Essential Magazine, March 2024

Page 154

KYOTO + TOKYO BUGATTI MISTRAL ROADSTER ST. PATRICK LOWDOWN MICHELIN STAR FOR BACK ZOCO HOME NOW IN BANÚS THE SPLENDOUR OF SEGOVIA RYAN GOSLING EXCLUSIVE GUCCI SS24 N º 292 – MARCH 2024 MARBELLA | MÁLAGA | SPAIN Travel Trends Culture Home Lifestyle Business Property Gourmet f i l p i VIDEOSON PAGE watch www.essentialmagazine.com essential essential
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contents

» GO TO SPOTLIGHT

22 Tokyo + Kyoto

34 The Splendour of Segovia

50 Hotel Casa Palacio Don Ramón

54 St. Patrick Lowdown

68 Weather Modification

78 Engel & Völkers Private Office

92 Bugatti Mistral Roadster

100 Ryan Gosling

» GO TO TRENDS

110 What’s Cool

116 Mooi Yacht Charter

126 César Yagüe – Moving Digital Art

132 PROINSERMANT Collaboration with Tesla

136 Hay Forum in Sevilla

140 Hot New Films

144 Cool New Series

148 New Book Releases

154 22 174

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» GO TO LIFESTYLE

154 Zoco Home’s New Showroom in Marbella

166 Helmut Newton – On Show

174 Gucci SS24

182 Top Niche Perfumes

187 Social Anxiety in Teens

190 Pet Insurance

» GO TO ENTERPRISE

196 Vista Lago

202 Marbella Club Hills

208 Business News

» GO TO GOURMET

220 Michelin Dining at Restaurante Back

226 Paco Morales, Chef of Noor

230 Gourmet Bytes

234 Ecological Wines

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The world's leading real estate brand with the best local expertise

Price

Price

Price: 3,850,000€, E&V ID W-02UEGH

Golden Mile: Exceptional villa with chic interiors and spectacular architecture. 4 beds, 5 baths, built area approx. 464 m², plot approx. 1,138 m². Puerto Banús · Beachfront: High-end apartment with unrivalled sea views . 4 beds, 4 baths, interior area approx. 249 m², terraces approx. 136 m².
www.marbella-ev.com · Marbella Club: 952 060 388 · Elviria: 952 83 55 80 · El Rosario: 952 83 20 40
3,975,000 €, E&V ID W-02UM57 El Madroñal: A large and impressive mansion with truly breathtaking sea views. A real masterpiece designed to the highest possible standards offering excellent views from every corner, inmmaculately lansdcaped gardens and an impressive lower level with a Spa, heated infoor pool, gym and a entertainment area with cinema, games room and wine cellar. 5 beds, 9 baths, built area approx. 2,000 m², plot approx. 5,054 m². Price 6,250,000 €, E&V ID W-02HMRS Los Monteros · Frontline Golf: Exquisite modern villa in a prestigious community. 4 beds, 4 baths, built area approx. 527 m², plot approx. 1,628 m². 2,980,000 €, E&V ID W-02TQIQ San Pedro Playa: Impressive penthouse just minutes walking from the beach. 4 beds, 2 baths, interior area approx. 148 m², terrace approx. 142 m². Price 1,470,000 €, E&V ID W-02T9NJ

Because buying and selling a property is a matter of trust!

Price

www.marbella-ev.com · Guadalmina: 952 07 42 42 · Puerto Banús: 952 85 98 60 · Golden Mile: 952 86 84 06
Sierra Blanca: Beautiful villa built with special attention to detail in one of the most desirable communities of Marbella, spectacular views, spacious living and dining room stylishly decorated. The exceptional quality of materials means a truly premium property. Gym, Spa area with indoor pool, sauna, Turkish bath, lift. 7 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, built approx. 860 m², plot approx. 1,314 m².
Price: 7,950,000 €, E&V ID W-02UB27
Los Monteros: Elegant villa with exceptional design and breathtaking open views. 4 beds, 5 baths, built area approx 662 m², plot approx 1,000 m².
Price 4,190,000 €, E&V ID W-02TIJ4
Los Flamingos Golf: Exceptionally priced chic and stylish villa with an andalusian flair. 4 beds, 4 baths, built area approx. 675 m², plot approx. 1,383 m².
Price 2,600,000 €, E&V ID W-02SJMN
Elviria · Beachfront: Unique opportunity! Stunning penthouse in an desirable location. 3 beds, 3 baths, living area approx. 169 m², terrace approx. 70 m². Price 1,450,000 €, E&V ID W-02SZP4 La Quinta Golf: Luxurious penthouse, exquisite design, breathtaking views, and private pool. 3 beds, 2 baths, interior area approx. 126 m², terraces approx. 181 m². 2,250,000 €, E&V ID W-02TAL2
Tel: (+34) 682 10 50 02 Email: info@by-bright.com vistalago.es

18 individually designed sustainable villas

Vista Lago Residences is located in the 200-hectare country club estate of Real de La Quinta, surrounded by magnificent countryside and bordering a UNESCO Biosphere reserve, just 15 minutes from Marbella.

Each award-winning villa has breathtaking views across the Mediterranean Sea to Gibraltar and the African coastline beyond.

CONSTRUCTIONUNDERWAY · DELIVERY2025 www.by-bright.com BRILLIANT IDEAS FOR BETTER LIVING

IAIN

director@essentialmagazine.com

ANDREA

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. www.essentialmagazine.com Issue 292 – March 2024 STAFF EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING OFFICES COMPLEJO LA PÓVEDA, BLQ. 3, 1º A, CN 340, KM 178, 29600 MARBELLA, MÁLAGA. TEL: 952 766 344. INFO@ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM PUBLISHER & DIRECTOR DIGITAL & CREATIVE DIRECTOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR DESIGN & LAYOUT OFFICE ADMINISTRATION WRITERS
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The world's leading real estate brand with the best local expertise

Sierra Blanca

DONE TO PERFECTION! STUNNING ARCHITECTURE, BEAUTIFUL INTERIOR DESIGN AND OUTSTANDING SEA VIEWS

It is not only about living on the best address in Marbella, but also about living in a villa almost out of a designer's book. This villa was recently completed, where every detail was chosen to provide a luxury living experience. Spacious kitchen with casual dining area, formal dining room with bar, spectacular wellness area, cinema room, wine cellar, beautiful office, and a stunning gazebo with fully equipped outdoor kitchen, as well as a children's playground.

5 beds | 7 baths Built approx. 716 m2 | Plot approx. 1,854 m2 E&V ID W-02T3R8 · PRICE 9,950,000 € Property Information www.marbella-ev.com · Golden Mile: +34 952 060 388
Because buying and selling a property is a matter of trust!

SPECTACULAR SEA VIEWS · AN ARCHITECTURAL MASTERPIECE COMPLETION 2024

This residence is definitely one of the most beautiful villas for sale in Marbella today. Discover the epitome of refined living at this exquisite contemporary villa poised with some of the most incredible sea and mountain views. Designed to the finest details using top-tier materials. Entire floor dedicated to 5* hotel amenities such as a high-end gym and a luxurious spa area with indoor pool, hammam and sauna, cinema, games room and bar, garage for 6 cars.

Cascada de Camoján
6 beds | 7 baths Built approx. 1,120 m2 | Plot approx. 2,000 m2 E&V ID W-02P6JY · PRICE 12.500.000 € Property Information www.marbella-ev.com · Golden Mile: +34 952 060 388

A collection of 104 homes directly overlooking the Santa Clara Golf Course. Each residence offers awe-inspiring vistas and an unparalleled visual feast of the surrounding scenery.

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MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Take a trip with us to Tokyo, Tripadvisor’s trending destination for 2024, and hop on the famous Shinkansen bullet train to Kyoto, with stunning snow-capped Mount Fuji en route. See the architectural splendour of Segovia and marvel at the medieval masterpiece of nearby Pedraza. Catch iconic photographer, Helmut Newton’s Fact & Fiction Exhibition in A Coruña. Experience Sevilla in the spring, perhaps for the Hay Forum, while staying at the palatial Casa Palacio Don Ramón, and consider a visit to Córdoba and to its famous restaurant Noor, where maestro Paco Morales holds sway. Luxuriate on a cruise on the Mediterranean aboard the luxuriously reappointed Mooi yacht.

St. Patrick is in the limelight this month –find out how he came to prominence and how he is being celebrated around the world. Get more acquainted with current celebrity, Ryan Gosling in an exclusive interview.

Venerate the slick lines and sheer audacity of the new Bugatti Mistral Roadster. Check out Gucci’s Spring Summer Collection under new Creative Director, Sabato de Sarno. Prepare your olfactory sense for the subtle onslaught of a top niche perfume, and get ready to be mesmerised by dynamic digital art in motion from César Yagüe.

Drop in to Zoco Home’s impressive new showroom at the entrance to Puerto Banús, and treat yourself to Michelin dining par excellence at Marbella’s Restaurante Back.

» GO TO CONTENTS
“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present” B. Olatunji

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Come with us on special trips to Tokyo + Kyoto and Segovia + Pedraza. Check in to the new Casa Palacio Don Ramón Hotel in Sevilla and check out the supreme styling of the Bugatti Mistral Roadster. Get the lowdown on St. Patrick in the month of his commemoration. Don’t miss our one-on-one with Ryan Gosling.

« BACK TO CONTENTS

sspotlight

22 Tokyo + Kyoto

34 The Splendour of Segovia

50 Hotel Casa Palacio Don Ramón

54 St. Patrick

68 Weather Modification

78 Engel & Völkers Private Office

92 Bugatti Mistral Roadster

100 Ryan Gosling

TOKYO KYOTO &

© Shutterstock
« BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » SPOTLIGHT | TRAVEL 22 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN
WORDS WORDS ADAM JACOT DE BOINOD

I remember learning, as a student, that Tokyo had the world’s largest population and, on arrival, there’s no doubt that it constitutes a full-on proper city. It’s at her most impressive lit up at night. Space is at a premium. Cars are parked in minimal or elevated slots. Houses come right up to the roads. Layers seemingly overlap with tall office buildings and apartments, rail tracks and highways, subways and basements.

Istayed initially at the functional and affordable Mercure Tokyo Ginza ( www. mercureginza.jp). It’s located among all the big brand stores. Luckily , I don’t suffer from chokuegambo , the desire to buy things at luxury brand shops. For the forces of ostentatious consumerism are strong in Japanese society and put pressure on the sarariman salaryman. Interestingly my first port of call was Omotesando, a similarly smart shopping district complete with a shopping centre called Omotesando Hills to replicate Beverley Hills.

For it’s the name of the direct route I took to the Meiji Jingu shrine. Here I delighted in standing beneath meoto kusu (meaning ‘husband and wife camphor tree’ as it symbolises a happy marriage). Sake barrels line the procession to this Shintu shrine to rid the evil spirits and I learnt that shrines never face west or north and never have statues as the spirit of the Gods are in nature.

From the Shibuya Sky Observatory on the 45th floor I looked down below at the famous zebra crossings and the new Olympic Stadium. I saw also the Tower Skytree, the second tallest building in the world after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and felt the immensity of this urban jungle with the mountains and even the snowcapped Mount Fuji in the distance. ›

23 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN

I had dinner at Peter, one of The Peninsula Tokyo’s restaurants (www.peninsula.com/ en/tokyo/5-star-luxuryhotel-ginza); The entrance beckoned with delightful cloche lights and the foyer had an alluring eye and eyebrow installation. The stunning view from Peter on the 24th floor looks over the malachite green roofs of the Imperial Palace. For my starter, I had a red snow crab cake with coriander, tsukemono tartar sauce which I paired

SPOTLIGHT | TRAVEL « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » 24 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN

Pinot Noir 2015 from the same Californian Estate. For dessert, I rounded off a delicious dinner with a chocolate ganache, namelaka, crumble and ice cream. An amazing treat. › video

The New Olympic Stadium

with Chardonnay 2016 from the Keller Estate in Petaluma, California, followed by a sirloin from Kobe with sancho pepper sauce, spinach and broccoli accompanied by VISITESSENTIALMAGA Z I EN ENILNO EROMROF ! ONLINE IN OUR HYBRID DIGITAL EDITION

STRAND MADE THE RECORD BREAKING SALE IN MARBELLA IN 2023. ASKING PRICE 17,950,000€

The villa was sold off market. In addition to the properties on our website, we have dozens of pocket listings of premium properties that are not listed publicly anywhere. If you wish to hear more about properties that have not even hit the market yet, contact us. We are here to help our clients from first-time buyers to experienced investors in securing the best real estate transactions.

If you are considering selling your property, we would love to help you. Strand Properties sells homes in a new way with a modern and fresh marketing to a wide international client base. Our high-quality pictures, property styling and an exceptional marketing concept will bring out the best of your property.

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I took the train to visit Team Lab. It’s a tech-art collective working within the digital realm seeking to ‘transcend physical and conceptual boundaries’; with their amazing expression of digital art using LED they created a true wonderland. The exhibition’s title was ‘Wander, Explore, Discover’ and the light shows were extremely imaginative and interactive. Indeed when I touched the walls, the images changed, and when I stood beneath the LED lanterns the colours altered. With mirrors and music added to the fray, all my senses were fully absorbed.

Team LAB – The Infinite Crystal Universe
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I next stayed at the welllocated Candeo Hotels Tokyo Roppongi (www. candeohotels.com/en/ roppongi). It’s bang in the middle of the nightlife district and near the Mori Tower with its sky view and art gallery. The hotel rooms are modern and functional and some even wear the signature distinctive black pyjamas to breakfast.

I sadly didn’t get to visit the gadgets and gimmicks of Akihabara, famous for its many electronics shops but I went instead to Takeshita Street in Harajuku. Here young girls, dressed up as rebel schoolgirls with their ties at half-mast, dream of being snapped up as models. They exuded super sweetness with their extra rosy cheeks,

bows and ribbons, and lace with short skirts, both kitsch and cute as they acted out their fantasy of perfection for the Instagram age. Here also are the cafés to sit with dogs, cats, pigs, monkeys, owls, and hedgehogs. I entered one with piglets purely out of curiosity as these little creatures rubbed themselves up endearingly beside me. I had dinner at Signature, one of Mandarin Oriental’s restaurants (www. mandarinoriental.com/ tokyo). On the 37th floor, chef Luke Armstrong offered up a wonderful menu of contemporary French food. All the velvet banquettes and tables beneath the elegant cornicing, even the special island seat past the bar, are

angled towards the mesmeric view of Tokyo’s jewelled skyline that is given greater impact by the lowered lighting and large windowpanes. A jazz quartet played and an internal fountain rippled.

In a depa-chika basement supermarket at Tokyo station I bought a bento, a packed lunch box before ‘seven minutes miracle’ cleaning ladies dressed in pink uniforms literally turned the seats round from the previous journey. I boarded the famous Shinkansen Bullet Train which links the country’s major cities. In under three hours I had reached Kyoto passing the otherworldly snow-capped Mount Fuji to my right forty minutes into the journey. ›

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Shinkansen passing the stunning Mount Fuji

I stayed a couple of nights at the Kyoto Hotel Okura (www.hotel.kyoto/okura) where smart liveried bellboys showed military precision and timing as my cases were taken to my spacious room that overlooked the river and to the mountains beyond, the lovely bowl of a setting for Kyoto, the former capital before Edo (Tokyo).

I took myself straight off to the Arashiyama Hanatouro, a special seasonal celebration in the outskirts of the city. Billed as a ‘pathway of blossoms and light’ it’s a long walk past flower arrangements and lanterns in a bamboo forest with illuminated walkways. Very

refreshing and uplifting.

I booked myself in to witness the ways of a maiko (www.granbellhotel.jp/ en/kyoto/maiko). These young women dedicate themselves to five years training in the dying art of becoming a geisha. The maiko is untouchable as she’s a work of art and her kimono was a splendid cobalt blue set against its gold screen backdrop. The maiko I witnessed sang, played table pastimes, and explained her yearning to enter this dedicated profession based on a wish to feel fully feminine and traditional.

