvarez has taken inspira southern his roots growing up in mer Spain for his Spring/Sum ans 23 proposal. The new M es vibrant Collection, which featur wing silks colours and prints on flo cently and prime cotton, was re lassical showcased at the neoc rid. Palace of Villalís in Mad ar.com i www.mansconceptwe

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SP OR T LE XU S EL EC TR IF IE D ted its new Electrified Lexus successfully debu l cent Goodwood Festiva Sport Concept at the re prototype, on its first of Speed in the UK. The ide of Japan since its public appearance outs tracted crowds of unveiling in December, at days of the festival, admirers during the four m the press. and garnered praise fro i www.lexus.com TI ON S OT IIM A GL AS S SO LU en Pocket Solution, OTIIMA, presents its Hidd with a number of design which has been regaled e firm specialised in awards. The Portugues sign demonstrated sophisticated window de thermic performance, its higher acoustic and ntributing to achieving with better isolation, co optimal living spaces. window.com i www.muchmorethana

N EW BM W X1 ty ready to enjoy the spor Climb aboard and get w ed efficiency of the ne dynamics and optimis n rsions. The combustio X1, available in three ve ulsion power and engine gives more prop e Plug-in Hybrid offers fuel economy, while th greater sustainability, unlimited freedom and an rists, the iX1 promises and, for all-electric pu 430 km. emission-free range of i www.bmw.es

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SILVERSEA SILVER ENDEAVOUR Silversea Cruises recently welcomed Silver Endeavour, one of the world’s most luxurious expedition ships to its fleet. Specifically designed to take travellers to the most remote destinations, including the two polar regions, the Silver Endeavour will enter service in November for the 2022/2023 Antartica season. i www.silversea.com HOTEL EMPERADOR MADRID Cool off in the Capital’s hot summer temperatures in the rooftop pool of the Hotel Emperador while enjoying the spectacular surrounding views. From this vantage, the hotel offers guided ‘tours’ of Madrid’s skyline, with information on all the most notable structures in sight, both ancient and modern. i www.emperadorhotel.com

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CARTIER NEW COLLECTION Cartier celebrated its latest collection of fine jewellery with a dazzling gala dinner at the Palacio de Liria in Madrid in the company of a host of Spanish

celebrities. The evening featured a cocktail with a parade of models dressed in sparkling jewellery, a sumptuous dinner, and a live DJ set to follow. i www.cartier.com

OSBORNE – 250TH ANNIVERSARY King Felipe VI was the guest of honour at the recent commemorative act held to mark Osborne’s 250th anniversary. Ignacio Osborne, President of the company and Fernando Terry, CEO, accompanied his majesty on a tour of the celebrated winery, presenting milestones throughout its 250 years history. i www.osborne.es

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lifestyle

CHECK OUT THE VIBRANCY OF MIAMI SOUTH BEACH-STYLE SWIMWEAR AND THE ELEGANCE OF SAGA HOMEWEAR. TAKE A TOUR THROUGH A CONTEMPORARY VILLA IN THE MARBELLA HILLS, AND LEARN ABOUT EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS.


INTERIORS ARCHITECTURE ART FASHION SPA 146 Timeless Design in the Marbella Hills 158 SAGA Homewear 164 Miami Vibes — Swimwear 2023 172 Emotional Support Animals 174 Armani Beauty 178 Biodrip


d LIFESTYLE décor

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Architectural trends come and go, but when a home is well laid out and proportioned – the product of a labour of love in which dimensions, practicality and aesthetics are all in gorgeous harmony – it becomes a timeless gem that forms the basis for true quality of life.

TIMELESS DESIGN IN THE MARBELLA HILLS WORDS MICHEL CRUZ PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF CHARLY SIMON

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n an age of plentiful contemporary architecture that can at times be a little repetitive, you will find a home that fits the above description to perfection in the hills above Marbella. Just a short distance from the Marbella Club Golf Resort’s equestrian centre and overlooking the meandering golf course, Casa Calma occupies a private domain that looks across an amphitheatre of hill views down to the sea. The views are as spectacular as the setting is peaceful, yet ten minutes will take you to the main amenities – shops, schools, beaches and more, with a golf course and its clubhouse and restaurant on your doorstep. From here, Benahavís, Estepona and San Pedro Alcántara are all close by, but while the diversions of the coast are within easy reach, the country club environment surrounding the home offers absolute peace and privacy in a very natural, rustic setting. ›

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ARCHITECTURAL HARMONY As befits a home of quality, you cannot immediately tell if Casa Calma was built last year or is one of those fine examples of an earlier modern home. It has all the hallmarks of a pure architectural villa whose style, quality and dimensions withstand the test of time and give it an enduring appeal that never fades away with fads and fashions. This lies as much in the wonderful distribution of this

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house as it does in the fine taste that has gone into its dimensions, materials and detailing. But Casa Calma is also a property that balances form and function, i.e. beauty and practicality, as very few homes can do. Many a Marbella villa is stylish and impressive, endowed with a full list of amenities yet then lacking in functional details. Architects are not famous for the latter, but this home is the product of a collaboration between the designer and the

owner, who used his experience in building villas to ensure the home would be as convenient as it is attractive. Follow the driveway up to a courtyard and you have the choice of a large five-car garage on ground level or a spacious three-car carport. The main entrance reveals the flow of the home around a central patio that floods it with natural light, cooling breezes and a Zen-like green space complete with orange trees and the trickling water of modern ponds and fountains. ›


E INTERIOR DESIGN

SHOWROOM MARBELLA Opening hours

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A V D A . B LV. P R Í 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 Mon-Fri: 10:00-14:00 16:00-19:00 Sat: upon appointment 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 tall entrance hall leads on to a large open-plan living area that includes a top-end Gaggenau kitchen with large bar/island and dining room, separated from the living room by a modern gas fireplace. Quality materials abound in a space that receives natural light from the patio and the sliding doors that open out on to a panoramic terrace. Pop art is visible throughout the villa, including the full collection of Campbell’s Soup cans by Andy Warhol. Even the mounted and low-mounted floor heaters

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are a design feature paired with functionality, and they go well with the comfortable sofa corner, artwork and the wing piano standing near the entrance to a private home cinema room. You see, this villa has no underground level where such amenities are usually found, but managed to create interwoven yet separate rooms on one main level – as befits a proper villa.

ART, DESIGN AND LIFESTYLE Details catch the eye, and yet Casa Calma exudes a sense of

space and homeliness. Formal style and informal living blend effortlessly, from the living wall by the kitchen to the electrically operated mosquito nets that allow for a cooling breeze to flow day and night through the disappearing sliding doors that completely open out onto the garden and terraces with spectacular views. An architecturally styled reclining chair provides the ideal spot from which to relax and survey the amazing views of hills and sea, while also giving a glimpse of the garden and pool below. ›


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On summer evenings, the family gathers in a cosy seating pit that links with the lounge, but open the double doors and you enter a private wing which also overlooks the central patio. It contains three spacious bedroom suites that can be interlinked and all enjoy eastward views from their private terrace and garden areas. The master bedroom has all the comfort and style of a luxurious hotel suite, including abundant dressing space and an opulent bathroom. ›

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Featuring a blend of light and solid-toned elements, the villa is modern, contemporary, and timeless, with distinct Asian touches in both architectural detailing and the presence of Balineseinspired art and decoration. This is also true of the sumptuous

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bathroom, where once again form and function find an effortless match, as is the case throughout the villa – from the hallway office to the ample storage space, the centralised vacuum cleaning and waste disposal systems. The fact that life

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is an art at Casa Calma is also visible in the home’s leisure area, which includes a professional gym, showers, a sauna, Jacuzzi, a heated indoor swimming pool with jet stream and an outdoor mini-football/ sports pitch on half the size of a paddle

tennis court. Yes, this is an imposing designer villa, but it is also a comfortable, functional family home that offers so much. To the five bedrooms are added a guest apartment with staff quarters with independent entrance, all fitted to the same standard.


MAKING THE MOST OF A BEAUTIFUL SETTING Take the steps down from the lounge terrace and you enter another distinct area within the property. Here, mature cork oaks and flowering shrubs set the perimeter for a green lawn garden that flows towards a spectacular infinity edge pool, which like its indoor counterpart is dressed in the natural green tones of volcanic stone from Indonesia. A few steps away from the sunbathing deck is an alluring pool house that oozes elegant relaxation. ›

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back to CONTENTS g DM Properties | Knight Frank Tel: (+34) 952 765 138. info@dmproperties.com DMproperties.com

CLICK TO VISIT

www.DMproperties.com

Elegance blends with beach club ambience against a white backdrop, with curtains swaying in the breeze around a stylish lounge, dining room and chillout area that also features a fireplace for the evenings. Bathrooms, a private outdoor shower and a professional barbecue kitchen provide the nearby amenities you’d

love to have in a spot like this, along with a professional kitchen and entertainment system. Rich in fine materials,

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clever functionality, lifestyle areas and tasteful decorative styling, Casa Calma is indeed a timeless gem in the hills above

Marbella – a beauty spot where it was made for those who wish to make living a pleasurable art. e


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SAGA

HOMEWEAR

TAILOR-MADE LINEN SERVICE One of the difficulties of choosing soft furnishings is that it is only the sensory experience that can truly confirm their comfort and quality. When deciding on upholstery, curtains and rugs that sit and look good, the job is only half done. It is only when fabrics which our bodies are more intimately in touch with are acquired, that your home is finally defined by luxury. DISCOVERED BY MADDIE QUINN PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF SAGA HOMEWEAR

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W

© Interior Design: Alexandra Studio, Photography: Gonzalo Botet

hen you search for good quality linen and towels, touch and feel are essential to the selection process. To find the right thread count, colour, softness or sharpness to your taste, durability, breathability or water absorption — just to name a few possible characteristics — seems like a profession in its own right, and can be a daunting job that is better done well the first time around. Passionate about beautiful interiors, real estate and luxury in

general, Belgian born Gaëlle Mousset created her own luxury brand a couple of years ago aiming to specialise in this service, and SAGA HOMEWEAR was born. She hand-picked a wide range of beautiful fabrics that are now available to personally sample in one’s home or business. Her products are aimed at private individuals and professionals, and can additionally feature embroidery personalisation that adds the ultimate touch of elegance and individuality to the linens. ›

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© Interior Design: Alexandra Studio, Photography: Gonzalo Botet

“My point of honour is to offer high quality linen made in Europe, bringing comfort and elegance into your home,” says Gaëlle. “By affixing your embroidery, we want everyone to be able to create an interior that looks different from others, to bring a little touch of luxury into their place.” And indeed, SAGA HOMEWEAR products

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combine the best natural fibres, featuring the finest, extra-long, 100 per cent pure cotton yarns mixed with silk or linen, depending on preference and the desired outcome. Each quality is then available in various colours and designs, and can be finished with a monogram such as a logo, initials, or just a word or drawing, to make them unique. ›



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The products dress every room, from table to bed linen, plaids, bath and beach towels, a wide variety of products are on offer. Not surprisingly, SAGA HOMEWEAR caters for many types of clients where a luxurious ambience is of the essence: spas, interior designers, boutique hotels, private jet companies or restaurants which traditionally feature this service. Quite uniquely though, SAGA HOMEWEAR also offers a personalised and customised service, by going directly to the homes of discerning apartment and villa owners, who are willing to purchase premium linen for a touch of elegance and emphasis on lifestyle, something to perfectly match their interior. So if you are embarking on a project or about to update the look and feel of your home, why not give SAGA HOMEWEAR a go? g Tel: (+34) 608 754 285, (+32) 475 299 717. gaelle@sagahomewear.com www.sagahomewear.com

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JMP THE LABEL i www.jmpthelabel.com DISCOVERED BY MADDIE QUINN PHOTOGRAPHY IMAXTREE.COM

MAAJI i www.maaji.co

MAAJI

The heat is on and as I write this, Miami is setting trends for 2023 with sizzling beachwear shows all over town. PARAISO Miami Beach, the official industry platform for the Swim Fashion Week that’s been a recurring fixture on the July calendar, dazzles once again with runway shows of top designers, style-setting supermodels and celebrities. We select a few looks of six renowned brands to add some inspirational vibes from South Beach to the Marbella summer.


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BFYNE i www.bfyne.com

JMP THE LABEL i www.jmpthelabel.com

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BFYNE

BFYNE i www.bfyne.com

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JMP THE LABEL i www.jmpthelabel.com

BEACH BUNNY i www.beachbunnyswimwear.com

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PRETTYLITTLETHING i www.prettylittlething.com

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MONDAY i www.mondayswimwear.com

MONDAY

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back to CONTENTS ORIGIN OF OCEANS i www.originofoceans.com

CUPSHE i www.es.cupshe.com

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CUPSHE i www.es.cupshe.com

CUPSHE

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WORDS MARISA CUTILLAS

EMOTIONAL

(ESAs)

SUPPORT ANIMALS WHEN YOUR PET BECOMES A LIFELINE

A

nyone who considers their beloved pet as just another part of their family doesn’t need scientific studies to know that their beloved dog, cat, or bird, confers a host of benefits. The unconditional love that they provide, the way many of them ‘force’ us to spend more active time outdoors,

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and their ability to connect us with other human beings, are priceless. Emotional support animals (ESAs – mostly dogs and sometimes, cats, horses, and many other creatures) are considered pets, not service animals. However, for some people, they can be critical when it comes to functioning well on a daily

basis. To be considered an official ESA, an animal must be deemed necessary for a patient’s mental health. ESAs are officially prescribed by mental health professionals such as psychiatrists and psychologists to aid with issues like anxiety, depression, panic attacks, PTSD, bipolar disorders, OCD, and agoraphobia.


a disability. Many people with issues like agoraphobia or panic attacks would quite simply be unable to attend an appointment at the doctor’s, go to a family wedding, or travel without their beloved pet by their side.

ARE ESA’s RECOGNISED IN SPAIN?

BENEFITS BACKED BY RESEARCH TRAINING ESAs In her 2012 book, Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling, author, Cynthia K. Chandler provides scientific evidence of the therapeutic value of a wide array of animals – including rabbits, birds, cats, horses, and of course, dogs. She cites several research studies which have shown that simple interaction with ESAs have important psychophysiological and psychosocial benefits. These include a sensation of greater calm, less loneliness, the normalisation of the heart rate and blood pressure, reduced depression, and enhanced social engagement and interaction. What makes an ESA necessary, is their humans’ dependence on them. In the U.S., there is no federal law that requires facilities other than housing to grant entry to ESAs. That is, businesses and institutions are free to establish their own policies regarding this issue. However, businesses with a 'no pets' policy are not allowed to deny entry to a person with a service animal. Service animals are considered working animals, not pets.

Even in the U.S., no special training is required for a pet to be considered an ESA. By contrast, service dogs such as guide dogs are subject to rigorous protocols. Of course, ESAs are often trained to perform specific actions — including standing on the back of someone having a panic attack to soothe them, or sitting next to someone who is in the throes of depression.

WHAT IS THE SITUATION IN THE UK?