I recommend going early

to Kyoto’s famed Golden Pavilion, perhaps with a coach tour, to avoid the crowds to engender the contemplation that the setting demands. With stunning architecture and landscaping it was originally the retirement villa of a statesman before becoming a Buddhist temple. There’s gold foil on lacquer on the upper two levels, a charmingly detached teahouse, and a pond garden with its reflection perfect for a reflective mind. The stillness and placement of the trees with moss growing up into the bark give a pure sense of oneness and harmony.

ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » SPOTLIGHT | TRAVEL « BACK TO CONTENTS 28 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN
Kiyomizudera Monzenkai

Next I saw the Nijo-Jo Castle. As I trod on the floorboards, the sound of nightingales was mimicked: a former effective alarm system similar to the geese in ancient Rome. For the castle was the home of the Shogun who sat apart and above the others, with the exception of the hall where he received the Emperor’s legates when he sat beneath them. The interior has rooms whose beauty is in the coffered ceilings and the gold leaf screens of tigers and geese, herons and peacocks, and even leopards as they were once believed to be female tigers.

The coach tour stopped next at the Imperial Palace, residence to the Emperor until 1869, with its large walled rectangular complex complete with carriage porches and waiting rooms, halls for state ceremonies and imperial audiences, and an exquisite garden with a meandering stream spanned by earthen and stone bridges. The spacious inner courtyards touched me with their perfectly raked gravel exuding an austere stillness. ›

Arashiyama’s Amazing Bamboo Forest
VISITESSENTIALMAGA Z I EN ENILNO EROMROF ! ONLINE IN OUR HYBRID DIGITAL EDITION video 29 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN

I came next to stay at the Hotel Kanra (www. hotelkanra.jp), well-located close to both the river and the station and right beside the mammoth Higashi Hongan-ji temple. The hotel’s front doors gracefully opened to a foyer decorated in Zen style with stunning lanterns and a beautiful bonsai tree. I loved my room, my ‘zen den’. All aesthetically pleasing as it was like a house with its own little garden and with the corridor effectively becoming an indoor street. Simplicity at its most gratifying. It had elegant sliding shutters, low seating for crouched

eating, slated bathroom flooring, and an onsen style bath. Here I felt I had a true Japanese experience. One of the many other temples and shrines I enjoyed in Kyoto was Fushimi Inari Taisha with its famous tunnel of 10,000 vermillion torii gates whose dedications were written in

calligraphy on their reverse side. It had trails that led into the wooded forest while over in the east of the city the historic temple Kiyomizudera Monzenkai, devoted to the Goddess of Mercy, had a delightful threestoreyed pagoda overlooking a spring from which people drink to purify themselves. ›

The Vermillion ‘Torii’ Gates at Fushimi Inari-taisha
SPOTLIGHT | TRAVEL ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » « BACK TO CONTENTS 30 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN
The Golden Pavilion

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One evening I climbed up a narrow staircase above a shop to watch the Gear Theatre (www.gear.ac/en). It bills itself as ‘not a play, not a musical, not a circus but somewhere in between’. It’s a non-verbal performance of robotic mime, magic, juggle, and dance. It was fabulous, light-hearted, and digitally inspiring as it drew on the tradition of old-fashioned theatre but with a hightech twist. Words weren’t needed. I won’t spoil it for you. Just go, as it’s a visual masterpiece!

Wanting a break from city life, I set off for the Philosopher’s Walk. It’s in the outskirts and hugs the canal and runs parallel to a number of shrines and temples. I could only imagine the spring blossom of the cherry trees that line the walk and the

spectrum of colour of the autumnal leaves. It leads to the Eikando Zenrin-Ji Temple and is full of hidden surprises, especially the impromptu procession of five chanting monks in their Chinese coolie sun hats.

Down a back street near Kyoto’s station and standing only in his kimono to greet me was Belgian-born Tyas Sōsen. I had come to this ‘tea master’ to learn all about the formal Tea Ceremony (www.tea-ceremony-kyoto. com). In an hour, cut from the full four and a half hour session, in his converted stockroom originally for charcoal, I watched the act performed as I sat in silence across the counter from Tyas whose fluent English got me quickly up to speed. There are four stages: you clean the utensils, make the tea,

serve the tea, and then reset everything. As his brochure explained: ‘It’s a ritual rather than a ceremony, a rite of hospitality’. Quintessentially Japanese.

ADAM JACOT DE BOINOD

WORKED ON THE FIRST SERIES OF QI, THE BBC PROGRAMME FOR STEPHEN FRY AND IS THE AUTHOR OF THE MEANING OF TINGO AND OTHER EXTRAORDINARY WORDS FROM AROUND THE WORLD, PUBLISHED BY PENGUIN BOOKS.

Drama at the Gear Theatre
SPOTLIGHT | TRAVEL « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » 32 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN
Kyoto skyline

SEGOVIA

A TIMELESS SPANISH JEWEL

In the embrace of the Iberian Peninsula lies the historic city of Segovia, a mosaic of Spain’s illustrious past and its dynamic present. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, this storied city invites globetrotters and cultural aficionados alike to lose themselves in its architectural splendour, timeless customs, and gastronomic wonders.

Spanning epochs from the Roman ascendancy to our contemporary era, Segovia stitches together a diverse tapestry of cultural elements, offering a rich narrative that demands to be experienced. It is a treasure trove of heritage, beckoning those who yearn to bathe in the essence of authentic Spain.

VISITESSENTIALMAGA Z I EN ENILNO EROMROF ! ONLINE IN OUR HYBRID DIGITAL EDITION video
Alcazar Castle in Segovia
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WORDS JENNIFER PELEGRIN

A JOURNEY THROUGH HISTORY

Segovia’s story is as old as time itself, with origins dating back to the Celtiberians before it became an important Roman settlement. The city’s most iconic symbol, the Aqueduct of Segovia, is a marvel of ancient engineering. This towering structure, with its 166 arches standing proudly in the city centre, was constructed in the 1st century AD and remains one of the bestpreserved Roman aqueducts in the world. It is not just an architectural masterpiece but also a symbol of the city’s enduring strength and resilience. ›

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The Middle Ages brought further prosperity and architectural innovation to Segovia, with the construction of its fairy-tale Alcázar. Perched on a rocky crag at the city’s edge, the Alcázar of Segovia looks as though it has leaped from the pages of a storybook. Its distinctive silhouette, with turrets reaching towards the sky, served as inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle. The interior is equally magnificent, housing a wealth of artifacts and offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Segovia’s Gothic Cathedral, another testament to the city’s

architectural grandeur, stands majestically in the Plaza Mayor. Known as ‘The Lady of Cathedrals’, its towering spires and stunning stained glass windows illuminate the rich religious and cultural history of the region.

SEGOVIA’S CULTURAL ESSENCE

In Segovia, culture is not just an aspect of life, it’s the very air that fills the city’s lungs, a vibrant fusion of historical grandeur and the pulse of contemporary Spain. As you meander along the labyrinthine streets, your senses are greeted by the rich scents of age-old recipes simmering in the kitchens

of family-run eateries. Here, the cochinillo asado, a masterfully roasted suckling pig, is not just food but a culinary rite, savoured slowly, revealing the soul of Segovian gastronomy.

The culinary journey through Segovia extends beyond its famed dishes. The city is a banquet that offers an eclectic spread to savour, from the piquant kick of local cheeses to the sweet, earthy tang of judiones de la granja –large white beans stewed to perfection. These dishes, steeped in tradition, are the essence of Segovia’s culture, each carrying a story, a piece of the past, served on a plate. ›

36 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN SPOTLIGHT | TRAVEL « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »
Plaza Mayor of Segovia
+34 951 615 213 @dunebeachmarbella dunebeachmarbella com Avenida Cervantes S/N - El Rosario

But Segovia’s cultural weave is richer still, embroidered with the vibrant colours of its festivals and the melodious threads of its musical traditions. The Festival of San Lorenzo is not just a celebration but a living tableau of Segovian life, where the rhythm of castanets blends with the laughter of revellers, and the air is a heady mix of music and the fragrance of roasted delicacies. It’s a time when the historic district transforms into a stage for the shared heritage of its people, a joyous communion under the open sky.

Similarly, the Segovia Music Festival is a

symphony that resonates through the city’s ancient stones. It is an event that transcends the mere performance of music, becoming a confluence where global melodies and local heritage dance together, creating an experience that resonates deeply with audiences from around the world.

In every corner of Segovia, culture is alive, evolving, and yet deeply rooted in its origins. It’s a culture that doesn’t just belong in museums or history books but is lived daily by the people who call this city home. From the artistry of its ancient aqueduct to the innovative exhibitions in

contemporary galleries, Segovia invites you to not just witness but to partake in the ongoing story of a city that continues to evolve its cultural legacy with every passing moment. ›

Segovia’s famous Roman aqueduct
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Cochinillo Asado, Segovia’s famous dish
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MODERN ALLURES

In Segovia, the whispers of history echo amid the thrum of modernity. It’s a city where the timeless and the contemporary are not at odds but in concert. The streets – lined with the silent sentinels of ancient stones – also pulse with the vibrant energy of the new. It’s here that the avantgarde art installations stand in eloquent dialogue with gothic facades, and boutique stores offer artisanal crafts that pay homage to Segovian traditions, yet with a modern twist.

The city’s gastronomic scene also mirrors this blend of the traditional and

the modern. Alongside restaurants serving century-old recipes, you’ll find modern eateries experimenting with local ingredients to offer a contemporary take on Castilian cuisine. This culinary duality promises a palette of delights that is as rich and varied as Segovia itself.

As for leisure, the city offers a array of experiences. Intimate jazz clubs breathe new life into historic quarters after dusk, while literary cafes host readings that merge the literary heritage of old with the voices of today’s storytellers. The evenings

in Segovia sparkle with a subtle modern glow, as gentle as the streetlights that illuminate its Roman aqueduct, and as inviting as the open terraces where locals and visitors alike gather to sip on regional wines.

Beyond the city’s limits, the Castilian landscape opens up in a panorama of natural splendours. The Guadarrama National Park, a stone’s throw from the city’s hum, serves as an escape into the wild heart of Spain. It’s a place where Segovia’s cultural journey can continue amid the quiet of pine forests and the majesty of rolling peaks.

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The Alcázar of Segovia

Here, one can wander along trails that wind through the Guadarrama range, offering moments of solitude and breath-taking vistas that stretch across the plateau.

Whether it’s the embrace of the past in its cobblestone streets or the allure of nature in its verdant surroundings, Segovia presents a living, breathing mosaic. It’s a city where every turn presents an opportunity to experience the seamless dance of epochs – a place where the legacy of yesteryear meets the vibrant pulse of today.

MUST-VISIT PLACES

» AQUEDUCT OF SEGOVIA: This colossal Roman structure is a testament to the ingenuity of ancient engineering. As you stand beneath its towering arches, you’re standing where water carriers once toiled and where history left a monumental mark. It’s a place for contemplation and for capturing the perfect photograph that spans centuries.

» ALCÁZAR OF SEGOVIA: With its turrets and spires that stretch into the sky, the Alcázar is a dream etched in stone. To wander its halls and manicured gardens is to walk the same paths as kings and queens of yore. Don’t miss the Tower of John II for a panoramic view that stretches out over the city and beyond, or the Hall of the Galley, so named for its unique ceiling that resembles an inverted ship’s hull.

» GOTHIC CATHEDRAL: Known as the ‘Lady of Cathedrals’, Segovia’s central place of worship is as tranquil as it is awe-inspiring. Its stained

glass windows filter light into a spectrum of colours, playing across the faces of saints and angels carved into stone. Attend a service, or simply sit and let the silence speak, surrounded by art that has inspired devotion for centuries.

» JEWISH QUARTER: The Jewish Quarter, or Judería, is a network of alleys and courtyards, echoing with the footsteps of a once-thriving community. Visit the Didactic Center of the Jewish Quarter to understand the rich history of Jews in Segovia, and stroll down Calle de la Judería Vieja, where every stone seems to hold a secret.

» CASA DE LOS PICOS: Its distinctive facade of diamondshaped points makes Casa de los Picos a unique architectural wonder. Today, it houses an art school and a gallery, where the tradition of craftsmanship is passed on to new generations. The juxtaposition of the historical exterior with the creativity brewing inside encapsulates Segovia’s spirit. ›

Casa de los Picos Segovia cathedral
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» ROYAL PALACE OF LA GRANJA DE SAN ILDEFONSO:

A short journey from Segovia’s centre, this palatial escape offers a slice of royal life with its Baroque architecture and expansive gardens. Modelled after Versailles, La Granja is a place to wander among sculpted hedges and fountains that erupt in a choreography of cascading water. Visit in the evening when the setting sun casts a golden hue over the palace, and the fountains are lit up, creating a spectacle of shimmering light.

» DINING DESTINATIONS:

And as the day wanes, let the culinary journey begin. Segovia is renowned for its traditional Castilian dishes, with venues like Restaurante José María

famed for its cochinillo asado (roast suckling pig), a crispyskinned delight savoured in the shadow of the aqueduct. Or maybe Mesón de Cándido, an establishment steeped in history, where the art of the perfect roast segoviano-style is elevated to legendary status.

Each of these must-visit places in Segovia offers not just a sight to behold but an experience to be lived, an insight to be gained, and a memory to be cherished. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply in love with the idea of travel, Segovia’s treasures are waiting to fill your days with wonder. ›

Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso Jewish Quarter of Segovia Gothic Cathedral
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4 5 280 m2 1,414 m2 Bedrooms Bathrooms Living area approx. Plot surface approx.

PEDRAZA A MEDIEVAL GEM

A short excursion from the vibrant heart of Segovia will lead you to the tranquil village of Pedraza. This medieval enclave, still encircled by its original walls, offers a stark contrast to Segovia’s energetic pace. Pedraza’s time-honoured gate opens to a world where history resonates through the silent cobblestone streets, inviting a peaceful exploration of Spain’s bygone days.

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The famous medieval castle of Pedraza

A WALK-THROUGH HISTORY

As you stroll through the narrow, cobbled streets of Pedraza, you’ll find that every step is a journey through time. The village wears its history like a well-worn cloak, with stone houses that have weathered centuries and streets that whisper tales of days long past.

At the heart of this medieval gem stands an imposing castle, an embodiment of Pedraza’s enduring heritage. Dating back to the 13th century, the Castle of Pedraza was once a strategic stronghold, a guardian of the village against the tides of time. Today, its sturdy walls and fortified towers have been transformed into a museum, inviting you to explore the

annals of Pedraza’s history. Scaling the castle’s battlements, a breathtaking panorama unfolds before your eyes – the Sierra de Guadarrama, a rugged mountain range that has stoically witnessed the passage of centuries. From this vantage point, you’ll not only gain insight into Pedraza’s medieval past but also connect with the natural beauty that has graced this region for generations. It’s a window to a time when castles stood as bastions of strength and the landscape was a silent witness to the ebb and flow of history.

CULTURAL IMMERSION

Pedraza is renowned for its cultural events, most notably the Candle Festival. Held in July, this enchanting occasion sees the village streets lit

solely by candles, creating a magical atmosphere that transports visitors back in time. Art and music fill the air, with concerts and exhibitions adding to the festive spirit.

The village is also a haven for art lovers, with several galleries and artisan shops showcasing local craftsmanship. From handwoven textiles to unique ceramics, Pedraza offers a glimpse into the traditional skills that have been preserved through the ages.