In the UK, ESAs are not recognised as certified assistance animals. In other words, the rules and exceptions that apply to service animals (such as guide dogs) do not extend to ESAs. This means that people with anxiety, schizophrenia, or depression, could find that they are denied housing if they have an ESA.

FIGHTING FOR CHANGE

Across the world, people are starting petitions (check out the petition Make Emotional Support Animals UK Legal on Change. org) and pushing the need for legal reform so that ESAs and their owners can have more rights. After all, mental health is

Sadly, Spain, like the UK, has a long way to go when it comes to enabling people to fully harness the benefits of support animals. The Comisiones Obreras Union (CCOO) and the Pepos Andalucía Association are pushing for legislation that will allow support dogs to be taken everywhere their human goes – including flights, some types of rented accommodation, and public places. These organisations highlight the benefits of ESAs for women who have been victims of gender violence. Dogs can be specifically trained to protect endangered and traumatised women if needed, thus boosting their confidence.

TEMPERAMENT MATTERS

If you have an emotional support dog, it is vital to invest in behavioral training so that your pet is well socialised. In the U.S., courses like the Canine Good Citizen Program and varied testing by Pet Partners can serve as a type of personal ‘guarantee’ that your pet is ready to accompany you to more places. On the Coast, there are various schools and veterinarians that offer puppy socialisation and behavioural training classes. Chandler argues that requiring a standardised animal temperament may be a reasonable approach that will enable dogs to access all public areas. e

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ARMANI BEAUTY

UNLEASHING YOUR INTERIOR BEAUTY Giorgio Armani’s most famous qualities as a designer are simplicity and quality. The Piacenza-born maestro believes that beautiful designs have to be free of artifice and centred around strengths one already possesses. As is the case with some of the most renowned Italian fashion houses, excellence in fashion is all about the cut, materials, and tiny details. It was the search for innate elegance that gave rise to Armani Beauty – but the Armani brand has a long, rich history that is definitely worth delving into.

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FINDING HIS PASSION Giorgio’s early years were a struggle for identity and self-discovery. He initially planned on becoming a doctor, completing three years of his degree before joining the army. Realising the soldier’s life was not for him and plagued by the typical confusion that can arise in youth, he bided his time by working at an elegant Milan department store, dressing windows and selling fashion in the menswear department. Soon after, he accepted a job at Nino Cerruti, where despite having no formal training, he took his first steps in fashion design while dabbling in freelance work for other brands.

THE BIRTH OF A DESIGN ICON Giorgio’s friendship with Sergio Galeotti – an Italian architect who encouraged his buddy to launch his own brand – proved to be life-changing. Thanks to Galeotti’s insistence, Armani opened a design office in Milan in 1973.

Calls flooded in and he was soon selling his creations to a host of renowned Italian companies. He also began showing off his work at runways, developing a personal sense of style and founding Giorgio Armani S.p.A. alongside Galeotti in 1975. This was the year he presented the first Giorgio Armani prêtà-porter line for men and women. It was also the year that Armani’s famous unlined, unconstructed men’s jacket appeared. Loose, informal, and sexy, the jacket provided a hint of the body within, marking a big departure from the ultra-serious (some would say stuffy) suits that were in vogue at the time. Months later, a similar jacket for women would appear. It had a masculine edge but was still soft and comfortable and was considered a true emancipator in the world of women’s fashion.

THE U.S. CALLS In 1979, Armani introduced fashion lines for men and

women in the U.S., adding various product lines along the way. In the 1980s, he joined forces with L’Oréal to create a line of perfumes and launched brands like Emporio Armani, Armani Jeans, Armani Junior, and Emporio Underwear. The Emporio Armani brand enjoyed a true explosion on TV and in street advertisements and magazines. Giorgio realised that designing clothing for the stars was an important way to build brand awareness, and he jumped at the chance to create an entire wardrobe for Richard Gere in American Gigolo. Since then, many more brands have arisen, including the popular A/X: Armani Exchange, which offers chic items at affordable prices. Although Giorgio has enjoyed enviable success across the globe (including in China, which represents an important share of the fashion market), he has always had a special relationship with the U.S.

For instance, he was the first fashion designer to appear on the cover of Time magazine since Christian Dior in the 1940s and to be honoured by the Guggenheim in New York with a dedicated exhibition.

BRANCHING INTO BEAUTY Giorgio Armani Beauty (now part of L’Oréal’s luxury portfolio) was launched in 2000. It featured a select range of products that were meticulously overseen by the designer. Quality and cutting-edge technology were the values behind each article, and Giorgio was famed for sending items back to the lab repeatedly until they met his exacting standards. Arguably his most famous creation is the Luminous Skin Foundation, which is lightweight, natural, and long-lasting. It is known among beauty lovers as ‘silk on skin’ and is very much worth its higher price tag. To discover some of Armani Beauty’s best products, read on! ›

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ARMANI BEAUTY PRODUCTS TO OWN

1

“I believe that beauty first comes from within. My creations are made not to disguise or hide an individual’s personality, but to reveal it”

If you’ve never tried Armani Beauty before, we suggest starting a collection with one or two of their big sellers, listed below.

Giorgio Armani

2

1 – LUMINOUS SILK FOUNDATION Ideal for a natural look and a youthful glow. 2– A-BLUSH LIQUID BLUSH Perfect for adding a pop of colour to your cheeks. 3 – LUMINOUS SILK CONCEALER A fine concealer that won’t crack under pressure. 4 – EYE TINT EYESHADOW

An intense, long-lasting liquid eyeshadow. 5 – LUMINOUS SILK HYDRATING PRIMER Help your foundation last all day with this lightweight primer. 6 – LIP MAESTRO MATTE LIQUID LIPSTICK A velvety soft liquid product that won’t transfer to your glass. 5

3

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4

6


ALWAYS ON TOP OF

my health

GP SERVICES, INTERNAL MEDICINE & CARDIOLOGY Value. Quality Care. Convenience.

WITH…

At Reisbeck Medical we combine our expertise in different medical fields to offer a holistic view of each and every patient to enable highly personalised treatments. • Family medicine • Internal medicine • Home visits • In-hospital care • Leg vein treatments • Nutrition consulting • Ultrasound & diagnostic tests • Laboratory analysis • Cardiology

GERMAN INTERNATIONAL HEART & VASCULAR CENTRE Expert. Trusted. Minimally invasive.

Ramón Gómez de la Serna 22, 29602 Marbella, Spain T: (+34) 952 779 680 I M: (+34) 657 790 000 E: info@reisbeck-medical.com www.reisbeck-medical.com

At CardioCare Marbella we combine our expertise with state of the art equipment and minimally invasive techniques to achieve excellent diagnostic and therapeutic results for cardiac patients or those just looking for an extensive, personalized cardio-vascular check-up. • Cardiovascular interventions: no cut, no wound, no scar! • Coronary and peripheral artery stenting procedures • Non-surgical heart valve repair (TAVI) • 3D cardiac ultrasound • Advanced arrhythmia treatments (electrophysiology) • Pacemakers, defibrillators and CRTs • New enlarged prostate treatment (PAE)

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www.cardiocaremarbella.com


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LIVE LONGER AND ENJOY A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE

BIODRIP Having an optimal quality of life is all about protecting, promoting, and maintaining your health and wellbeing. Through personalised, preventive medicine, it is possible for medical professionals to discover your individual needs, administer the exact treatment or therapy required, and halt ageing in its tracks. This is the philosophy that drives the dedicated team behind Biodrip – a company launched in 2022 that approaches health from a holistic perspective. PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF BIODRIP

THE UNION OF EXPERIENCE AND PASSION The Biodrip team comprises Dr. Luis F. Jaime MD PhD (a specialist in anaesthesiology and resuscitation with studies in anti-ageing and longevity, and a Masters in ozone therapy) and Javier Parada (a nurse who has worked in the surgery units of large hospitals, as well as in intensive care and resuscitation). These health professionals met while working together in operating theatres and honing their skills in intensive care. They share a 178 / AUGUST 2022 ESSENTIAL MAGAZINE

passion for preventing cellular degradation and strengthening immunity through antioxidants, optimal nutrition, oligotherapy, and additional approaches.