CULINARY DELIGHTS

Begin your gastronomic journey at El Yantar de Pedraza, where the asado de cordero (roast lamb) is not merely a meal but a rite of passage, its succulent meat falling off the bone, seasoned with rosemary from the nearby Guadarrama Mountains. For a taste of the wild, La Olma entices with its caza (game) dishes, featuring venison and wild boar sourced from the Castilian woodlands, each bite a burst of earthy flavours. ›

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No culinary exploration is complete without a visit to La Taberna de Antioquia, a haven for cheese lovers. Here, the queso de oveja (sheep’s cheese), aged to perfection, pairs exquisitely with a robust Ribera del Duero wine. The quaint Café de la Villa, meanwhile, offers an aromatic café con leche and a selection of pastries, perfect for a leisurely afternoon.

Each establishment in Pedraza, from the simplest tapas bar to the most esteemed restaurants like El Corral de Joaquina, prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients. Their chorizo, made from Iberian pigs and seasoned with local paprika, is a staple that captures the essence of the village’s culinary identity.

As night falls, the stone walls of La Posada de Don Mariano glow warmly, inviting diners to conclude their day with a glass of local garnacha. The tavern’s terrace, overlooking the verdant valley, provides a picturesque scene as you toast to the culinary wonders of Pedraza.

MUST-VISIT PLACES

» CASTLE OF PEDRAZA: Venture into the past with a visit to the Castle of Pedraza. This majestic fortress stands as a sentinel over the village, its towers offering panoramic views that sweep across the horizon, a reminder of the tales and legends woven into its stones.

» PLAZA MAYOR: The vibrant soul of Pedraza, Plaza Mayor is an architectural marvel. Step into this enchanting square and find yourself transported back in time, enveloped by the immaculately preserved medieval edifices that whisper stories of yesteryears.

» CHURCH OF SAN JUAN: A sanctuary of tranquility, the Church of San Juan is an exquisite representation of Romanesque design. Its hallowed halls invite quiet contemplation and offer visitors a serene retreat from the bustle of daily life.

» THE JAIL MUSEUM: Unearth the secrets of Pedraza’s medieval history within the walls of the old Jail Museum. Once a 13thcentury prison, its chambers now hold echoes of the past, summoning you to delve into the narratives of those who once dwelled within its confines. e

Plaza Mayor
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HOTEL CASA PALACIO DON RAMÓN

THE NEW FIVE-STAR GRAND LUXURY HOTEL BY KAIZEN HOTELS IN SEVILLA
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Sevilla, the capital of Andalucía, is steeped in art, culture, and history, and it is no surprise that it is the third most visited city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona. With its sunny weather, Moorish Almohad and Gothic architecture, and myriad of restaurants, museums, theatres, and theme parks, it merits its reputation for being one of Spain’s most lively cities. Its impressive tourist figures (some 2.6 million people spend at least one night in this city) highlight a demand for premium accommodation – and a new haven of luxury, the five-star, Grand Luxury Casa Palacio Don Ramón, is ready to fulfil this need.

The Don Ramón stands out for its high level of personalisation, as well as the sensorial experience it offers guests. Ensconced in one of Sevilla's most emblematic buildings – the former Casa Palacio on Calle Trajano, in the very heart of the city – it is

home to just 26 rooms with stunning design, layout, and features. The interiors are the work of famed studio, Alejandra Pombo, whose client list includes Vincci Hoteles, Can Tres Formentera, and Grupo Lateral. Culture inundates common spaces, which house works of art from the hotel’s own collection, as

well as the private collection of Marisa C. de Azcárate (owner of Kaizen Hotels, an Andalusian hotel group that specialises in luxury tourism in historic, unique settings). With the opening of this new hotel, Kaizen is now present in the three cities that make up Western Andalucía’s ‘golden triangle’: Huelva, Cádiz, and Sevilla. ›

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Extensive renovation was carried out on Casa Palacio, which boasts a rich historical and artistic heritage. High-end technology and sustainable practices were used to install acoustic and thermal insulation, closed water circuits, silent climatisation, multilayer Climalit glass, and radiant stone flooring. Kaizen Hotels’ passion for sustainability is evident in its use of aerothermal and geothermal (‘clean energy’) systems, which lower the hotel’s carbon footprint.

As you make your way through the Don Ramón, you encounter various cultures that have left an indelible mark on the city, from the Al-Ándalus era to New World Sevilla. Exquisite materials and details were used by local craftsmen to create everything from painted wallpaper to soft furnishing upholstery, tile work, metal bars, and the quaint balconies found in some of the accommodations.

The rooms are divided into three categories: Árabe (Arabic), Mozárabe (Mozarabic), and Nuevo Mundo (New World), each of which boasts a unique style. On the top floor, you will find two suites: Sevilla and Don Ramón, ideal for those seeking an extraspecial (or extra-spacious) stay.

Traditional and contemporary influences abound, with a view to offering guests the perfect blend of visual perfection and comfort.

The hotel has its own restaurant, which opens early in the morning and which serves hearty dishes made with local produce and techniques. It is open to guests and external diners alike and is known for its varied breakfast buffet (where you can tuck into freshly baked bread, Iberian fare, freshlysqueezed fruit juice, fresh fruit, and a wide array of hot dishes) as well as its à la carte menu.

Through the Hotel Casa Palacio Don Ramón, Grupo Kaizen has emphasised the important role played by historic homes and palaces in Andalucía’s heritage. The Group’s other projects (Hotel La Malvasía, El Rocío, in Almonte (Huelva) and Casa Palacio María Luisa 5* Grand Luxury (in Jerez de la Frontera) are in equally spectacular locations. The Group has invested heavily in research to give new life to buildings that are maximum exponents of the beauty of local historical architecture, and the result is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the soul. WWW.HOTELDONRAMON.COM

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GREEN THE DAY THE WORLD TURNS

‘FOR THE WHOLE WORLD IS IRISH ON THE SEVENTEENTH O’ MARCH!’

T.A. DALY, IRISHAMERICAN POET

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From Sydney Opera House to the Great Wall of China and the Pyramids of Giza to Niagara Falls, hundreds of global landmarks will turn green this month for St Patrick’s Day. essential finds out how Ireland’s patron saint came to symbolise a boozy good time enjoyed by all.

Look out your leprechaun hats, Limericks and favourite Paddy jokes. It’s time to ‘drown the shamrock’ in the name of a saint cherished globally as the very spirit of Irish-ness. But, in fact, Saint Patrick doesn’t have a drop of Irish blood in his veins, which in itself is kind-of Irish. He was born in

Roman Britain.

His saint’s day is celebrated in more countries of the world than any other national festival including some you’d never think of – like Norway, Russia, and Argentina which has the fifth largest Irish population in the world. It has even been celebrated in space. In 2013, Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield donned a green bowtie and sang Danny Boy from the International Space Station. ›

Sydney Opera House © Kahunapule Michael Johnson, Pukalani, Hawaii, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
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In Malaysia, the St. Patrick’s Ball is the biggest celebration in Asia; in Belgium it’s all about Gaelic football, and in Japan it’s bagpipes and oysters.

Chicago has been dyeing its river green since 1962 when it happened by accident after adding too many chemicals.

The fountain on the White House North Lawn also gets a green rinse, the President gets a fresh bowl of shamrocks

flown in by the Government of Ireland, and landmarks around the world get lit up in green – 690 in 66 countries was a record in 2021.

Over 100 million people claim Irish descent and they all reconnect with their ancestral heritage on St. Paddy’s Day when worldwide Guinness consumption triples to 13 million pints – 50 pints per second! Yet, for centuries,

Ireland was a dangerous, dirt-poor country most locals couldn’t wait to leave and, since 1700, some 10 million have. The 19th century’s devastating ‘Potato Famine’ saw Ireland’s population fall by 40% when at least 1.5million emigrated and a similar number died. ›

The White House, Washington D.C. 20th century illustration © FAL, via Wikimedia Commons
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The Chicago River

They fled to escape poverty, religious persecution, disease and starvation, working as indentured servants to supplement slave workforces on plantations in British colonies, and as labourers in the emerging cities of the Industrial Age. Their culture was the comforting blanket they took with them, although the first St. Patrick’s Day parades were way

more low key than today’s booze-fuelled extravaganzas. New York’s, officially the largest and oldest (since 1762), attracts 150,000 participants and two million spectators.

Dublin had to wait until 1931 for its first statesponsored parade and until 1961, March 17 was a holy day and all the pubs were closed, which doesn’t

sound very Irish at all! As the Connacht Telegraph described it in 1952: ‘It was like any other day but duller.’

MONTSERRAT’S FUSION FEST

Celebrations on The Emerald Isle of the Caribbean have a bitter-sweet flavour and it’s not the Guinness. They commemorate a bloody rebellion on St Patrick’s Day, 1768, when African slaves who could work their way to freedom and land ownership after seven years rose up against the colony’s greedy Irish settlers. The annual public holiday pays homage with a Freedom Run and a blend of Irish and AfroCaribbean cultures so expect steel bands, tribal masks, and goat stew as well as green beer.

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Niagara Falls

GOING TO THE DOGS

For over 30 years the home of the world’s booziest festival was as dry as the desert. The sale of alcohol ban was introduced in 1927 to put Ireland’s holy days on a more sober footing. The only place in the capital licensed to sell liquor on St. Patrick’s Day was the Royal Dublin Dog Show, held the same week when, as journalist Tim Pat Coogan observed, ‘Canine veneration in the city reached heights unequalled anywhere else in Europe’. ›

Buenos Aires, Argentina © penelope777, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons Montserrat’s Afro-Caribbean twist © Valbaun Galloway, Montserrat Tourism Division
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The Colosseum, Rome

DOG DAYS IN NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR

Dubbed ‘the most Irish place outside Ireland’, Canada’s most easterly territory is Ireland’s closest transatlantic neighbour. Its fisheries have provided a fresh start for Irish exiles for nearly three centuries and they are still the third largest ethnic group, after Canadians and Brits. St Patrick’s Day is a public holiday and parades heavily feature Newfie and Labrador pets dressed up like dogs’ dinners in green.

PLASTIC PADDIES

A disparaging term for non-natives who claim Irish heritage. Irish journalist Brendan O'Neill defined them as ‘secondgeneration wannabe Irishmen’, naming Bill Clinton, Daniel Day-Lewis, and late Pogues lead vocalist, Shane MacGowan as typical of the breed.

ST PATRICK: SAINT OR SINNER

The Irish tell a good story but they’ve kissed the Blarney Stone smooth with their reinvention of St Patrick over the last one and a half millennia.

Tales of him driving snakes from Ireland like a medieval Harry Potter, and converting doubting druids to Christianity with a shamrock, using its three-leaf configuration as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity, should be taken with a large pinch of Celtic salt. In fact, he’s the most famous saint in the world we know next-to-nothing about.

The only written evidence comes from two documents St. Patrick penned himself, plus a couple of idealised accounts by church biographers two centuries later when he had become widely accepted as Ireland’s patron saint. His life is dated to the 5th century but the precise details of his birth, life and death are up for debate. What is not disputed is his nationality. He was born ‘somewhere’ in Roman Britain which might make him English, Welsh or Scottish but definitely not Irish.

Every Newfoundland dog has its St Patrick’s Day Colegiata San Patricio, Murcia
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His own account of his spiritual journey is as colourful as the legends. Born into a privileged family of tax collectors during the lawless last years of the Roman Empire, at 16 he was kidnapped by raiders and transported on a slave ship to Celtic Hibernia (Land of Winter) as Ireland was called then. After six years living rough as a herdsman in this wild country of warring tribes and druid priests who worshipped pagan deities and indulged in ritual human sacrifice, he escaped from his captors – a 200-mile cross-country hike to the coast on foot where he caught a ship home to Britain.

Fired up with missionary zeal, he spent the next dozen years studying for the priesthood and returned to Ireland as a bishop, vowing to convert the entire country to Christianity. He didn’t

make a bad job of it, reportedly baptising 120,000 Celts and founding over 300 churches and monasteries (hence, he’s also the patron saint of engineers).

There were times when his halo slipped… He hinted in his writings of a mysterious sin committed in his youth; and of standing trial, possibly over the significant number of wealthy women he converted to the sisterhood who would have surrendered their worldly goods to the church on taking their vows. As Primate of All Ireland in later life, St Patrick was the church.

Some historians dismiss the slavery story and suggest he really went to Ireland to avoid becoming a tax collector – a challenging job in the Empire’s last days when the Romans themselves were leaving Britain.

Whatever the real story, given the size of his fan club today, he certainly fulfilled his calling. He is multi-denominational – embraced by the Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Greek Orthodox churches – and patron saint in surprising places like Nigeria, Melbourne, Montserrat, and the Spanish province of Murcia. The Colegiata de San Patricio in Lorca, the only church in Spain under his patronage, marks the battle of Alporchones on St. Patrick’s Day, 1452, when Juan II of Castile defeated the Muslim army of Granada.

And even if he didn’t drive snakes from Ireland (they were mostly wiped out during the last Ice Age), a quick prayer to St Patrick could come in very handy if you ever encounter one, as he’s patron saint for protection against snake bites too! ›

Yokohama, Japan. © Kounosu - Self-photographed, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

St Patrick’s Church, Junction City, Ohio © Nheyob, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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SAYING IT WITH SHAMROCKS

Nothing says Irish like the shamrock, Gaelic for ‘young clover’ – and you’ll need the luck of the Irish to find a four-leafed specimen as there’s only a 10,000-to one chance in nature.

It first appeared with St Patrick on coins minted in 1675, and later in stained glass windows. The story of him using the shamrock as a teaching aid for trainee converts was probably a pretty backstory concocted by the church whose data on the saint was pretty thin.

Today you can find this emblem of Irish pride on the flag of Montreal, the passport stamps of Montserrat, the football strip of Celtic Football Club, the tail fins of Aer Lingus jets, entwined with the English rose and the Scottish thistle in the architecture of Buckingham Palace, and everywhere with an Irish connection. It even flies on the flag of the Mexican Army’s St. Patrick’s Battalion, founded by an Irishman.

Drowning the Shamrock with a St. Patrick’s Pot is an old Irish tradition. At the shout of Last Orders,

shamrock sprigs worn around revellers hats are dropped into the last pot of ale and downed in one for good luck.

LEPRECHAUNS ALIVE!

Fluorescent green leprechaun top hats are de rigeur on St Paddy’s Day, even though there’s absolutely no connection between the saint and the miniature mischief makers of Irish folklore. Their stories became intertwined over time.

First referenced in 8th century literature, leprechauns are classified as tiny male fairies with a talent for trickery who own crocks of gold coins buried at the end of the rainbow. In early illustrations they had

wizened faces and wore red, not green. The long red beard, top hat and buckled shoes were later additions. Branded a racist stereotype of short, redhaired Irish people by some, leprechauns have been lucky for Irish tourism. And particularly for the town of Carlingford, County Louth where thousands flock to Slieve Foy mountain, home to the last living leprechauns, all 236 of them! And European Parliament records can confirm that. Thanks to some serious lobbying by enterprising locals who came up with the idea to attract visitors, their mountain is now a ‘Designated Area of Protection for Flora, Fauna and Little People’. e

Human leprechaun © Matthew T Rader, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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WHAT IS WEATHER MODIFICATION?

Weather modification is a rather hot topic right now. Why? Because we’re undergoing a rapid heating up and drying of large parts of the planet, and some people think it’s not quite natural.
WORDS MICHEL CRUZ PHOTOGRAPHY ADOBE STOCK AND UNSPLASH
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What would happen if climate could be used as a weapon? © Noaa / Unsplash

You may have noticed a change in the weather, especially if you’ve spent the past few months in parts of the world that are becoming unseasonably hot and dry, like for instance Catalunya and the Costa del Sol. This process has been

predicted and indeed ongoing for some time now, but it seems to be speeding up, and with it the level of anxiety about what exactly our future holds. In truth, people have been warning us about the environment and the climate for half a century already, but until recently it has been easy to brush such thoughts away, whether you believed in climate change or not.

IS THERE CLIMATE CHANGE?