WORKING IN COLLABORATION Biodrip offers its services in the centres of a select list of collaborators which includes the Tacha Beauty & Wellness in the Hotel Don Pepe Gran Meliá and MEDHELP in Marbella. The first visit can be undertaken in your home, in order to determine if further care is required.


HEALTH IS A HOLISTIC MATTER Biodrip is focused on providing personalised service to each patient. The team takes a multifaceted approach in an effort to discover their patients’ lifestyles, needs, and goals. In current medicine, it is possible to supply the body with a series of substances, most of them key to development and for vital, natural functions. Many of these are already generated by the body itself, but over time, begin to occur in smaller quantities or stop being produced, causing the rate of ageing to accelerate.

WHAT SPECIFIC TREATMENTS ARE WE TALKING ABOUT? There are two main lines of work, which are widely effective. Ozone therapy and supplements, which can include vitamins, trace elements, cofactors of metabolic processes, minerals, hormonal precursors and others.

WHAT BENEFITS CAN THEY BRING TO PATIENTS? Ozone therapy is a highly effective treatment which provides many benefits. It is derived from oxygen gas, which when absorbed by the blood performs various actions. Among them we can mention: Z An activation of the body’s antioxidant capacity

Z Germicidal, healing and antiinflammatory power Z Improvement of tissue oxygenation, through the opening of blood vessels Z Improvement of the quality of the vascular endothelium, and the production of growth factors, among other functions. On the other hand, the contribution of vitamins, trace elements and other essential substances is essential to optimise the general and cellular functions of the body, the quality of the skin, the circulatory system, the synthesis of red blood cells, and energy production, and ultimately general health. We also have the advantage with the current tools to measure these impacts and the response of patients to treatments.

WHAT PEOPLE OR TYPES OF PATIENTS CAN BENEFIT FROM THEM? Everyone can achieve health benefits. From those considered healthy, to others with chronic diseases. It is about improving and optimising the general health and functions of the body, including other complex issues, such as the probability for the development of cancer, which in many cases, despite having a genetic factor, is a process derived from ageing and attrition to the to the body over the years.

Programmes and services offered include: Z Z Z Z

Healthy Ageing Detox Programme NAD+ Therapy Ozone & Drip Therapy g To book an appointment or receive your initial home service consultation, call Tel: 657 405 267. www.biodrip.es WWW.ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM / 179


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enterprise

CATCH UP ON LOCAL BUSINESS NEWS AND SOME IMPORTANT EVENTS TAKING PLACE ON THE COAST RECENTLY. BE IMPRESSED BY THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT OF DARRYN WELCH, FOUNDER OF HUSTLE N’ FLOW, WHO HAS RECENTLY OPENED HOUSE OF FLOW ON THE MAIN STREET OF BENAHAVÍS.


BUSINESS LOCAL NEWS PROPERTY EVENTS

182 Business News 192 The Vibe 198 Darryn Welch & House of Flow


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business news

AKILLIS AT GÓMEZ & MOLINA JOYEROS

French jewellery firm, Akillis, has been shaking the foundations of the Place Vendôme since 2008, when it was founded by Caroline Gaspard: an intrepid rebel seeking to break new ground. Her unique designs, crafted in precious metals, diamonds, and other gemstones, have a distinctly edgy style. Some of the brand’s most beautiful collections include Bang Bang and Fatal Attractions (two unisex collections that flirt with danger); Capture Me, Capture Light, and Capture in Motion (which feature sharp, asymmetric ‘fangs’); Tattoo (which pays homage to Maori tattoo art); and Animal Tattoo (inspired by the world of animals).

i Available at Gómez & Molina. www.gomezymolina.com

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WORDS BY MARISA CUTILLAS


POP-UP DIOR STORE OPENS AT THE PUENTE ROMANO BEACH RESORT Dior has opened a pop-up store at the Puente Romano Beach Resort for the summer. Located on the terrace of Sea Grill, it features exclusive fragrances and solar protection products from the Dior Bronze range. Services to enjoy include private olfactory consultation appointments with Daniel Figuero (International Dior Fragrance Ambassador), individual beauty check sessions with Susana Lorenzo (Dior Facial Care Expert), hand massages with La Collection Privée body creams, and personalised sun cream offered by a pool butler. i www.puenteromano.com

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LES ROCHES 25TH ANNIVERSARY WITH ALAIN DUCASSE Les Roches, currently celebrating the 25th anniversary of its first graduation, recognised the great work of Chef Alain Ducasse by awarding him the Hospitality Golden Key. The latter prizes Ducasse’s personal commitment to the hospitality industry, the arts, and education. For the Chef, success rests on two pillars: people, and innovation. “We have to be aware of how quickly the world changes and innovate in accordance. Moreover, in sectors like ours, the human factor makes all the difference,” he said. i www.lesroches.es

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© Daniele Venturelli

GLOBAL GIFT GALA A RESOUNDING SUCCESS

TROCADERO FLAMENCO FESTIVAL If you are interested in watching some of Spain’s top flamenco artists perform live, make your way to Sotogrande for the Trocadero Flamenco Festival. The event, which started in July and will end on August 27, will feature Arcángel on August 2, Macaco on August 3, Antonio Canales on August 4, Jose Mercé on August 11, Farruquito on August 12, La Guitarra de Pepe Habichuela on August 18, Kiki Morente on August 19, Israel Fernández and Diego Del Morao on August 20, La Tana and María Terremoto on August 25, and El Perla,Tobalo and friends on August 27. i For tickets, www.grupotrocadero.com

The 16th edition of the Global Gift Gala Marbella took place recently at the Hotel Don Pepe Gran Meliá, featuring a cocktail and red carpet event, followed by dinner, performances, and a live auction. Chair, María Bravo, was joined by Honorary Chair, Eva Longoria, MC, Manuel García Rulfo, and numerous performers – including Farru, Soleá Fernández, and Lya. Dinner was prepared by talented Chefs Victor Carracedo and Íñigo Urrechu. i www.globalgiftgala.com

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OTERO GROUP AND IBERIAN YIELD INVESTMENT AB BRING AFFORDABLE RENTAL HOMES TO MÁLAGA

TANGO NIGHTS IN MARBELLA Noches de Tango (Tango Nights) is back in Marbella with a great show featuring a singer, various musicians, and six dancers. The event will take place in the open-air José Pernía Calderón auditorium in Marbella’s Parque de la Constitución on August 6 at 10pm. La Porteña Tango will be presenting its new show, Alma de Bohemio. Music, dance, and stories will intertwine and portray a myriad of emotions. Tickets can be purchased from Wednesday to Saturday at the box office from 7pm to 10pm, or online on www.mientrada.net i Further information, www.laportenatango.net 186 / AUGUST 2022 ESSENTIAL MAGAZINE

The joint venture formed by Otero Group and Iberian Yield Investment AB will be bringing 1,000 affordable rental homes to the city of Málaga under the Lagoom Living brand. Recently, two plots of land were purchased for the development of 90 ‘build to rent’ (BTR) homes for affordable rentals in the Zeta District. Plans are also underway to acquire land for the development of 400 additional units intended for this purpose in 2022. i www.otero.com.es