A debate that has raged for several decades now as a supreme exercise in futility is the pingpong match involving the question of whether climate change really exists. Until not so long ago it was above all a hypothesis and a warning, backed up with statistics, analyses and predictive modelling that were relatively easy to ignore. However, now personal observation and indeed experience seems to suggest that, yes, something is changing, and it’s not all that benign. Given that we like earth the way it was, and not some hellish version of it, there does seem to be reason to worry about the future, and not just in the long term. ›

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Can we break droughts and bring life back to farmland?

DID WE CAUSE IT?

The next philosophical question that caused us to waste decades in useless debate centred upon the doubt that, even if climate change was real, it was caused by us. Instead of erring on the side of caution and taking sensible preventative measures, leaders, manufacturers, scientists, the media, and the public in general entered into a semantic folly that has seen precious little action undertaken until now. And now our leaders and many a know-it-all celebrity or tech billionaire is pointing the finger at us little children and telling us to abandon plastic and fossil fuel cars, as well as to prepare for a world in which travel, eating meat, and heating your home are a luxury – unless you’re one of them, of course.

Sceptics remain, and they are right in pointing out that the climate has always been in flux, even within human history. We are always moving between ice ages, in what is called an interglacial period, and the amount of heat/ cold depends upon where we are in that process, which also includes significant fluctuations within it. ›

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About a thousand years ago, Vikings named Greenland for its verdant coastline, yet six centuries later Dutch painters were depicting arctic scenes in what is known as the Little Ice Age. Even more infuriating than these sudden and dramatic changes in temperature is the fact that we’ve not been able to detect a very clear pattern about them. Agreeing that climate change exists does not

mean that we haven’t been at least partly responsible for what we’re experiencing right now. A thousand years ago, Greenland was warm but also wet, and today the combination seems to be widespread heat and drought, accompanied by extreme storms and floods. All of this could be natural in its origin, but I think we can all agree that our industry, out of control logging in the Third World,

over-intensive agriculture in the First, slash and burn farming in poor countries, out of control population growth and urban sprawl (again, in the Third World), and First World consumerism and the throw-away lifestyle have all made things worse – a lot worse.

We have overbuilt, overfished, over-logged, overpopulated, overtravelled, and also filled the world with plastic and other substances that are now visible everywhere on land and in the seas and waterways. The air pollution from dust and chemicals is visible in the smog that surrounds us, and it will only grow worse without rain, which brings us to another point.

Records show that the earth is warming up – how much of this is natural and how much caused or added to by humans? © Noaa / Unsplash

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IS IT BEING MANIPULATED?

So, if we can agree that the climate is changing, that it is quite possibly natural in origin but that we are in any case harming the world – and therefore possibly our climate too – then we must also berate everyone for not having done enough before we got to this point. Now we are being told to drive electric (without as much as a debate on its pros and cons, and whether it really is better for the environment) and every corporation is suddenly out to prove their ecological credentials. The very same companies

that have been the largest polluters. Our leaders have failed us in their shortsighted management bordering on incompetence, and we the populace/consumers have failed the world too with our focus on selfish needs and drive.

But some believe that there is more to it than that. They point to something called weather manipulation, and while many of their theories are indeed conspiracy theories (which by itself does not mean they cannot be true), manipulation of the weather is a real thing, and it’s not new either.

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Climate is a frighteningly powerful force, and it’s starting to scare
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WEATHER MANIPULATION

There has been research into how to create rain and manipulate the weather ever since science was born, and cloud busting experiments involving firing gunpowder and explosives into the air – or more specifically, into clouds – started after veterans of the 18th and 19th centuries reported rainfall after almost every battle. The idea was later developed further into cloudseeding, a practice that involves distributing particles in the air that serve as ice nuclei or cloud condensation to produce rain. Originally, the main focus was on agriculture, but the research, much of which was undertaken by the US armed forces, later also sought to prevent or create extreme weather, as in the case of the highly secretive Operation Popeye, during which the US Air Force sprayed the air above North Vietnam with the intention of extending the storms of the Monsoon.

Among the growing list of

countries that are dabbling with this were/are of course the Soviet Union, the United Arab Emirates, which is said to have produced 50-plus storms since 2010, and China, where an entire ministry is dedicated to what it now says is effective control over the weather. Such claims seem exaggerated, and a wiser species than ours would also warn that we could be playing with fire, yet that has never deterred anyone before, and so mankind continues to dabble – for good or bad. Many conspiracy theories believe in the latter, claiming that there are numerous secretive weather and earthquake control projects in place. One popular example is HAARP, a radio technology research programme in Alaska that is funded by the US government, and there are other facilities whose purpose is said to be the weaponising of climate, but perhaps most prominent of all is the chemtrail theory. ›

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The contrails left by aeroplanes have given rise to conspiracy theories

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CHEMTRAILS

Over the years, we have grown up seeing aeroplanes cross the skies, and particularly on a clear sunny day you will see them leaving white lines, or trails, in their wake. This is produced by water condensation from the engines, so if an airliner has two engines there will be two lines, etc. This much is beyond doubt, and the tens of thousands of flights that criss-cross the globe each day have a severely negative impact on the environment, but from contrails (the above) we’ve gone to chemtrails – the theory that chemicals are being purposely poured out of canisters attached to military and even commercial aircraft, usually with sinister motives.

What has given rise to this theory is the fact that a lot of people feel the trails have become thicker and more persistent – i.e. they remain in the air for much longer as they take more time to dissipate. Conspiracy theorists believe that this is because ‘deep state agencies such as the CIA’ are spraying harmful chemicals and biological agents to do anything from alter the weather and cause droughts to poison or control people. Detractors say the speed with which contrails disappear depends upon the prevailing weather conditions, but the speed and absoluteness with which the media and government agencies declare believers of such theories to be crazy, dangerous individuals does more to enhance suspicion than take it away.

Humans are trying to make rain, but how effective are the techniques used?

SPOTLIGHT | WEATHER « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » 76 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN

Some believe there is a conspiracy afoot to reduce population, make us docile or dependent upon medication, raise taxes with an environmental rationale, or cut back our freedom, right to mobility, and impose increasingly dictatorial government control over the populace. While many such theories appear to be farfetched at the least, crazy at most, the revelation of projects such as Operation Popeye after they had been denied for years casts a shadow of doubt upon anything that is claimed by officialdom along with the wildest claims of conspiracy enthusiasts. It is clear that the militaries of competing nations have, and are, attempting to use weather manipulation as a potentially hugely powerful weapon, but just how far this goes, and if it is at all linked to the growing number of white lines in the sky remains a mystery for now. e

Vapour trails from aeroplanes are more noticeable than before © Brigitte Elsner / Unsplash
© Noaa / Unsplash
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The number of destructive storms, droughts and floods is on the rise

ENGEL & VÖLKERS

BECAUSE BUYING AND SELLING A PROPERTY IS A MATTER OF TRUST

This concept is particularly true of the top end of the market, where Engel & Völkers have been experiencing the fastest growth in recent years. The Engel & Völkers shop opposite the Marbella Club is therefore the first in Spain to join an international elite of Private Offices that link its global network of high-net-worth buyers.

WORDS MICHEL CRUZ PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF ENGEL & VÖLKERS
SPOTLIGHT | PROPERTY « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » 78 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN
Engel & Völkers’ Private Office Team

It is fair to say that Engel & Völkers is a success story in the Marbella area, where the operation run by Smadar Kahana has expanded from its original base on Marbella’s Golden Mile to other prime areas west and east of here. She builds on a strong base of local knowledge, where each agent is a specialist in a specific residential area, along with the

Engel & Völkers way of working. “We have the benefit of a corporate infrastructure and methodology, as well as the resources and network of a company with a truly global presence in luxury real estate,” says Smadar. “Our agents all receive professional training, are backed by top marketing and operational tools, and can collaborate with hundreds of equally qualified E&V colleagues around the world.”

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Listed exclusively with Engel & Völkers and sold to a direct client from their international database

This applies above all to the top end of the market, where the brand has an elite network of Private Offices that are exclusively dedicated to buyers at the very pinnacle of the market. “If you have a strong and longstanding presence in markets such as New York, London, Paris, Gstaad, Monaco, and Palm Beach you become a trusted name with specialist expertise in marketing the very finest homes to an international ultra-high-networth clientele. This entails everything, from how you present important properties to how you provide service to clients who are used to and demand the best in terms of professionalism, efficiency, and treatment. In this segment of the market, the process of selling a multimillion euro home is about providing an exceptional experience.”

SPAIN’S FIRST PRIVATE OFFICE

The Private Office is an elite operation dedicated to the very highest level of the industry, and only a handful of agencies in top locations qualify. “Marbella has always been a luxury destination that draws an exclusive clientele, but in recent years it has joined a global A-list with properties now extending beyond €30 million. We noticed this in our results over the past years, where we have become A – if not THE – major player in the segment above €5 million and in particular over €10 million. It is because of the kind of buyer that the region now attracts, but also because we have the profile of client for Marbella’s finest homes from within the international network of Engel & Völkers, and this is why we are likely to sell more

luxurious villas than anyone else.”

The growing importance of the ultra-high-end market has resulted in the launch of the first Private Office in Spain this month. "Every part of the company is growing well, to the point where we are creating specialist divisions that offer dedicated service and expertise by specialists in that field," says Smadar.

The other segments and divisions of Engel & Völkers in Marbella have also seen important growth, such as the opening of a new office in the Tembo Centre on the Golden Mile dedicated to development projects, and a luxury rentals company, called All About Home. The Development Office works with recognised developers and guides them from land sourcing and product concepts through to pricing, detailing, marketing and sales. ›

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“THE PEOPLE WHO FORM PART OF OUR PRIVATE OFFICE ARE EXPERTS IN THEIR FIELD, WITH A LONG TRACK RECORD IN UPPERLEVEL SERVICE, AND THEY WORK HAND IN GLOVE WITH THE PRIVATE OFFICES OF ENGEL & VÖLKERS AROUND THE WORLD”
Smadar Kahana, CEO of Engel & Völkers Marbella
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“And we produce results, having sold the two most recent projects we represented within a timeframe of 12 months.” Like the development division, the opening of the Private Office places Marbella’s Engel & Völkers operation among an international elite of agencies and brokers that rank at the top of their field. “You can be an expert in the mid to upper segment of the property market, but the executive one is a different field altogether. It requires a very selective form of presentation and marketing that uses the latest

technology and discreetly offers homes to a network of UHNW buyers. For the finest homes and clients, many of whom are famous, it involves discretion and a level of service that includes private air travel, chauffeur-driven transport, and a five-star environment throughout.”

Such buyers are received in style at the elegant new Private Office opposite the Marbella Club. They are booked into the finest hotels or private villas, with everything presented to their wishes, and the same is true of the property viewings

themselves. “To ensure that buyers of this calibre enjoy the kind of experience they are accustomed to requires the next level of organisation, expertise, and personalised attention,” says Smadar, “and that demands a special infrastructure, with the right people. The people who form part of our Private Office are experts in their field, with a long track record in upperlevel service, and they work hand in glove with the Private Offices of Engel & Völkers around the world.”

82 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN SPOTLIGHT | PROPERTY « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »
An exceptional villa in La Zagaleta sold exclusively by Engel & Völkers

In fact, many of Smadar’s top-end buyers in Marbella have already bought through this globally recognised brand and look for the consistency of know-how and service they are used to when venturing into new markets. It all comes down to a philosophy, and E&V’s was already clear when its founder Christian Völkers recruited aristocrats to become his salespeople, saying that “It’s easier to teach people with manners about the

real estate business than it is to teach manners to real estate people.” By this, he meant that, in a selfselecting market, top-end buyers will choose the environment they feel most comfortable with. “This is exactly what the Private Office offers, complemented by a deluxe property/rentals and concierge service that manages the finest villas in Marbella.”

The UHNW segment is now truly represented in Marbella.

BLVD. PRINCIPE ALFONSO DE HOHENLOHE, CN340 KM 178,2, CC LA

POVEDA, LOCAL 5, MARBELLA. TEL: (+34) 952 868 406

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SOME OF THE FAMOUS NAMES THAT ARE ENGEL & VÖLKERS CLIENTS:

» ‘Tectonic House’, the LA home of the producer of the The Simpsons

» The villa featured in the video for Adele’s Easy on me

» The LA residence of actress Margot Robbie

» The villa of Steven Seagal

» The estate of Rita Marley, widow of Bob Marley

» The villa estate of Cher

» Villa Mondadori, the villa bought by Donatella Versace on Lago Maggiore

» Halston House of designer Roy Halston

» The luxury estate of Ben Affleck

» The Florida home of Elle Macpherson

» The home of Mats Wilander

» The villa of Alexander McQueen in Mallorca

» Rock legend Steve Miller’sproperty in Sun Valley

» The sailing yacht featured in the Bond movie Skyfall

» The Utah penthouse of Lisa Kudrow

» And many more we can’t name…

The New Development team
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PROPERTIES NAVIGARE

We regard our homes as an investment and our holiday homes as a luxury, but what if your second property could behave as an asset and open the door to lifestyle experiences you might not have thought were in your reach?

ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » SPOTLIGHT | PROPERTY « BACK TO CONTENTS 86 MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN

Life is a budget in the sense that we must choose between the different options that lie within our financial means. In this sense, the primary home takes preference, followed by vacations, and if we can this evolves into owning a holiday home. For all but a relatively small group of people it ends here, and yachts, exotic vacations, and conciergestyle living do not fall within the scenario. This need not necessarily be so, though,

and it has to do with how you approach home ownership.

THE HOME AS AN ASSET

For most of us, the properties we own are our most valuable possessions. In reality, they are important investments, and as such represent economic assets. The thing about an investment or asset is that you want it to work for you, to grow, just as you do when you buy gold or have money invested in the stock market – so what happens when you apply this principle

to your property?

In the case of a holiday home, it means that you can earn income from it. The fact that you do not occupy the property all the time means that it can be rented out when it is standing empty, but if you don’t want the risk of damage or losses, it is best to hand the management of the process over to experienced parties. This way, the property is both looked after and earns income in a safe way. But what if it can do more than this alone? ›

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THE HOME AS THE GATEWAY TO A LIFESTYLE

If the people who designed, built,and also sold you the holiday home you now own on the Costa del Sol could not only provide efficient, incomeearning rental and home management services but also introduce you to a lifestyle you may have thought beyond your means, that would take the concept of property ownership to another level. It is a question of getting the most out of an investment that you have already made – and which adds

value to the home you’ve just bought.

“We design, build, market, and also manage properties,” says

Carmen Kearney Rozas, Managing Director of Navigare Properties in Spain. “In this, we are like many other specialist property developers, but with the difference that we put as strong a focus on post-sale property and rental management as we do on creating stylish modern homes. Although the management services are entirely optional, they open the door to a way of life.”

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NAVIGARE PROPERTIES

Owning a home this way means it is looked after by a specialist team, generates rental income without risk, and through the Navigare Owners Club ensures special concierge services and access to the Experience Program – where yachting, winter sports, summer leisure activities, spa escapes, and other experiences come together in exclusive destinations. “In essence, we provide stylish modern homes with hotel service in a Mediterranean and Alpine setting, and the range is growing,” says Ana Tirado, Director of Experience Program Operations.

The company chose Mijas for its homes on the Costa del Sol because it perfectly blends a convenient setting close to Málaga, the sea, the airport, and leisure amenities with space and natural surroundings close to a very pretty Andalusian village. “The villas and exclusive townhouses we are building there are modern, comfortable and stylish, and they complement the exclusive apartments and chalet homes we have created in the Swiss ski resort of Saas Fee, with a sales volume of €100 million.”

Navigare Properties is an accomplished specialist developer that is also a resort

operator, with experienced in-house staff that manages bookings, booking platforms, cleaning, maintenance, and personal concierge services. “We manage 350,000 guest nights per year, making us professionals with a sizeable operation.” Taken together, it opens the door to a lifestyle where owners of homes in Mijas can choose from other vacation properties in locations such as Saas Fee, its collection of yachts in Greece and Croatia, as well as other sports, leisure, dining, wellness, and destination experiences through associated parties. “This, in a nutshell, is the Experience Program.” ›

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PIONEERING PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT

“What for so many years has been about building, selling and moving on, with Navigare Properties is the beginning of a service on our part and quality of life for our clients,” says Carmen. “We’re among the pioneers in our field, taking property development to a new level where it is lifestyle enhancing.” Not surprisingly, this niche leader with its roots in Sweden also has a female management team and brings its experience in sustainable construction methods to the

TEL: (+34) 604 464 906

WWW.NAVIGARE-PROPERTIES.COM

Costa del Sol.

“To us, designing and building comfortable modern homes forms part of a philosophy that is built around service. It begins with the original design and concept of the properties, moves on to the energyefficient construction and finishing to offer value for money quality, and continues with the personal concierge attention and leisure options that really do mean that a Navigare property is the stepping stone to a quality of life you may not have imagined within your grasp.”

SPOTLIGHT | PROPERTY « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » 90 MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN

NEW FLAGSHIP STORE

Avda. Cánovas del Castillo, 25 Marbella (29601)

paolocastellispamarbella.com

BUGATTI MISTRAL ROADSTER

For decades, Bugatti has been the posterchild for raw power and worldbending straight-line speed. From the Veyron, first unveiled all the way back in 2000 at the Paris Motor Show, to the Chiron and various special editions that have gone on to set world records for road-going speeds, Bugatti has been the superfluous performance champion for a generation.

92 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN SPOTLIGHT | MOTORING « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »
WORDS SAM HEXTER PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF BUGATTI

THE SWANSONG OF A SIGNATURE POWERTRAIN

LAST OF THE OLD GUARD

Offering up something entirely different to the usual slew of Italian supercars, Bugatti has long been the pinnacle, giving owners a taste of something truly unique through entirely bespoke, low-volume builds. And after years at the top with

their now iconic recipe, centred around the W16 quad-turbo engine, Bugatti is giving one last hurrah to this motoring marvel with the Mistral Roadster, which is slated to be the final internal combustion engine car that the French automaker will ever produce. ›

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It’s speculated that, as early as later this year, we’ll see an official announcement from Bugatti on the drivetrain that’ll replace the Chiron’s W16 motor. And that’s looking highly likely to be a plug-in hybrid platform, in joint development with now majority shareholders, Rimac Group. Which is an incredibly exciting prospect indeed. And so, what better way to retire the outgoing gasoline-powered generation than a 420 km/h open-top roadster!

The aforementioned engine, the ambitious and brilliant quad-turbo W16, is borrowed from the Chiron Super Sport, and is the same engine that

broke records in 2019, propelling a road-legal car to a blistering 490 km/h. Bugatti’s last roadster, the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, set its own records in 2013, after the roofless Vitesse reached a staggering 408.84 km/h, with an engine rated at 1,200 PS. For reference, the new W16 Mistral has 1,600 PS, and its crosshairs set on becoming the fastest roadster in the world once again.

FEROCIOUS FORM & FUNCTION

The first thing to note, is that the Mistral Roadster is a true speedster – meaning the roof isn’t convertible. It actually comes with

no roof at all. And to get one, you’ll need to pay extra. With that practical car buying advice out of the way, take a minute to drink in the sleek lines and incredible angles of this car. Bugatti claims many of the design cues are inspired by the 1934 Bugatti Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid, from its exterior styling, to colour scheme and visual character. In reality, the Mistral is closer to a highlight reel from the Chiron’s development cycle, bringing forward a medley of some of the most outstanding design features to pay homage to the outbound engine and lineage.

ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » SPOTLIGHT | MOTORING « BACK TO CONTENTS 94 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN

Supporting the chassis are staggered wheels, boasting 20 inches in the front and 21 inches in the rear. Moving down the lengths of the Mistral are trick scoops and ducts to draw air and manage downforce, but the functional elements are tucked neatly within the long, flowing lines. It doesn’t look like a utilitarian, go-fast car. From a distance it seems that it could be sculpted from a single piece of precious metal. In fact, the designers deliberately made the rear lower diffuser significantly larger to help manage airflow and mitigate the need for an ‘unsightly’ rear wing, helping to preserve the clean silhouette of the car, while retaining uncompromised efficiency and performance. The profile features two sets of intakes – the lower set feeding the breeze onto oil coolers, and the upper scoops drawing in huge amounts of air into the engine – which are positioned right above the seats in the twin cabin for maximum theatre at full throttle. ›

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OUTRO

In many ways, the Mistral Roadster is the last of its kind. It represents a recipe perfected over time, and not one that we’ll see replicated again. The W16 is a monumental triumph of engineering, and has cemented Bugatti at the top of the game in a particular niche market for a very long time.

In Bugatti’s own words, the Mistral signifies

freedom, elegance, and speed. And from what we know of the Mistral so far, it certainly seems to be the embodiment of that ethos. The last of the W16’s also seems to have resonated with Bugatti’s exclusive client list, as every one of the 99 examples that will be built have already been sold: each costing upwards of €5 million. But remember, the roof is extra. e

» POWER 1,578 hp, 1,599 Nm-torque.

» 0-100KM/H Not yet published.

» TOP SPEED Expected 420 km/h.

» MARKET

ALTERNATIVES Bentley Bacalar, Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante, Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster, Ferrari 812 GTS.

» PRICE From €5 million plus local tax. Limited to just 99 examples, all sold.

96 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » SPOTLIGHT | MOTORING « BACK TO CONTENTS
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His latest project, The Fall Guy, promises to add another fascinating chapter to an illustrious career as he steps into a realm that blends action with emotional depth, a territory he navigates with ease. Playing the reimagining of the character Colt Seavers – originally played by Lee Majors in the 1980s television series – an audacious and charismatic individual, it seems to mirror Gosling's own journey in the industry… namely fearless, captivating and continually evolving.

The Canadian actor and musician started his career on The Mickey Mouse Club and then transitioned smoothly into adult roles. His breakthrough performance in The Notebook not only solidified his place as a romantic lead but also showcased his remarkable versatility. This adaptability became his hallmark, evident in roles ranging from a charming but troubled lover in Blue Valentine to a stoic stunt driver in Drive. His portrayal of a jazz musician in La La Land earned him an Academy Award nomination, affirming his status

as one of the finest actors of his generation.

However, his life is not confined to the glitz of movie sets. His partnership with actress Eva Mendes – away from the public eye – is a testament to his ability to balance personal life with a demanding career. Together, they share two daughters, Esmeralda and Amada, grounding his life in a reality far removed from the dazzling lights of Hollywood.

It's clear that he is not just an actor who plays a part, but a storyteller who lives through his art, an artist who paints his canvas with every role, and a family man who cherishes the simple joys of life.

THE FALL GUY WILL BE FAMILIAR TO PEOPLE OF A CERTAIN AGE. HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO THE TELEVISION SHOW OF THE 1980S?

Yeah, there will be quite a few who aren’t aware of it as I’m not sure how often it’s been repeated on cable TV or whatever.

Essentially, it’s based on the capabilities of Lee Majors' character, Colt Seavers. He consistently managed to outsmart others, despite being underestimated and not viewed as someone capable of

accomplishing much. Yet, he always contrived to achieve his goals, often just in time. The show was notable for executing impressive, large-scale practical stunts on a weekly basis, and we’ve brought a bit of that playfulness into the film, though I would like to say it stands on its own merits.

WE’VE BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH TO SEE SOME OF THE STUNTS YOU’VE BEEN DOING YOURSELF, ESPECIALLY ON THE SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE IN AUSTRALIA…

Absolutely, that was me. However, the stunt performers executed some of the most audacious, I would think, career-defining stunts for themselves, which is often not feasible in contemporary filmmaking. Nowadays, due to health and safety and the skills of computer-generated imagery, stunts like these are rarely performed. Yet, this was an extraordinary experience, allowing these stunts to be carried out for real – a great thing for stunt professionals present, and the actors!

I think there is that thing when you go back and do a film or a series from the past. ›

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RYAN GOSLING

CAUGHT IN THE ACT

Ryan Gosling, Hollywood’s quintessential leading man, has experienced a journey from child star to Oscar-nominated actor which is nothing short of cinematic itself.

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Sure, you can reinvent it in the modern day, but a part of you always wants to show respect for the people who first envisioned the idea by being as true and loyal to the original concept and the original techniques as possible. And I think that’s pretty cool.

The stunts include a remarkable cannon roll, an astounding high fall, and a breath-taking car jump over a massive crevasse – it really is a once-in-a-lifetime achievement.

With regards to my one, we decided that if we were going to go to the extent of closing the Harbour Bridge from 3am until about 10am, we needed to do something truly spectacular. In that particular scene, you can see me being towed behind a garbage truck at 40mph –that’s something I’m happy not to have to do again!

“I TRY TO ENJOY MY LIFE AND ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE OF MEETING PEOPLE WHO APPRECIATE MOVIES AND WHO ALSO LIKE MY WORK. I DON’T THINK I’VE REALLY CHANGED MY WAY OF LOOKING AT WHAT I DO OR HOW I SEE MY LIFE”

THOSE SEEING YOUR INTERVIEWS OR PRESS APPEARANCES WITH RUSSELL CROWE – SUCH AS THE LEGENDARY OSCARS ARGUMENT, AND STEPHEN COLBERT’S SHOW APPEARANCES – COULD BE FORGIVEN FOR THINKING YOU’RE ALWAYS JUST CLOWNING AROUND. HOWEVER, YOU ARE VERY DEDICATED TO YOUR CRAFT AND A SERIOUS ACTOR WHO LOVES THE ART OF COLLABORATION, AREN’T YOU?

Yes, I really am. I like to make sure that I am putting my all into any project and the alignment between an actor and the director’s vision is crucial. My experience working on Drive typifies this perfectly.

The film’s director, Nicolas Winding Refn, had a distinct vision and we spent extensive hours exploring L.A., taking in

the vibe, and listening to music that we felt matched with Drive’s intended atmosphere. This wasn’t just about the narrative; it was about sharing a collective experience that became a cornerstone for the movie. When a director can articulate their vision so clearly, it makes the process so much easier for an actor. You gain a deep understanding of the film’s essence and then comprehend how you can contribute meaningfully.

WAS THAT SOMETHING YOU ALSO DID WITH GRETA GERWIG FOR BARBIE?

Oh, Greta’s brilliance and her extraordinary, unique vision for the film were fascinating. She possesses an inspiring clarity in her direction, making it an irresistible opportunity for any actor. Her approach to

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filmmaking not only enhances the creative process but also fosters a very cool, very collaborative environment where everyone involved is deeply connected to the project. This kind of directoractor harmony is what elevates a film from good to unforgettable.

YOU’VE NOT BEEN A STRANGER TO ACTION MOVIES IN THE PAST WITH THE GRAY MAN ON YOUR CV RECENTLY.

It felt like it was the right time to do a genuine action movie. It’s not the sort of project I have been a part of in this sense and the experience was very enjoyable. As an actor I always want to push myself into new areas, and the

cast was such that I knew this would be played out beautifully. Chris Evans, as a nemesis, is probably one of the best you can imagine, so from minute one this was a lot of fun.

BECAUSE OF THAT, DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL LESS STEREOTYPED IN TERMS OF THE TYPE OF ACTOR YOU ARE?

I never wanted to be known just for one thing. I have tried to evolve who I am over the years, both in terms of the genre of film and also within a film, getting really deep into a character. Obviously with a project like Gray Man, there isn’t so much deep stuff going on – it’s just

wholesome action warfare, and that’s what made it really enjoyable.

NOW YOU’VE DONE THE FALL GUY AS WELL, IS THIS A GENRE YOU WILL PURSUE IN FUTURE?

I think the success of The Gray Man, for example, means we will be looking at sequel territory, so that is obviously on the cards. I must admit I did have more fun on this than I thought I would. It used a different level of investment on my part and that was really satisfying.

HOW ABOUT YOUR MOVIE CHOICES – HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHICH ONES YOU EVENTUALLY COMMIT TO? DO YOU HAVE A PROCESS?

When it comes to selecting scripts, I have a few steps that I will always take. The questions I ask myself are: "When you read the script, is there a story to be told? Does it stand on its own? Is there something useful in here?" That’s the crux of it for me, usually. ›

Barbie
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The Fall Guy

DID IT TAKE TIME GETTING USED TO THE LA MACHINE?

At first it felt a little strange and it was a mysterious kind of place. I had gotten to know Los Angeles from watching a lot of movies, but it still took me a long time to get used to the city. It's the obvious place to go if you're trying to become an actor but the whole notion of being a movie star is part of the mythmaking process that goes on in the film business. You create this great illusion on screen and then the illusion is taken to a different level when actors become mythologised.

I don’t even think of myself as particularly good looking and not at all a typical kind of Hollywood leading man sort of actor, although my mother says otherwise!

YOU WERE RAISED BY YOUR MOTHER AND YOUR OLDER

SISTER. WHAT WAS THAT EXPERIENCE LIKE?

I had a great time growing up. My mother is a strong woman and when I was having problems fitting into school, she decided to take me out and home school me. That was probably the most beautiful thing that could have happened to me, and I was able to learn how to study thanks to my mother and also to learn a lot about myself.

I didn't grow up in a conventional way. I never hung out with the cool kids or the tough kids at school and after I started working on TV some of the kids at my school would bully me and tease me every day. I had to take ballet classes to learn dance moves for my work [on the Mickey Mouse Club show] and obviously stuff like that was going to make me a target at school.

YOU SEEM TO BE SOMEONE WHO TAKES THE INDUSTRY SERIOUSLY. IS THAT A FAIR COMMENT?

Yeah, that’s pretty fair and true. It’s something which is conditioned in me. I have always been quite serious when it comes to acting and earning a living, even if I’m in funny movies.

I think I have chilled out a lot over the past few years. The longer you’re in the game the

more you realise you’re secure, but also that the things you used to fret over don’t really matter as much as you thought they did!

AND DOING FUNNY FILMS MUST HELP THAT MINDSET…

I like doing comedies. I like looking at things differently and I've always had a pretty good sense of humour. I did some comedies earlier in my career and it came to me naturally. So, I'm comfortable doing those kinds of movies. Sometimes I can get into a frame of mind where I want to do very dark and intense stories and then it's nice to do lighter stuff.

HAS STARDOM CHANGED YOU AS A PERSON?

I try to enjoy my life and enjoy the experience of meeting people who appreciate movies and who also like my work. I don't think I've really changed my way of looking at what I do or how I see my life.

What does change is the way the world sees you and how they've already developed a specific impression of who you are and when people meet you, they feel they know you personally. That's a strange feeling sometimes but I try to be as natural as possible when people come up to me and want to talk. It’s part of the game. e

104 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN SPOTLIGHT | PEOPLE « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »

Charter a leisurely Mediterranean cruise aboard the lovingly restored Mooi yacht. Be mesmerised by César Yagüe’s digital art in motion. Consider a cultural visit to the Hay Forum in Sevilla this month, and find out about PROINSERMANT’s new collaboration with Tesla.

« BACK TO CONTENTS

110 What’s Cool

116 Mooi Yacht Charter

ttrends

126 César Yagüe – Moving Digital Art

132 PROINSERMANT Collaboration with Tesla

136 Hay Forum in Sevilla

140 Hot New Films

144 Cool New Series

148 New Book Releases

wwhat’s cool?

TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET AND CARTIER

Unveiled at the world premiere of Dune 2, Timothée Chalamet sported a spectacular necklace in his second collaboration with the House of Cartier. Inspired by the settings in the film, it is a unique jewellery creation comprising more than 900 coloured stones which, by rotation, allows the wearer to choose which combination of stones they wish to reveal. WWW.CARTIER.COM

110 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN TRENDS | GLOBAL « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »

NH COLLECTION DUBAI THE PALM

Located on the popular West Beach of Palm Jameirah, NH Collection Dubai The Palm is the first NH Collection hotel in the Middle East. Comprising 532 spacious rooms, suites and serviced apartments, most with panoramic views of Dubai Marina, and an impressive infinity pool located on the rooftop, it’s the perfect venue for a vacation with the WOW factor.