BURNING BEACH AT LA PLAGE CASANIS Chic Marbella beach club, La Plage Casanis, will be holding the second edition of Burning Beach on August 12 – a day party (midday to sunset) featuring electronic music, performances, and the unique atmosphere that is characteristic of the peak summer season. Marc Álvarez, Schweppes Mixing Master, has created a cocktail for the event called Burning Beach – a dramatic, summery version of the Pink Flamingo. g For bookings, Tel: 952 837 862. www.laplagecasanis.com

THE FIFTH MARBELLA FASHION SHOW SHINES BRIGHT The fifth edition of the Marbella Fashion Show was a big success. Featuring designs by national and international designers (including Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada, Romeo Couture, and Esteban Freiría), the event attracted a flock of celebrities. Sitting in the front row of the catwalk were Tristan J. Ramírez (Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada’s son), haute couture designer, Ángel Palazuelos, and model and entrepreneur, Valeria Mazza. i www.nuevamoda.com

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ECOGIVING: SUSTAINABLE SHOPPING WITH A HEART EcoGiving is a new online shop that helps people purchase quality eco products while donating to their favourite charity. Its founder, Garry Robey, is a renowned brand architect who is committed to reducing plastic, food waste and products tested on animals. Garry and his wife Tammy launched EcoGiving to bring communities closer and to help local charities, schools, animal shelters, and the planet. The store offers a wide range of household, hygiene, kitchen products, pet accessories, and more. A percentage of the profits made from purchases is donated to charity. i www.ecogiving.org

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ARAMCO TEAM SERIES OFFERS AMATEURS THE CHANCE TO PLAY WITH TOP GOLFERS The Aramco Team Series – Sotogrande is offering one lucky Spanish amateur golfer the chance to play in the team format of the Million Dollar Ladies European Tour (LET) at La Reserva Sotogrande. The winner will test their mettle alongside top golfers like former world number one Nelly Korda, her sister Jessica Korda, and Carlota Ciganda. You can register for the competition on the golf-scoring app, VPAR. Every round of golf recorded on this app will give you a chance to win a set in the three-day tournament (which runs from August 19 to 20). i www.aramcoteamseries.com


NEW PRESIDENT FOR ROTARY CLUB MARBELLA-GUADALMINA Willem Falter is the first-ever Dutch president of the 14-nationality Rotary Club Marbella-Guadalmina. Falter is the creator of the Ambassador Club to End Plastic Soup of the Costa del Sol, which resulted in the first of many plastic-collecting fish sculptures being installed on Royal Beach, Calahonda. Willem wishes to encourage active participation in Rotary’s varied activities. His themes for his presidential year are harmony, activity, friendship, and transparency. i www.marbella-guadalmina-rotary.club.

HIGUERÓN RESORT RESIDENCE & COLLECTION AWARDS GALA Real estate firm, Higuerón Residences & Collection, recently held the seventh edition of its Real Estate Awards Gala. The management team highlighted its commitment to sustainability and exclusivity and presented its new projects to over 450 real estate agents from the Coast. The award for Best Real Estate Agency went to Developments.Es, which specialises in the Northern European and UK markets. The prize for Most Sales in the Previous Cycle was won by Felipe Valdés Carter, CEO and Founder of Costa del Sol Property Norway. i www.higueronresortrealestate.com WWW.ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM / 189


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BABEL EXPANDS ITS STAFF IN MÁLAGA Multinational digital transformation company, Babel, will expand to 700 specialists to oversee the work undertaken at its global services centre in the Málaga TechPark. The cybersecurity company has embarked on a new strategy that will serve clients across Europe, North Africa, and the U.S. The heightened demand for its services is based on cybersecurity threats posed by new technologies such as 5G, Cloud, big data, AI, biotechnology, and quantum computing. i www.babelgroup.com

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CLUB DE MARKETING HOLDS NETWORKING EVENT AT VINO MÍO The Club de Marketing celebrated its last networking session of the first half of 2022 with an after-work solidarity event (in collaboration with Casa Ronald McDonald) at Vino Mío. Over the past few months, the Club has resumed normal, in-person meetings. It has held its Awards Ceremony and conducted network sessions at Autocine Málaga Metrovacesa and other locations. Members have also learned valuable secrets of success from past winners of their traditional Club Prizes. i www.cmarketingmalaga.org


MOTIVATIONAL COACHING BOOK Sigue Un Camino Hacia El Éxito is the first published work by local author Óscar González Calzada who holds a Diploma in Mindfulness and Emotional Management from the European Institute of Positive Psychology. Following his foundation of Suché Projects&Dreams in 2020, his book evaluates the impact of realising your dreams in the pursuit of happiness. Óscar imparts the importance of personal growth and the development of strengths through mindfulness and motivational coaching. i Available on www.amazon.es

THE ASOCIACIÓN ESPAÑOLA CONTRA EL CANCER HOLDS GOLF EVENT AND GALA DINNER The Asociación Española Contra el Cancer (Spanish Association Against Cancer) will be holding two fundraising events: a golf tournament at Club de Golf La Zagaleta on August 5, and a gala dinner at Finca Concepción on August 6. The events will be sponsored by leading brands, such as Galerías Comerciales La Cañada, Maserati, Moët & Chandon, and Gómez & Molina Joyeros. g To sign up for the tournament or obtain tickets for the gala, call Tel: 952 776 800. www.contraelcancer.es WWW.ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM / 191


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PHOTOGRAPHY KEVIN HORN 192 / AUGUST 2022 ESSENTIAL MAGAZINE


LAGUNA VILLAGE CEREMONY

Grupo Pacha and GAT Inversiones hosted guests at Laguna Village for the Laying of the First Stone Ceremony. The new Laguna Village 2.0 is scheduled to open in the spring of 2023 and will generate 1,000 direct and indirect jobs, providing a major boost to economic and social growth in the Estepona area. i www.grupopacha.com www.gatinversiones.com

“A brand is what a business does, reputation is what people remember” – Ted Rubin

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ENGEL & VÖLKERS OPEN HOUSE

Engel & Völkers Marbella invited real estate agents, associates and members of the press to the Open House presentation of La Cardaline, a unique jewel in Sierra Blanca. The villa, with 10 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, commands panoramic views over Marbella and across the Mediterranean. i www.engelvoelkers.com/marbella

“Luxury is in each detail” – Hubert de Givenchy

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HOUSE OF FLOW

House of Flow presented a magical tribute to Coldplay with a roof-top piano concert and three-course dinner under the stars. Award-winning pianist, Laura Andrés, entertained guests with a fabulous performance at the fully renovated new venue on the Main Street of Benahavís. i www.hustlenflow.com

“Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments” – Bethenny Frankel

PHOTOGRAPHY KEVIN HORN 196 / AUGUST 2022 ESSENTIAL MAGAZINE



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back to CONTENTS Successful entrepreneurs are often portrayed as the lucky few; as gifted human beings who find their calling early, and who instinctively know where they are headed. Meeting Hustle n’ Flow and House of Flow founder, Darryn Welch, however, helped me understand that authentic entrepreneurs are usually more enthralled by the journey than the destination. For Darryn, the magic lies in creating vital synergies, finding committed investors, enhancing the lives of clients, breaking new ground, expanding, moving, and shaking things up.