WWW.NH-HOTELS.COM

VALENTINO BORN IN ROMA DONNA GREEN STAVAGANZA

Valentino Beauty has launched a new Eau de Parfum inspired by the gardens of the Eternal City where extravagance and sensuality come together. Born in Roma Donna Green Stravaganza is a masterpiece of olfactory art, a floral, amber, and woody fragrance that awakens the senses with its extravagant blend of Lapsang Souchong tea accord and opulent jasmine.

WWW.VALENTINO.COM

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SOFITEL BARCELONA – GREEN GLOBE CERTIFICATE

Sofitel Barcelona Skipper, Sofitel’s flagship in southern Europe and the only Sofitel in Spain, has received the coveted Green Globe certificate. This recognition highlights the hotel’s commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility, following its adoption and implementation of an impressive array of environmentally friendly measures.

WWW.SOFITEL.ACCOR.COM

THE MADRID EDITION – ONE OF THE 50 BEST

The Madrid EDITION has been included in the 50 Best Discovery List, which recognises the best restaurants, bars, and hotels from around the world. This prestigious recognition is a result of the significant number of votes received in the category of World’s 50 Best Hotels, chosen by more than 580 experts, journalists and experienced travellers.

WWW.EDITIONHOTELS.COM

112 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN TRENDS | GLOBAL « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »

LE MÉRIDIEN ILE MAURICE

Located off the east coast of Africa, the island of Mauritius is famed for coconut palms, translucent blue water, and endless beaches. Overlooking a kilometre-long stretch of ivory sand, Le Méridien Ile Maurice, with 51 adults-only suites and four different restaurants, offers an idyllic tropical setting for rejuvenation, romance, and revitalisation.

WWW.MARRIOTT.COM

LA JEFA DE MATSU

Bodega Matsu presents La Jefa de Matsu, a white wine elaborated from century-old Malvasía Castellana strains located in the D.O. Toro. Conceived as a tribute to women, La Jefa is a wine of great complexity, with character, flavour, structure, and strength, that is designed to express itself with more intensity and serenity over time.

WWW.BODEGAMATSU.COM

TALL SHIP EXPERIENCE

Let the waves set the rhythm, feel the creaking of the wood, and savour sunrises on the high seas. Step onboard one of several spectacular ships for an exciting voyage that combines travel, sailing, and being part of the crew of an historic ship with the Tall Ship Experience, which offers a range of exclusive expeditions encompassing many exotic destinations.

WWW.TALLSHIPEXPERIENCE.COM

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MOOI YACHT CHARTER

In Dutch, ‘mooi’ means pretty, beautiful, and that’s what life is when you’re out at sea with all the time in the world. Cares drift away in the sea breeze, the sun strokes your skin in tune with the waves kissing the hull, and the distant sound of seagulls sends you into a delicious stupor. Or you may just want the exact opposite, a lively get together out at sea, free to dive into the water and enjoy life to the max.

ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » TRENDS | YACHTS « BACK TO CONTENTS 116 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN
WORDS MICHEL CRUZ PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF GEELEN MARINE

Jean-Paul Geelen and partner

Cristina weren’t always owners of a yacht charter business. Originally from Dutch parents, he was born, raised, and spent the greater part of his life in Madrid, building his career in the satellite industry, while Cristina is a university lecturer also from Madrid. “We have always been keen sailors, so the love of the sea goes back many years, but the change in lifestyle to making this a way of life came in the wake of the lockdown, when I left the company and finally managed to find some time to complete the restoration of a nine-meter 1956 wooden hull motorboat that I had bought five years before but never had the time to finish. That summer, I finally got her back in the water, and together with Cristina, we had a wonderful summer cruising along the Galician south coast. Whenever we arrived at a port, there were always yacht lovers who came to congratulate us on the restoration of our boat, and many asked if we were chartering her. That’s when the idea of starting a classic yacht charter company arose.” ›

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118 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN TRENDS | YACHTS « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »

Due to his work, Jean-Paul has always been linked to the maritime industry, as shipping was one of his most important markets commercially, “So I have consistently been connected to the sea one way or the other, but we began searching for a larger boat when we decided to make a business out of it, and found a half-abandoned one at the dry dock of Kerkdriel, a small village in The Netherlands.” From there they transported her to Sanxenxo, a similarly picturesque village in Galicia, where they arranged for the renovation of Mooi, a 1966 18-metre Chris Craft yacht.

Cristina continues to give lectures online, combining it with the charter business that she and Jean-Paul have since set up. “We had previously sailed across the Mediterranean and in the USA in rented yachts, but after having lifted the Mooi onto a special heavy duty transport truck to Rotterdam, from where she was taken by ferry to Oporto, in Portugal, and finally again by truck to Sanxenxo, followed by almost two years of detailed renovation work, we now feel happy to call Marbella home and base ourselves here.” And from it they provide a range of experiences, including the typical day on the water, where guests sunbathe on the spacious deck, relax, swim out at sea or in a cove, socialise with drinks and various onboard homemade menu options, or book made-to-measure itineraries. ›

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“One of our most popular charters is the sunset experience, which is a two-hour cruise along the Costa del Sol that takes in the coastline as well as the sun setting in the west as guests settle back with a glass of Champagne,” says JeanPaul. Perhaps more unusual is the ‘underwater winery and oyster farm’, which is situated near Estepona – and yes, it really is underwater. “We meet their boat and then dive down to the bottom of the sea to recover exquisite sparkling

wines, fresh oysters, and succulent scallops.”

In addition, the yacht itself relives the classic glamour of the 1960s, an American gentleman’s yacht with power and finesse that is the only one of its kind exported to Europe in its year of manufacture. “It has seen it all, cruising on Lac Leman in Switzerland, along the French Riviera, Monaco, and now reviving a sense of classic Marbella style in southern Spain.

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“Being on this boat is a special experience, and we combine classic design with first-class service, so for people who enjoy this combination Mooi is the perfect yacht for them.”

Though they focus primarily on these waters, Jean-Paul and Cristina can also be enticed to venture further afield, sailing beyond Gibraltar, to Morocco, and they have plans to eventually also include Mediterranean destinations such as France, Italy, and Greece. “The beauty of yachting is that you see the world from a different, more romantic point of view.”

GEELEN MARINE

PUERTO BANÚS MARINA

TEL: (+34) 600 719 590

INFO@GEELENMARINE.COM

WWW.GEELENMARINE.COM

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CÉSAR YAGÜE

THE BEAUTY, CALM, AND WONDER OF MOVEMENT

Picture this. You enter your home, office, or perhaps a dental clinic feeling rushed and stressed from your day. Stress is high, you haven’t managed to have a break in hours, and there are piles of work mounting on your desk. You’re asked to wait, you take a seat, and suddenly… you’re captivated by a large TV screen, depicting a work of art that lives,

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF CÉSAR YAGÜE
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breathes, and is in constant motion. Its vividness inspires a sense of childlike wonder in you and you just can’t stop looking at how the shapes and colours evolve. At this very moment, time stands still and you are fully in the ‘here and now’. This is the unique

power of art to turn a moment of chaos into magic… to nip stress in the bud in one fell swoop and make you reflect on the things that make life worth living – one of which is undoubtedly beautiful art. You can already enjoy this experience through César

Yagüe’s pioneering ‘Soothing Art’ skill for Alexa Screen devices and Amazon Fire TV, including devices like Echo Show 15. Just say: “Alexa, open Soothing Art”. This is exactly what over 20,000 people in 32 countries are already doing.

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In corporate settings too, what might seem like a dream is often a reality. Take, for example, Banco Santander in Madrid, where a majestic 13-metre LED screen installation demonstrates the transformative power of digital art. This kind of project endeavour is possible through a collaboration between the artist, César Yagüe, and Alfalite, the sole

European manufacturers of LED screens. This visionary union, known as AlfaArt, is a futuristic artistic experience, where Yagüe’s inimitable talent in digital art meets cutting-edge technology. César and AlfaArt made a dazzling presentation of their LED screens recently in Barcelona, at the prestigious Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) show.

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AlfaArt, comprising largeformat LED screens paired with state-of-the-art media players and a meticulously curated selection of silent, moving ambient artworks by César, offers a ready-toenjoy package to high-end homes, buildings, offices –anywhere and everywhere that has the space to place these wall-sized pieces.

“AlfaArt accompanies the viewer. It isn’t invasive, and it doesn’t require your constant attention. It doesn’t seek to claim the spotlight; it is simply there when you wish to gaze upon it. My artworks are always silent. In modern times, we live in a world full of acoustic and visual noise. People don’t really listen to each other anymore.

To the extent possible, I aim to bring the energy of silence to the world through contemplation and beauty,” César tells me. He adds, “The screens are part of the interior design of a space, as well as artistic objects. They play moving, serene works that calm the mind and reduce stress.”

César who studied Mass Communications at Saint Louis University in Madrid, has been passionate about digital communication and art since his youth. He recalls working on digital projects as a teen, “I’d be ‘painting’ (the term the artist uses for digital creation) and my dad would say ‘Good night, son’ and before I knew it he would enter my room and say ‘Good

morning, son’ and I was still creating! I would lose myself in time and space in these moments. I began working on 3D Studio, which enables you to create 3D art. Now, I employ a myriad of tools, some of which I first came across while working in post-production for the film, publicity, and TV industry.”

Interestingly, it was the 2008 financial crisis to be exact that inspired César to become a full-time artist. He had his own postproduction studio back then, but since 2006, he had already been ‘painting in movement.’ Today, he is a highly solicited digital artist, working on AlfaArt to bring personalised screens of all sizes, resolutions, and formats to clients. ›

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If you’re a digital art lover but you don’t have space for a giant LED screen, know that you can purchase and collect some of César’s digital masterpieces as NFTs. These works can be accessed by visiting César’s website.

These blockchain-purchased artworks secure ownership and allow buyers to resell them. A César Yague NFT

artwork is undoubtedly a great investment. Watch this space! They are set to go up in value as the years go by.

César derives inspiration from a host of sources including the rock band U2 (because “they are a groundbreaking band that puts creativity at the forefront of their work”), and nature. However, his greatest muse

is his soulmate, Saralamusa who is a writer and artist, and who, he says, “is present in 80 per cent of my work.” He is inspired as much by her mind as “our conversations and the shape of her body.”

The artist’s works are viewed as a loop; that is, there is no end and no beginning. Their cyclical patterns, with shapes that appear, transform, disappear, and reappear, are symbolic of the energy of life itself. They are seamless, endless, and without a doubt, objects of profound beauty.

ACCESS CÉSAR YAGÜE’S CONTACT INFORMATION, PROJECTS, NFT MARKETPLACES AND THE ALFAART WEBSITE AT WWW.LINKTR.EE/CESARYAGUE

130 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN TRENDS | PEOPLE « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »

PROINSERMANT

PARTNERS WITH TESLA TO BECOME A CERTIFIED INSTALLER OF POWERWALL BATTERIES

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PROINSERMANT, a leading company in Comfort Engineering, has inked a deal with the American giant to install these energy-saving devices in the Costa del Sol region.

PROINSERMANT Comfort Engineering has entered into a collaboration agreement with Tesla to become a certified installer of Powerwall, a battery system specially designed by the American sustainable mobility giant for storing solar energy in homes and businesses.

“This agreement is a significant step forward for PROINSERMANT as it allows us to expand our service portfolio, and we are doing it in partnership with a brand like Tesla, a leader in decarbonisation, which we at PROINSERMANT are deeply committed to,” comments Carlos Sepúlveda, CEO of the company.

PROINSERMANT offers design, installation, and maintenance of the Tesla Powerwall system.

As Sepúlveda states, “PROINSERMANT now offers its clients the design, installation, commissioning, and maintenance of these innovative Tesla Powerwall devices that enhance clean energy usage.”

With this agreement, PROINSERMANT becomes one of the first certified installers by Tesla in the area with a specialist team that will advise and design the project according to their needs and preferences.

The main difference from generators is that these batteries keep the lights

on and electronic devices charged without the need for maintenance or fuel and without making noise.

By storing solar energy, Powerwall reduces dependence on the electrical grid. These batteries can be used alone or combined with other Tesla devices to reduce the carbon footprint, ensure energy in case of supply cuts, and save economically.

Users of this device have an APP that allows them to monitor the production and consumption of energy in their home or business in real-time, set preferences to optimise energy independence, receive instant alerts, and control the system from anywhere.

“At PROINSERMANT, we share Tesla’s philosophy; both companies are working towards a greener and more sustainable future. The Powerwall batteries represent a significant advancement in the use of solar energy in homes and businesses, and our goal is to become the reference certified installers on the Costa del Sol,” emphasises the company’s legacy advisor. ›

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With a simple installation and a minimalist design, the Tesla Powerwall has a capacity of 13.5 kWh and can be combined with up to 10 units. They offer a peak power of 7 kW, 5 kW continuous, and can be mounted on the floor or wall, as well as indoors or outdoors. They are 1.1 meters tall and weigh about 114 kg.

Tesla’s technology is now available in the product and service catalogue of this Marbella-based leader in comfort engineering. Users

wishing to implement it can contact PROINSERMANT through their website.

ABOUT PROINSERMANT

Founded in 1981, PROINSERMANT began as a pioneering enterprise in residential automation and control installations, catering to the high standards of clients on the Costa del Sol. Today, the company’s profound knowledge and specialisation have enabled it to evolve from a local benchmark to a provider of services across the

entire national territory. Key working areas include La Zagaleta, Madroñal, Montemayor in Benahavís, Sierra Blanca, El Paraíso in Marbella and Estepona, La Finca, La Moraleja, Pradolargo in Madrid, as well as undertaking technical installations in Costa Brava, Costa de la Luz, and Costa Tropical. Throughout this journey, PROINSERMANT has honed its expertise in engineering for homes and businesses, offering a level of customisation and control evident in its

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executions over more than 40 years and with hundreds of satisfied clients.

PROINSERMANT boasts an array of professional quality certifications including KNX Advanced Partner, Crestron Certified Programmer & Digital Media Engineer, Dante Advanced Audio Integrator, AJAX Security Partner, Mobotix Bronze Partner, Schneider Electric Home & Small Business EcoXpert, Uponor Professional Installer, Mitsubishi Diamond Club Partner, BIM Project Management,

FOR ANY QUERIES, FURTHER INFORMATION, OR TO ARRANGE INTERVIEWS, PLEASE CONTACT:

PROINSERMANT@PROINSERMANT.COM WWW.PROINSERMANT.COM

BREEAM Residential Advisor, and PassivHaus Tradesperson Team. Additionally, PROINSERMANT is a member of business and professional associations such as CIT Marbella (Tourism Initiative Centre), founding partners of the Association of Business Owners for High-Quality Housing DOM3, APIEMA (Electrical Installers Association of Málaga), and AMAIM (Málaga Association of Installers and Maintainers). e

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HAY FORUM

SEVILLE 2024

TAKES PLACE FROM MARCH 14 TO 17

Sevilla has long been viewed as a city with a captivating, cultural heart, which makes it a fitting backdrop for the second edition of the Hay Forum Sevilla.. This event brings together eminent personalities from literature, architecture, film, music, and thinking to exchange ideas.

© Ricardo
Martín
YVONNE FARRELL HA-JOON CHANG STEPHEN FREARS MARÍA DUEÑAS GREG CLARK MIKI LEAL MARTHA THORNE MIQUEL MOLINA PEPA BUENO SHEILA CREMASCHI REINIER DE GRAAF ELOY MARTÍNEX DE LA PERA JOAQUÍN LÓPEZ-SAIZ LUIS MATEO DÍEZ NANO DE JEREZ VALENTÍN DE MADARIAGA
136 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN TRENDS | ARTS FORUM « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »
WORDS MARISA CUTILLAS

Its latest edition comprises 15 events, three special projects, more than 30 visiting guests, and two emblematic venues – the Cajasol Foundation and the Valentín de Madariaga y Oya Foundation.