WHERE GOOD FOOD, FRIENDSHIP, HEALTH, AND WELLNESS UNITE

HOUSE OF FLOW

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“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away” Pablo Picasso

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met Darryn for the first time at House of Flow: his four-and-a-half-storey restaurant, lounge, events and co-working space, and social hub. Here, Darryn and his partner, Veronika, are sparking a cultural, social, and health and wellness revolution. Those who are sensitive will notice a kind, warm energy as soon as they step into the House. A busy, sidewalk-facing café gives way to a lounge where eclecticism, art, and philosophy reside. The space is filled with one-off pieces, antiques, and so many details to discover – including vinyl record players, vintage phones, a bust of Aristotle, and framed poetry and philosophy on the walls. Darryn picked up all these

items himself at markets and each has a story to tell – from the stunning antique wooden door on the Events floor to the sturdy tables made of reclaimed wood. This is a haven for those who seek a balance between work and pleasure, success and health, movement and stillness. Biophilic design principles abound in every corner, with many furniture pieces made from natural materials, a plethora of plants giving life to interior and outdoor spaces, and natural light flooding in.

STRIKING THE PERFECT BALANCE House of Flow, ensconced in the pretty village of Benahavís, is one of many restaurants run

by Darryn and Veronika. They launched their first baby, Hustle n’ Flow in San Pedro in 2018, keen to bring healthy, flavourful, fresh, organic food to diners. The restaurant serves attractive bowls, toasts, pancakes, brunch meals, salads, wraps, sharing platters and more. Uniquely, all dishes have vegan and glutenfree options. Just four years have passed and today, the Group owns four restaurants: three Hustle n’ Flow establishments (in San Pedro, Marbella, and Gibraltar), and House of Flow in Benahavís. Darryn is getting ready to launch two Hustle n’ Flow franchises in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) and Doha (Qatar) in September and October, respectively. ›

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A NEW PLACE TO CONNECT, RELAX, AND BE Darryn and his team are hoping to transform House of Flow into a ‘base camp.’ The House has always been more than a restaurant but soon, it will be an authentic meeting point for people with an interest in group activities, health and wellness, beauty, and even the cinema. Plans are underway for each of House of Flow’s spaces. Facing the narrow street of Benahavís’ main street is the Café and Lounge. In the summer, the restaurant places tables on the street – the perfect spot for a smoothie while you ‘watch the wheels go round.’ Inside is the Café, graced with large glass

windows that look out onto the lively pueblo. Further ahead, you will arrive at the Lounge – where you can relax, sit by the fireplace, or find your perfect co-working spot. “By September,” Darryn says, “We will be offering memberships, which will entitle people to co-work, attend group events and activities, and receive discounts.” The second floor is the Events Space, which you enter through an Alice in Wonderland-like door, graced with plants, flowers, and a mysterious keyhole. Next to the door is a sign with magical words by Aldous Huxley, who invites you to unlock the doors of perception. This

will be the perfect spot for weddings, catered events, corporate training, talks, yoga classes, controlled breathing workshops, and more. The next floor has a lovely balcony, perched above the dining area, where guests can also enjoy a meal or snack. Further up the steps are the Cinema and Beauty Spaces. Darryn explains, “Benahavís doesn’t have a cinema, so I thought it would be great to offer screenings here.” The Beauty space is ideal for anyone seeking a treatment before or after a meal. Upwards from this zone is a terrace with beautiful views over the Sierra Bermeja mountain range, the home of La Zagaleta.

REACHING FOR HIGHER GROUND Expressions of Darryn and Veronika’s personalities abound at House of Flow. The couple met when Darryn was at a bachelor’s party in Ibiza and Veronika had won a trip to the ‘White Island’ with a friend. This was serendipity weaving its magic, for the couple soon found that they complemented each other perfectly. Darryn is the quintessential fast-thinking, high-energy entrepreneur. ›

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His mind is always one venture ahead, and he wears his heart on his sleeve (he adds ‘hustle’ to the equation). Veronika is creative, warm, and caring (she worked as a nurse for mentally and physically disabled patients for many years). She is what makes this passion project ‘flow’. Darryn has a fascinating trajectory that includes various years as a film producer, director, and writer. He has founded successful companies, which he has gone on to sell – including coconut milk ice-cream and coconut water brand, OkoBay and Elementree (centred on refrigerated, curated vegan items). “OkoBay – despite its real potential had financing challenges so we reversed the

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business into its manufacturer to pivot into something new,” explains Darryn. He has always found good people to create synergies with, ranging from his classmates from Aloha College to his family (his mum, Fabienne, and ex-wife Sisi take charge of administration and help keep business on track). Another key player is Chanelle Barnes, the marketing specialist who breathes life into the company’s social media and has come up with many fascinating visual ideas – including the little stars that top some dishes. Darryn has a deep interest in philosophy, sustainability, and ethics. He doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk,

especially when it comes to ethical employment. “We have a token-based platform we have been building, launched this year for all staff with three years or more track record with us to give them ownership. In order for a business to matter deeply to its employees, they have to feel like a part of it.” Darryn and Veronika have made this possible by creating a kind, caring workplace where people matter – a quality many would say is not only essential for business success but also part and parcel of being a good human being. i Avda. de Andalucía 9, Benahavís. www.hustlenflow.com www.houseofflow.com


DINE UNDER THE STARS AT LA VERANDA

Enjoy the elegance and old-warm charm of La Veranda, which is going ‘back to its roots’ by serving a new menu offering its most iconic dishes and guests’ all-time favourites from 20 years ago. Savour mouth-watering flavors created by chef Santiago Altuna. Steeped in nostalgia, complemented by exceptional service and a fairy-tale setting on the property’s iconic veranda terrace. Information and reservations: E: laveranda.villapadierna@anantara-hotels.com T: +34 952 889 150

LIFE IS A JOURNEY. Visit anantara.com


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gourmet

THE BEACH AT LA RESERVA CLUB SOTOGRANDE IS THE PLACE TO BE THIS SUMMER FOR LEISURELY LUNCHES OR MICHELIN-STARRED DINING UNDER THE STARS. ALTERNATIVELY, VISIT HOTEL LA BOBADILLA FOR AN INLAND BREAK AND SAMPLE THE CUISINE OF TWO-MICHELIN STAR CHEF, PABLO GONZÁLEZ.


NEWS GASTRONOMY CHEFS WINE

206 La Reserva Club The Beach 212 Gourmet Bytes 218 Pablo González of Hotel La Bobadilla 220 White Wines


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THE BEACH

LA RESERVA CLUB WORDS JAMES SINCLAIR PHOTOGRAPHY KEVIN HORN

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FIRST CLASS FACILITIES 2022. The 17,000 FOR A REGAL RESORT square metre lagoon The Beach at La Reserva Club opened in July 2018, becoming a wonderful extension to the amenities available in the relaxing enclave of Sotogrande, itself celebrating its 60th anniversary in

surrounding the beach club is a gorgeous seagreen man-made lake bordered by natural vegetation. It supports a host of water sports and fronts an inland beach that sits as pretty as a tropical paradise. Watch the waves gently lap the

pristine white sand from the comfort of sumptuous sun beds. The Beach Restaurant alongside is the place to head when hunger pangs hit, which will be more than capably catered for and in style. The spacious interior is predominantly of wood, with floor-

to-ceiling windows offering great views of the lagoon. Better still, reserve a table on the large terrace for a lakeside vantage that will keep you entertained while you dine. This is also a great spot for a chilled glass of wine, Champagne or a tempting cocktail. ›

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FINEST SUMMER LUNCH This is principally a daytime venue, with the à la carte menu available for lunch through the afternoon, which features a nice selection of starters, both hot and cold, pasta plates, rice dishes and of course a range of fresh fish and succulent meat options. Expect to find many favourites like Caesar Salad, Gazpacho Andaluz, Osaka Ceviche, Arroz Negro, Grilled Octopus, Tuna from Barbate, Matured Beef Sirloin, and an exemplary Sushi selection. The cuisine being served exceeds expectations,

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encouraging return visits with frequency.