Participants will include globally acclaimed figures such as British film director, Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liaisons, The Queen), economist Ha-Joon Chang (University of Cambridge), Helena de Bertodano (a journalist), Yvonne Farrell (a Pritzker Prize-winning architect ), Greg Clark (an urbanist), and the latest recipient of the Spanish Cervantes Prize, best-selling Spanish writer María Dueñas.

The event is produced by the Hay Festival Foundation Ltd, an international charity bringing readers and writers together to share stories and ideas in sustainable events and projects around the world. Its work in Spain has included events in Castilla y León (Segovia) for over 19 successive years, along with celebrating two successful editions in Andalucía (in Granada’s Alhambra). The

charity was awarded the 2020 Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities. It has chosen to return to Sevilla in the lead-up to the centenary celebration of the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, an event that shaped this city’s modern image on the world stage.

Hay Festival’s CEO, Julie Finch, captures the event’s spirit perfectly: “We believe ideas can change the world.

Hay Forum Seville 2024 offers a programme of crosspollination to complement our global calendar of events, adding something new and exciting to the work we do.”

MUST-SEE HIGHLIGHTS

Just a few of the many top events included in the programme are:

» Literature, film, and flamenco at the Cajasol Foundation.

» Luis Mateo Díez, recent winner of the Cervantes Prize, will be reviving the cherished tradition of El Filandón (oral storytelling) alongside writer, Juan Pedro Aparicio.

» The Director of Publishing Relations at Grupo Planeta, Ana Gavín, will be talking to best-selling novelist María

Dueñas, who will guide the audience through the cities and landscapes in which some of her most popular titles are set.

» British filmmaker, Stephen Frears will be holding a conversation with film critic, Marta Medina. Three of his most highly acclaimed films. These are:

» My Beautiful Laundrette (starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Saeed Jaffrey as a gay couple who try to turn a run-down laundromat into a successful business, while tackling issues such as racism and social injustice).

» Dangerous Liaisons (The unforgettable film featuring Michelle Pfeiffer and John Malkovich, centred on passions and jealousies in France’s royal court in the 18th century)

» The Queen at the cinema (a sharp portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in the days following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, starring Helen Mirren and Michael Sheen).

» A conversation between flamenco singer, Nano de Jerez and Director of ABC Sevilla and flamenco expert, Alberto García Reyes. ›

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» South Korean economist Ha-Joon Chang, a specialist in development economics, will be sharing his critical analyses of the phenomena of globalisation and the free market. He will be joined by the prestigious British journalist, Helena de Bertodano, noted for her interviews with major international personalities, from the Dalai Lama to George Soros.

» The topic of journalism will be discussed and debated on by well-known names from the media scene such as Pepa Bueno (El País), Carlos Franganillo (Mediaset), Rafa Latorre (Onda Cero) and Teodoro León Gross (Canal Sur).

» The Valentín de Madariaga

y Oya Foundation will house sessions on architecture, urban planning, and art at its headquarters in the former United States Pavilion of the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition.

» The Forum will open with the themes of fashion, design, and the urban environment, with art and fashion curator, Eloy Martínez de la Pera and international cultural manager, Sofía Barroso taking part in a discussion moderated by the Director of COPE in Andalucía, Joaquín López-Sáez.

» World experts such as architects Reinier de Graaf, Martha Thorne, Yvonne Farrell, winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, host Valentín de Madariaga, and the Dean of the College of

Architects of Sevilla, Nuria Canivell, will come together to debate and share ideas. They will reflect on the present and future of cities, the dominant discourses in architecture today, and the contribution of architecture and art to the individual and the community.

» Prestigious urban planner, Greg Clark, will be speaking to journalist Miquel Molina about the future of cities in a globalised world.

» At the headquarters of the Valentín de Madariaga y Oya Foundation, Sevillan painter, Miki Leal and diplomat, Santiago Herrero will analyse how culture acts as a driving force for development and cultural cooperation, as well as being an essential tool for the Spain brand. ›

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Fundación Cajasol Sevilla: The stunning Cajasol Foundation building

SPECIAL EVENTS

In addition to the main programmed events, there will be a host of activities taking place.

» The Hay Festival is committed to fostering value and purpose in youths and as a result, one secondary school will be taking part in an activity to promote reading, organised by the José Manuel Lara Foundation. Under the title Opening Doors to the Future through Reading, the students will speak with the author of two works they have chosen.

» Innovator Kike Labián, director of the artistic project Kubbo together with the musical group Mayumaná, who specialise in dance and percussion, will lead a fascinating multi-artistic workshop entitled 'Todo lo bueno' (The Bright Side). This event will bring together a group of young people in a creative and dynamic environment to reflect on the narrative they want to leave behind for future generations.

» Chef, Gioconda Scott will open the doors of the Casa de María to host a very special poetry reading, accompanied by Braulio Ortiz Poole, Caroline Michel, Julie Finch, Miquel Molina, José Félix Valdivieso and Beltrán Gambier. e

TO KEEP UP TO DATE WITH FESTIVAL NEWS AND FOR PRECISE TIMES OF THESE EVENTS, SEE:

TWITTER

@HAYFESTIVAL / @ HAYFESTIVAL_ESP

FACEBOOK

HAYFESTIVAL / HAYFESTIVALESP

INSTAGRAM

@HAYFESTIVAL / @ HAYFESTIVAL_ESP

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@HAYFESTIVAL / @ HAYFESTIVAL_ESP

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@HAYFESTIVAL / @ HAYFESTIVAL_ESP

LINKEDIN HAY FESTIVAL

#HAYFESTIVAL2024

SESSIONS IN SPANISH AND ENGLISH CAN BE REDISCOVERED ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD ON HAY PLAYER, A SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE OFFERING THE WORLD’S GREATEST WRITERS ON FILM AND AUDIO FOR €15 PER YEAR.

WWW.HAYFESTIVAL.COM

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Events will take place at venues like the Valentín de Madariaga y Oya Foundation

COMPILED BY MARISA

HOT NEW MOVIES

SPONSORED BY RED DOG CINEMAS, PUERTO BANÚS. TO CHECK CURRENT FILM SCREENINGS, WWW.REDDOGCINEMAS.COM

MEMORY

» Genre: Drama

» Director: Michel Franco (New Order)

» Actors: Jessica Chastain, Peter Sarsgaard, Brooke Timber A profound film about remembrance, trauma, and the fragility of human mental health. Jessica Chastain delivers a captivating performance as Sylvia – a social worker who leads a simple and structured life. Her peace of mind is put to the test when Saul – a young man suffering from early onset dementia – follows her home from their high school reunion. Their surprise encounter profoundly impacts both of them as they open the door to the past and unlock painful secrets.

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140 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN TRENDS | CINEMA « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »

DUNE PART 2

» Genre: Science Fiction

» Director: Denis Villeneuve (Drive)

» Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Florence Pugh, Rebecca Ferguson

This is the second part of the incredible futuristic film based on the best-selling books by Frank Herbert. Paul Atreides, the film’s hero, is a young man destined to fulfil the role of a messiah. Following his father’s assassination, Paul is determined to restore order to the planet of Dune, uniting with a desert tribe (the Fremen) and the love of his life (Chani) to fulfil what he has always been told was his greater purpose.

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ONE LIFE

» Genre: Biopic

» Director: James Hawes (Slow Horses)

» Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Helena Bonham Carter, Jonathan Pryce

The true story of Sir Nicholas ‘Nicky’ Winton, a young London broker who, in the months leading up to World War II, rescued hundreds of children from the imminent invasion of the Nazis. The year was 1938 and Nicky was in Prague. There, he met a myriad of families who had fled the rise of the Nazis in Germany and Austria, living in desperate conditions with little or no shelter and food. He realised that it was a race against time, as borders were about to close and there would soon be no way to run. It was now or never, and he chose ‘now’.

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142 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN TRENDS | CINEMA « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »

FREUD’S LAST SESSION

» Genre: Biopic

» Director: Matt Brown (The Man Who Knew Infinity)

» Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Matthew Goode, Jodi Balfour, Stephen Campbell Moore

Set on the eve of World War II and towards the end of Sigmund Freud’s life, Freud’s Last Session delves into a fictional meeting between two intellectual giants: Sigmund Freud (a staunch atheist) and C.S. Lewis (a devout Christian). As the world teeters on the brink of chaos, these men engage in a thought-provoking debate about the existence of God, the meaning of life, and the nature of human existence.

WICKED LITTLE LETTERS

» Genre: Comedy

» Director: Thea Sharrock (Me Before You)

» Cast: Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Hugh Skinner

When people in the small town of Littlehampton – including conservative and self-righteous local, Edith – start receiving letters full of shocking profanities, rowdy Irish migrant, Rose is charged with the crime. What’s worse, some people are determined to see her in prison. Yet Rose has a daughter, whose happiness she would never risk so thoughtlessly. Luckily, the town’s women, who smell something fishy, investigate, to bring the true culprit to light. Screendaily wrote that this film was “Funny as F***” and having seen the trailer, we have to agree! e

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COMPILED BY MARISA

HOT NEW SERIES

MANHUNT (APPLE TV+) S1

» Genre: Thriller

» Creator: Monica Beletsky (Fargo)

» Cast: Tobias Menzies, Lovie Simone, Alistair Steel

In April of 1865, the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, was assassinated while attending a theatre performance in Washington. This series delves into the aftermath of his murder and the mindset of his assassin, John Wilkes Booth – a famous actor and national celebrity who was an outspoken Confederate sympathiser.

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144 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN TRENDS | SERIES « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »

3 BODY PROBLEM (NETFLIX) S1

» Genre: Fantasy

» Creator: David Benioff and D. B. Weiss (Game of Thrones) and Alexander Woo (True Blood)

» Cast: Benedict Wong, Saamer Usmani, Jess Hong

A secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens, but when 30 scientists are targeted in a short space of time, it becomes evident that someone or something is watching humanity. It is an alien civilisation, on the brink of destruction, and they are looking for a new place to inhabit. Panic ensues on Earth as groups form, eager to either help the aliens take over or fight against an epic invasion. The series has been touted as a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope, with a talented cast of actors from across the globe.

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145 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN

THE COMPLETELY MADE-UP ADVENTURES OF DICK TURPIN (APPLE TV+) S1

» Genre: Comedy

» Creators: Claire Downes, Ian Jarvis, Stuart Lane (We Can Be Heroes)

» Cast: Noel Fielding, Hugh Bonneville, Asim Chaudhry

The historical figure, Richard ‘Dick’ Turpin (1705 – 1739) was an English highwayman whose exploits were romanticised following his execution in York for horse theft. In this series, however, he is portrayed as a rather awkward wannabee criminal with a quirky sense of humour, showmanship, and great hair. Together with his gang of thieves, he sets out to become “the most famous highwayman in all of England,” causing more laughter than harm.

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PALM ROYALE (APPLE TV+) S1

» Genre: Comedy

» Creator: Abe Sylvia (Dead to Me)

» Cast: Kirsten Wiig, Ricky Martin, Laura Dern, Allison Janney

Top comedic actress, Kristen Wiig, plays a social wannabe hoping to infiltrate the elite circles of Palm Beach high society. Her key to success is the Palm Royale: a resort where the jetset relax and network. The series pits materialism against individuality, revealing the steep price some people pay to fit in. Set in the year 1969, it pays homage to those who are resilient enough to fight to belong.

SUPERSEX (NETFLIX) S1

» Genre: Biographical series

» Creator: Francesca Manieri (Marcel!)

» Cast: Alessandro Borghi, Saul Nanni, Gaia Messerklinger

The true, surprising story of Rocco Siffredi, the superstar Italian porn actor who revolutionised the adult film industry. Rocco’s obsession with physical connection commenced when he was a young boy and his older brother, who he adored, informed him that the sensual experience was ‘dynamite’. He took his brother’s musings to the letter, attending secret clubs until he was discovered by an actor and director who would change his life. Rocco was one of the few actors from his genre to cross over into the mainstream and although he has retired from the more active parts of the business, he is still a producer and director. e

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SPRING INTO MARCH WITH SOME EXCITING NEW TITLES

UNTIL AUGUST BY GABRIEL GARCÍA MARQUEZ

Until August is a captivating, rediscovered novel by the renowned Nobel Prize winning author of Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude. Ana Magdalena Bach is a happily married woman who, despite her comfortable life, takes an annual journey every August to the island where her mother is buried. Here, she engages in a night of passion with a new lover, exploring the depths of her desire and confronting the hidden fears within her heart. Set against the backdrop of sultry Caribbean nights, the novel explores themes of freedom, regret, self-transformation, and the enigmatic nature of love. With its surprising twists and sensually evocative narrative, Until August offers a profound meditation on human emotions and desires, presenting an unexpected literary gem from one of the world’s most celebrated writers.

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
148 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN TRENDS | READING « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »
READING

AND NOW THE LIGHT IS EVERYWHERE

In the heart of Argyll in 1998, the MacArthur family’s lore stretches back generations, weaving tales of selkies and changelings alongside the poignant narratives of family members’ lives and losses. Anna MacArthur inherits the mystery of her grandmother Netta, who vanished fifty years earlier, leaving behind her son Donnie. When Anna inadvertently unravels the tightly held secret surrounding Netta’s disappearance, she confronts a darker reality than the family legend suggests. As she delves deeper into the past, Anna must also come to terms with her own memories of her father’s untimely death. However, exposing decades-old secrets may hold unforeseen consequences. A vivid, poignant, and captivating debut.

THE BEST WAY TO BURY YOUR HUSBAND BY ALEXIA CASALE

In a small town where desperation meets determination, Sally takes a lethal swing with a cast-iron skillet, not for her own freedom, but to protect her children from her tyrant of a husband. However, Sally is not the only woman in town reaching her limit. As the bodies pile up, Sally finds herself leading a rather unusual support group: four women bound by tragedy and the need to bury their murderous secrets. Ruth, the former nurse, is next in line, followed by Samira, who refuses to let her daughter suffer at her husband’s hands. Then there’s Janey, the sleepdeprived new mom yearning for the fairy tale ending she deserves. With a mix of dark humour and steadfast resolve, this is a wickedly witty tale of sisterhood, survival, and the liberating power of getting away with murder.

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THE LAST MURDER AT THE END OF THE WORLD

Beyond the island lies a desolate world, consumed by a lethal fog that kills everyone it touches. Yet, on this island, tranquillity reigns, a haven for 122 villagers and 3 revered scientists. Their peaceful existence revolves around fishing, farming, feasting, and a nightly curfew. Suddenly their peace is shattered when one of the beloved scientists is discovered brutally murdered, causing the island’s security system to weaken. It is the only barrier against the encroaching fog. With only 92 hours until the island succumbs to the deadly mist, solving the murder becomes paramount. However, the security breach erases the previous night’s events from everyone’s memory, leaving a murderer among them unaware of their own guilt. This gripping tale presents an intricate mystery and promises an outcome as audacious as the crime itself.

FINDING SOPHIE BY IMRAN MAHMOOD

When their daughter, Sophie, goes missing, Harry and Zara King are thrust into a nightmare, accused of murder as they desperately search for the truth. For seventeen years, Sophie has been the centre of their world until the day she vanishes without a trace. Despite all their efforts, the police make no headway in the case. The Kings are preoccupied by their silent neighbour at number 210, who holds crucial information but is refusing to answer any questions. The book alternates between Harry and Zara’s perspectives in the weeks following Sophie’s disappearance and a year later during a murder trial. Imran Mahmood’s poignant novel delves into the divergent experiences of parental grief and the enduring power of boundless love in the face of despair. e

» VISIT THE BOOKSHOP
150 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN TRENDS | READING « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »
Your International School in Marbella British and Spanish Curriculum • Academic Excellence • Multidisciplinary Education • Experiences beyond the classroom • Extensive Facilities

For lovers of natural design with soft tones and comfortable textures, be sure to visit Zoco Home’s new showroom at the entrance to Puerto Banús. Check out the new Gucci Spring/ Summer 2024 collection and top niche perfumes. Catch the dynamism of legendary photographer Helmut Newton at exhibitions across Europe this spring.