SUSHI & FLAMES The Head Chef, Alberto Sarmiento, also teams up with renowned sushi maestro, Carlos Navarro, for a special dinner experience which is available for groups and private events. Expect to be impressed by the innovation of Carlos’s dynamic sushi combinations and by the delicate crafting of the fish and meat dishes Alberto creates. This is indeed an ideal venue for a company event or a wedding reception. ›



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GASTRONOMIC JOURNEYS

THE PERFECT DAY OUT

Sure to be a big hit this summer are the gastronomic nights under the stars when Michelinstarred chefs will be charming gourmet lovers with an array of enticing delights. Make sure your reservations are in place for the honorary visits of JeanBaptiste Natali from Hostellerie La Montagne on the evenings of August 5-6; Nico Isnard of L’Auberge de la Charme on August 12-13; and Germán Carrizo & Carito Lourenço of Fiero on August 26-27. For those interested, La Reserva Club has arranged overnight or weekend stays, with transfers, at the nearby five-star Hotel SO/ Sotogrande. www. lareservaclubsotogrande.com/ dinner-under-the-stars

With so much to do at La Reserva The Beach, enjoy an idyllic day out with your family or friends, lounging at the beach or honing your moves on the lake. The service you will experience is exemplary and, whether you stay for lunch or dinner, or just savour some appetisers, you will leave this haven of bliss with your heart enriched.

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g The Beach Restaurant is open every day from 12:30 to 17:30 and the Gastronomic Journeys run from 20:00 to 24:00 on the evenings above. Avenida La Reserva, S/N. Tel: (+34) 956 785 252 WhatsApp: (+34) 677 585 858. lareserva@sotogrande.com For events, contact lareserva.events@sotogrande.com www.lareservaclubsotogrande.com


Tel: 952 818 392 www.thaigallerymarbella.com

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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

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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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COMPILED BY MARISA CUTILLAS

ROOSTIQ LANDS

IN MARBELLA

Popular Madrid restaurant, Roostiq, has opened a brand-new restaurant at Urbanización Villa Parra Palomeras in Marbella. Pizza, grilled eco chicken, and Roostiq’s famous torreznos are just a few must-try items. Think of Roostiq as a ‘taberna vasca’ with fine food, wine, and Champagne. i Tel: 952 146 075. www.roostiq.com

HAYACA RETURNS

TO THE AMÀRE BEACH HOTEL MARBELLA

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Hayaca restaurant is back at the Amàre Beach Hotel Beach Club for the summer, ready to tempt palates with a host of dishes bearing Cuban, Argentinean, Mexican, Peruvian, and Brazilian touches. The restaurant is the brainchild of Mauricio Giovanini of one-Michelin-starred restaurant, Messina. Its menu is matched by a welcoming design bearing a Mediterranean ambience with Latino touches and live performances. The list of popular dishes includes the scallop tiradito, carrillada empanadas, and ‘Bangkokstyle’ grilled sea bass. i www.amarehotels.com



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LE GRAN CAFÉ CENTRO PRESENTS A FABULOUS

BURGER AND GIN TONIC COMBO

SOLERA AT BOHO CLUB: AN ANDALUSIAN PATIO FOR SUMMER NIGHTS

Le Gran Café Centro in Málaga has enlisted the help of two maestros (World Baker of the Year 2021, Domi Vélez, and Schweppes Mixing Master, Alberto Pizarro) to create the ultimate burger and gin tonic combination. Vélez’s special burger recipe contains beef from La Finca, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and caramelised onion made with a Torres 10 brandy and Schweppes Original Tonic reduction, served in Demi’s special home-baked buns, with a secret sauce. The cocktail, meanwhile, certainly hits the spot on a warm summer afternoon. i Facebook: Le Grand Café Centro.

Chic restaurant and meeting point, Boho Club, recently opened Solera: a stylish Andalusian patio serving tapas on summer nights. The menu contains a myriad of dishes from the Mediterranean – including Iberian products, cheese plates, oysters, gourmet preserves, and more – which complement Executive Chef, Diego del Río’s summer menu to perfection. Live flamenco will set the mood in this new space, which will open from 8am to 1am until September 15. i www.bohoclub.com

DA BRUNO EXPRESS:

FOR TAKEAWAYS AND HOME DELIVERIES Giancarlo Paparusso and his wife, Alexandra Eller (who manage Da Bruno A Casa) have launched ‘Da Bruno Express’: a restaurant and takeaway / home delivery establishment that serves the areas of Marbella, Nueva Andalucía and Puerto Banús. Located at Centro Comercial Marbella Arena (the old Nueva Andalucía Plaza de Toros), it has a dining area with a 24-diner capacity. Choose from fresh pizza and pasta, salads, sides, homemade desserts, and more. i www.dabrunoexpress.com

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FRESH TRENDS THIS SUMMER IN THE

GASTROBAR OF CASINO MARBELLA

The Gastrobar Casino Marbella Restaurant adapts every season to the latest innovations and creations of avant-garde cuisine, without neglecting authentic Mediterranean food.

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n oasis of flavours and textures, aromas and presentations, in which elegance and harmony perfectly define the identity of the restaurant.

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Maintaining the star dishes such as Prawn Gyozas or Lamb Brioche, the Gastrobar brings new and refreshing creations this summer season. Its Chef, Agustín Román, has an impressive culinary experience in several Michelin-starred restaurants, and has worked not only in Spain,

but also in the United States and Germany. Agustín, young and creative, now presents three new dishes. Beetroot Gazpacho with frozen yoghurt and pine nuts cream, Mazamorra Cordobesa and Boquerones en Tandoori, to delight the most modern society. To pair such suggestive dishes, the waiters always recommend the best wines


CHEF AGUSTÍN ROMÁN SURPRISES WITH MEDITERRANEAN FUSIONS from the menu, with a wide variety of references in which you can find authentic gems thanks to the work of the maitre d’, José Carlos Bouhyane. The Gastrobar Casino Marbella Restaurant welcomes a melting pot of nationalities, styles and ages that come together every year in its facilities, making it a must-visit place in Marbella. Located in the Hard Rock Hotel building, it has a bright and airy dining room with an avant-garde decoration. The Restaurant is located inside the same Gaming room, enveloping the diner in an elegant and

sophisticated atmosphere in the purest Casino style. All this makes the Gastrobar a safe bet when it comes to choosing the best place to enjoy a magnificent evening. Casino Marbella facilitates the management of online booking through its website: www. casinomarbella.com/es/ restaurant/form. i Casino Marbella Edificio Hard Rock Hotel Marbella, Puerto Banús. Tel: (+34) 952 814 000.

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“Things have a life of their own. It’s simply a matter of waking their souls” Gabriel García Márquez

back to CONTENTS La Finca restaurant at La Bobadilla, a Royal Hideaway Hotel, has captured the opulent essence of Andalusian cuisine, thanks to the vision of Chef Pablo González, the Murciaborn founder of Cabaña Buenavista – a two-Michelinstarred restaurant in El Palmar, Murcia. At La Finca (which is situated in the Sierra de Loja in Granada), diners can savour a brand-new menu designed by González and take a gastronomic journey that traverses the provinces of Málaga and Granada. The Chef presents refined versions of traditional dishes, with ingredients such as extra-virgin olive oil from La Bobadilla and Riofrío caviar (a delicacy from the Sierra de Loja region). WORDS MARISA CUTILLAS PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF ROYAL HIDEAWAY LUXURY HOTELS & RESORTS

PABLO

GONZÁLEZ AND LA FINCA AT LA BOBADILLA, A ROYAL HIDEAWAY HOTEL – PAYING HOMAGE TO SOUTHERN CULINARY TRADITIONS

CAUGHT BETWEEN TWO WORLDS

and Entre dos Tierras. The first features two “Through this new menu, mains while the second our team aims to awaken includes three. all the senses with a Starters include melody of flavours that remojón granadino (a unites the best products classic recipe from of the land and the skill Granada featuring of talented artisans oranges and cod), espeto with emotion, magic, de sardinas, olla de San and surprise.” Diners Antón (a stew from can choose from two Granada), and berza tasting menus: Cercanía Malagueña (a traditional 218 / AUGUST 2022 ESSENTIAL MAGAZINE

stew from Málaga). Mains include Segureño lamb with rice, Iberian suckling pig, and lightly roasted red mullet.

A LIFETIME DEDICATED TO GOOD FOOD Pablo González has dedicated his entire working life to the culinary arts. He commenced his gastronomic career at Flanigan restaurant in Palma de Mallorca, picking up treasured

techniques from his mentor, Javier Morales. The latter taught Pablo how to design dishes, follow through from an initial concept, and develop and organise all the elements of a successful kitchen. González also honed his craft at renowned establishments in Madrid and again in Palma before working at three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Arzak, in San Sebastian.


Back in Murcia, the Chef gained greater responsibility at Gran Taberna, which is famed for its sophisticated atmosphere and quality food and service. It was at this establishment, González says, that his true personality began to shine. He also completed a stint at NH Hotels. Armed with knowledge and greater confidence, González allowed his entrepreneurial spirit to shine, launching La Cabaña in 2004 (today, the establishment is known as Cabaña Buenavista). Here, his philosophy is given free rein. “Cooking combines our senses, memories, and experiences… it is an act of creativity,” he says. There is no greater pleasure for Pablo than sharing this gift with others and producing sheer delight. His cuisine has been described as modern and elegant; one that reminds diners of cherished childhood memories with every bite. His kitchen is characterised by a high degree of

experimentation. He is also known for the unique presentation of his dishes, which are often served in stunning vertical and geometric structures. González achieved Cabaña Buenavista’s first Michelin star less than five years after opening – a true feat that has taken more than one culinary stalwart over a decade to achieve. The second star came a decade later and to this date, the restaurant is the only one in Murcia to hold two stars. Odiseo and Magoga restaurants both have one star. The Chef often says that “Cooking is dreaming,” and he cherishes the chance to invite others into worlds full of flavour, colour, and texture. To experience the wonder and artistry of his

cuisine, book a table at La Finca or head to Murcia to feast your eyes on the amazing creations at Cabaña Buenavista. i La Finca: www.barcelo.com Cabaña Buenavista: www.restaurantelacabana.com

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SPAIN’S LESSER-KNOWN

WHITE

TREASURES WORDS ANDREW J LINN

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raditionally Spain has never been considered good at white wines, and there are still people who shun them in favour of French alternatives. In the bad old days, visitors would be offered medium-dry Monopole and Torres’ Sangre de Toro, a thankless white/red combination. Nevertheless,

the comparatively recent international success of Spanish white wines is even today considered work in progress by many wine buyers. But why bother about white wines anyway? Red wine is easier to make and gives higher profit margins, even though its production requires expensive barrels for maturing and grapes from

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quality vineyards, while white wine grapes cost less and mature in steel vats. Probably the best Spanish white wines are the aged white riojas that get very little market exposure. Neither were they ever popular in northern Europe or the USA owing to their heavy wood taste and, with the exception of a few classic brands like López de Heredia, were rarely exported. The fallback choice domestically were the excellent whites of the Catalan Penedés denomination. Their 25 years of fame might be drawing to a close, so where should we look for an above-average white drinking experience? For sheer volume Rueda is currently top and can do little wrong with its Verdejo and Sauvignon Blanc grape varieties, starting at around €4 bottle for an excellent, full-of-fruit, wine for everyday drinking. The fascinating world of Spanish whites is in its best moment,


and a relaxed study of what the market has to offer will provide some delightful revelations. Starting close to home, Málaga winemaker Victoria Ordoñez has only this month launched a truly original and fascinating white wine using the same dry Pedro Ximénez grapes as the famous Mountain Wine exported to Britain in the 18th century. These outstanding wines are almost unknown outside Málaga Province, and most Madrid restaurants do not stock them. Virginia’s La Ola del Melillero is another, selling at around €11, although Voladeros, made from prephylloxera vines, costs more at €24. Higher up the scale and from the same bodega is Voladeros Ghiara, of which only 300 magnums were made. Nor is it necessary to travel far from the Coast to discover some truly luscious varieties that are not made for mass sale, such as the classic Montillas from Córdoba, although Carrefour does offer Dos Claveles de Toro Albalá for €12,80.

OTHER RECOMENDATIONS ARE: Z PAGO DE CIRSUS CHARDONNAY This bodega is owned by an ex-film industry notable who only started making wine in 2002. The bodega’s seven wines, most of them prizewinners, are among Navarra’s best. This barrel-fermented Chardonnay is outstanding and sells for a fair price. (€6.) Z SUERTE DEL MARQUES, OROTAVA Wines from Tenerife are few and far between, and the grape varieties

of listán negro and listán blanco (also known as Mission) were taken to the Americas by Spanish settlers. Barrelfermented, this wine is remarkable for its unusual slightly volcanic taste. (€17). Z ENATE I in Somontano is one of the region’s leading wineries, and this showcase wine is made in such small quantities that most national distributors only get three or four bottles to sell. It is 100% Chardonnay and spends 18 months in oak. (€265). Z YLLERAS, VERDEJO, VENDIMIA NOCTURNA The Ylleras family is still in charge at one of the best-known Rueda bodegas, and this limitedproduction white verdejo wine shows what the region can produce. To avoid oxidisation the grapes are picked at night. (€7). Z A RUEDA which graces a lot of restaurant tables locally is Mantel Blanco Rueda Superior from Alvarez y Díez. This is indeed a superior wine and worth the €9,50 price tag. Z MARQUÉS DE ALELLA ALLIER, CHARDONNAY Unusually this bodega has its own Denominación de Origen, Alella, near Barcelona, and makes predominantly white wines from the Pansa Blanca and Chardonnay grapes. The Marqués de Alella Allier is barrel-fermented and barrelaged and a snip at the price for such a great wine. (€15) Z AUGUSTUS CHARDONNAY, PENEDÉS PUIG & ROCA is a tiny winery in Penedes, started

in 1982 on 10 hectares of land. The flagship wine is Augustus Chardonnay. Total production is 24,000 bottles. A very well-structured wine. (€19,50). Z COMA BLANCA, PRIORATO The Priorato region, famous for its red wines, also produces some excellent whites. Mas d’en Gil’s Coma Blanca is sensational. (€38). Z PAZO DE SEÑORANS, SELECCIÓN AÑADA Although there are red wines in Rias Baíxas, the tradition has always been Albariño white. Pazo de Señorans is a legend in the area and internationally. (€33). Z OSSIAN 2009 A highly prized organic wine from the Castilla León denomination, made from the verdejo grape from pre-phylloxera vines. Lovers of French whites will find nothing to complain about and it comes in a Burgundy-style bottle. (€23). Z PEZAS DA PORTELLA The Valdesil bodega traces its roots back to 1885, and although Albariño vintners may not all agree, this wine is one of the best to come out of the region (€35). Z TORRES MARIMAR CHARDONNAY Last but not least and strictly speaking not qualified for inclusion here, this wine is from the largest familyowned winery in Spain – but just happens to be made in California. It is however so outstanding that it is a tribute to the contribution the Torres family has made to winemaking in Spain – and now to Chile and the USA. (€27). e

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