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lilifestyle

154 Zoco Home’s New Showroom in Marbella

166 Helmut Newton – On Show

174 Gucci SS24

182 Top Niche Perfumes

187 Social Anxiety in Teens

190 Pet Insurance

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF ZOCO HOME
154 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN LIFESTYLE | DECOR « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »
WORDS MICHEL CRUZ
COMES TO MARBELLA ZOCO HOME

The opening of the stunning new Zoco Home showroom in Puerto Banús brings far more than just beautiful furniture to this part of the coast – behind it is a philosophy based on the art of living.

The brand Zoco Home has won a growing following on this coast with its signature line of furniture and decorative items that ranges from beds and sofas to chairs, tables, carpets, throws, lamps and more – from large to small and incorporating both indoor and outdoor furnishing. Zoco Home is there for both the overall look and the detail, and produces its own collection in made-to-measure perfection. The inspiration for the designs that have caught the eye at the brand’s Mijas showroom, and which can now also be experienced in Marbella itself, comes from a way of thinking. Or rather, a way of living, as the spark that kindles the flame of creativity is lit by a philosophy that blends comfort and style with nature and a sense of well-being. A Zoco Home is light, natural and rich in soft tones and comfortable textures. ›

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Zoco Home at the entrance to Puerto Banús

“We love to work with materials such as wood, stone, micro-cement, linen and also washable fabrics that have the look and feel of linen but are very practical,” says Johanna Weckström, who founded Zoco Home.

In keeping with her philosophy, the teak used is not just responsibly sourced, but actually recycled. In addition to the well-established showroom in Mijas, the brand also has an active online market, with clients across Europe and gradually beyond falling for a style that suits the

Mediterranean setting so well with its visible touches of sun-inspired design. “Essentially, we marry a Scandinavian focus on design, style, comfort, and quality with the visual creativity that comes from settings such as Ibiza, the Aegean Islands, Morocco, Tulum, and also southern Spain. The result is a collection in which form follows function in the sense of comfort, durability, and functionality, but through which we’ve also arrived at an aesthetic that fits the Marbella way of life wonderfully.” ›

156 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN LIFESTYLE | DECOR « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »
An overview of the showroom

STYLE WITH A DIFFERENCE

The fact that Zoco Home does things differently is evident in its showrooms. If the Mijas shop impresses, the new one in Puerto Banús will truly have you amazed. The venue is imposing in itself, but Zoco Home has created another level of home styling concept here that needs to be seen, and experienced. “The homes and ambiences we create through our furniture are above all sensory, and in our

view that’s how it should be. Your home should be a showcase, to be sure, but above all it should be the place that makes you feel happy, gives you energy, and is a special spot to come back to. For this reason, our decors are not just about looking good, but also very much about creating an atmosphere that forms an integral part of your lifestyle. In Marbella, that means making the most of the light, the views, the wonderful homes, and of course outdoor living.” ›

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The kind of wall detailing that Zoco Home can create for home interiors

“MODERN AND CLASSICAL CAN GO VERY WELL TOGETHER. WE LOVED WORKING ON THIS HOUSE BECAUSE IT PROVIDED SUCH A RICH BACKDROP TO DESIGN, RENOVATE, AND DECORATE AROUND, AND THE RESULTING BLEND OF MODERN STYLE AND COMFORT COMBINED WITH CLASSICAL DETAILS IS VERY PLEASING”

All of a home’s rooms are catered for
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A world of home accessories

STYLISH INTERIOR DESIGN

The timeless chic of Zoco Home is where Scandinavian design meets a Mediterranean setting, and this has seen buyers of a growing number of nationalities take to the brand. If the initial client base was primarily Northern European that has now expanded to include buyers from across Europe and also the Americas and the Middle East. Zoco Home provides a full interior design service for homeowners and commercial enterprises,

and its projects extend from the Costa del Sol outwards to different parts of Europe and places such as Costa Rica, Jordan, and Indonesia. “We were contacted by a luxury hotel in Bali with the request to decorate the resort,” says Johanna. “They loved our style and felt it complements the Bali setting, which is very gratifying to hear.” On the Costa del Sol, Zoco Home also provides a full renovation and rebuild service that ranges from villas to a recently completed historic home in Marbella’s Old Town. ›

Even the bathrooms are special when fitted with alluring décor
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Sleek kitchens with a difference

A variety of styles to combine

The project brings such a property into the 21st century, incorporating all the modern luxuries and comforts we desire in a classic building while respecting its architectural heritage and indeed celebrating it. “Modern and classical can go very well together. We loved working on this house because it provided such a rich backdrop to design,

renovate, and decorate around, and the resulting blend of modern style and comfort combined with classical details is very pleasing.” The collections of Zoco Home have a timeless quality because they are not trend-following. The look and feel is fresh, clean, and contemporary, but fits so well into both modern and more traditional homes because it has a natural feel about it

that isn’t stark or austere.

“We celebrate living in a climate and setting such as this through our collection of furniture,” says Johanna, “and we seek to create decoration that suits the homes here, be they modern or traditional, villas or apartments. A house decorated with Zoco Home should be an extension of the lifestyle you want to enjoy here.” But not just here, as the brand is enjoying increasing

162 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN LIFESTYLE | DECOR « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »

success in markets with a similar feel, across the Mediterranean and beyond.

The new showroom in Marbella brings this lifestyle concept to our doorstep in an area that is very well matched to it. The showroom in itself is well worth a visit – it offers a fresh new concept of presenting furniture and the supporting interior design and

The main reception

renovation services, in an environment that is as comfortable and welcoming as it is stylish. Zoco Home at the entrance of Puerto Banús will soon have a stylish chic café and organic food haven that will add to what is already a uniquely pleasant setting in which to gather inspiration for your home’s look, feel, and ambience. ›

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ZOCO HOME MARBELLA

N340, KM 175, C.C RIMESA, MARBELLA (PUERTO BANÚS)

TEL: (+34) 635 546 360

INFO@ZOCOHOME.COM

ZOCO HOME MIJAS

CTRA. DE MIJAS 3.6KM, MIJAS

TEL: (+34) 635 546 360

INFO@ZOCOHOME.COM

WWW.ZOCOHOME.COM

OPENING HOURS FOR BOTH STORES: MON-FRI 10:00-18:00, SAT 10:00-15:00

Quality natural materials are at the heart of the design concept

164 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN LIFESTYLE | DECOR « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »
AMBIENCEHOMEDESIGN.COM By ANDREA BÖCK

FACT & FI HELMUT NEWTON

What started as a young boy and his camera became a phenomenon that helped shape not just photography, but fashion as well. Helmut Newton is one of a handful of 20th century photographers with cult status who recorded the evolution of the postwar world. His exhibition 'Helmut Newton. Fact & Fiction' brings his iconic imagery to A Coruña in Spain until 1st of May.

FOUNDATION 166 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » « BACK TO CONTENTS LIFESTYLE | ART
WORDS MICHEL CRUZ PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF THE HELMUT NEWTON

CTION

If the name rings a bell but you can’t quite place it, you’re like many people. Helmut Newton was about as famous as a photographer could be, but for some reason the people who capture the images of the fashion, the brands, and the celebrities that so fascinate us are not celebrated anywhere near as much. Newton came to be the photographer of the famous, the man to go to if you wanted something not just to look good, but to have dramatic impact.

The latter has proven to be remarkably durable, as the German-Australian artist with the camera continues to enthral with his unique approach to his work. Crowds are drawn this spring to popular exhibitions in locations such as La Coruña, Rome, Venice and Berlin, the place of this birth.

Helmut Newton opened a window to the glamorous side of living in the 20th century, but it wasn’t inspired by his earlier life. The Berlin he was born into as Helmut Neustädter had changed significantly by the time he turned 18 in 1938, and after a short internment resulting from the fact that they were Jewish, he and his family left Germany in time to avoid the horrors that would follow. ›

The erotic side of Helmut Newton’s take on photography Helmut Newton, Self-Portrait, Monte Carlo, 1993, © Helmut Newton Foundation
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The ocean liner that he was on headed eastwards, with China as its destination, but Helmut got off in Singapore, regarding it as a more desirable and safer destination, only to be picked up by the British colonial authorities and shipped to Australia, where he spent over a year in an internment camp. Upon his release in 1942, he did menial jobs and joined the Australian army, driving trucks.

THE BIRTH OF A PHENOMENON

After the war, he acquired British nationality and changed his surname to Newton. By now, he was a skilled professional who had learned his

trade from the noted photographer Yva when still a youngster, and his work brought him into contact with Australia’s creative world, which included theatre, film, fashion, and also advertising. He married local actress June Brown, known as June Brunell by her fans, and set up a photography studio from which he produced his commercial and artistic work that gained growing praise. His work was shown at exhibitions such as ‘New Visions in Photography’, where the public was introduced to a ‘new objectivity’ in photographic art. Newton had found his style, and it would help to revolutionise the field. ›

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EXCLUSIVE DE SIGN INTERIOR DESIGN . BESPOKE CARPENTRY . FURNITURE COLLECTION SHOWROOM MARBELLA - AVDA. BLV. PRÍNCIPE ALFONSO DE HOHENLOHE. URB. CAROLINA PARK Villas Lomas Del Rey www.aaltoexclusivedesign.com Opening hours Mon-Fri: 10:00-14:00 16:00-19:00 Sat: upon appointment
by
Design
Aalto

VISITESSENTIALMAGA

The cult status that evolved from this, and which he continues to enjoy, flowed from this, but above all from his ability to make an impact. Helmut Newton had the talent to take a subject – usually fashion – and give it a sense of drama and presence that hasn’t lost its capacity to mesmerise. His technical ability was flawless, but it was his skill at composing the shot and the creativity at the heart of it that made him such a success. So much so that he left Australia for London in 1953, followed by Paris in the 1960s and later the USA. By this time, he was one of the mainstays of the images that the likes of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and other fashion giants put out, as well as receiving commissions from the fashion houses themselves. ›

David Bowie by Helmut Newton, Monte Carlo, 1982 A leader in the field of fashion, art and commercial photography
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at BoConcept & PlusStore Mijas Ctra. de Mijas km 3,5 29650 Mijas, Málaga Tel. +34 951 242 092 www.plusstore.es malaga@plusstore.es marbella@plusstore.es ecibanus@boconcept.es www.boconcept.es malaga@boconcept.es marbella@boconcept.es ecibanus@boconcept.es BoConcept & PlusStore Marbella Ctra. N-340 km 176, 29602 Marbella, Málaga Tel. +34 951 492 727 BoConcept El Corte Inglés Calle Ramón Areces S/N 29660 Puerto Banús, Málaga Tel. +34 659 388 226

Most of the top models and celebrities of the era passed before his lens, and he left each and every one looking good, sexy, and also somehow ‘different’. Though Helmut Newton also specialised in portraiture, he is mostly remembered for his erotic fashion-art images, a good proportion of which were endowed with a sado-masochistic subtext. The sheer positioning and expressions of the models,

as well as the way he approached composition, cropping, and primarily working in black and white, produced the famous sense of drama and tension, not infrequently sprinkled with an impression of humour or sarcasm, which makes him one of the most studied and copied photographers of all time. A later collaboration with German publishing house Taschen further sealed his fame through a

series of iconic coffee table books, including the limited edition, 35-kilo goliath that bears his name and has become perhaps the most famous Taschen publication of all time.

In October 2003, a few months before his death, Newton launched the Helmut Newton Foundation (HNF) that curates the body of photographic work created by himself and his wife, June Newton. Housed within the

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His exhibitions cover La Coruña, Rome, Venice and Berlin this spring

Museum of Photography in Berlin, it showcases their evocative imagery within a suitably impactful setting. Now, twenty years after his passing, the world continues to admire and celebrate the creative genius of this iconic photographer who captured the spirit of a past that is still very recent and relevant to our own times. It must be the reason why Helmut Newton remains perhaps the greatest influence on new generations of photographers and continues to stir emotions with images that shoot straight to the human soul and psyche. e

HELMUT NEWTON EXHIBITIONS 2024

CHRONORAMA, PHOTOGRAPHIC TREASURES OF THE 20TH CENTURY

15.02.24 - 20.05.24 AT THE HELMUT NEWTON FOUNDATION, BERLIN, GERMANY

HELMUT NEWTON. FACT & FICTION

NOW TO 01.05.24 AT THE MOP FOUNDATION, A CORUÑA, SPAIN

HELMUT NEWTON. LEGACY

NOW TO 10.03.24 AT MUSEO DELL´ARA PARIS, ROME, ITALY

HELMUT NEWTON. LEGACY

27.03.24 - 24.11.24 AT LE STANZE DELLA FOTOGRAFIA, VENICE, ITALY

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GUCCI

DISCOVERED BY MADDIE QUINN PHOTOGRAPHY IMAXTREE

We say goodbye to Gucci's seven-year eccentric run as recently appointed, new Creative Director, Sabato De Sarno brings more simplicity but high sophistication with the updated elements of the iconic fashion house's vintage repertoir. The Ready-to-Wear 2024 Spring Summer Collection is now available to shop!

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A SYMPHONY OF SCENTS

JOURNEY INTO THE WORLD OF NICHE PERFUMERY

Within the world of sensory experiences, the sense of smell holds a unique, profound significance in that it connects us to memories, emotions, and the world around us in a powerful way. Most people have a signature scent that comforts them, expresses their personality, and serves as a nonverbal introduction to the world. Chanel, Gucci, Dior… all these brands have popular bottles made by renowned perfumers… but what some don’t know is that these and other houses possess lines of niche perfumes that stand outside the realm of everyday retail stories. Many of these bottles have a starting price of around €300… but price isn’t everything. Read on to discover the magic of niche perfumery, as well as top brands and bottles to watch out for.

WHAT MAKES A PERFUME ‘NICHE’?

For a perfume to be classed as niche, it must contain unique compositions and ultra-high-quality or rare, exclusive, hard-to-access ingredients. The emphasis is on excellence and niche perfumes must stand out from even the best fragrances that you might find in a typical beauty and perfume shop. As such, a classic perfume like Chanel No. 5 (undoubtedly a masterpiece in perfumery) would be considered a ‘designer’ fragrance, while Chanel’s more luxurious perfumes (which form part of its Exclusifs line) are designated ‘niche’.

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Niche perfumes are considered higher up in the chain than designer perfumes for their superior performance in three aspects:

» LONGEVITY: How long a perfume lasts

» SILLAGE: The trail or lingering scent that a perfume leaves in the air, or the ‘cloud’ it builds around the wearer

» PROJECTION: The distance from which a perfume can be detected or the radius within which it emanates from the person wearing it

They also differ from retail perfumes in that they are

often genderless, as their appeal breaks all barriers. Some brands divide their perfumes into lines for men and woman, but many do not classify their bottles in this traditional way.

Niche perfumes are usually bought directly from the manufacturer or perfume shops specialising in exclusive bottles. As such, they are a little harder (but not impossible) to access.

RARE INGREDIENTS

While it is true that some niche perfumes have far greater longevity, projection, and sillage than others, all are made with the very best ingredients available to

perfumers. One of the most exclusive is oud. Also known as agarwood, it is a resin that forms in the heartwood of certain species of aquilaria and gyrinops trees. This resin is produced as a response to a fungal infection in the tree, resulting in an earthy, sweet, balsamic, and sometimes leathery fragrance. Most trees die from this infection, but those that survive produce oud – and it is rather poetic and tragic that it is precisely these rare survivors that are culled to obtain their precious resin. Thankfully, most oud used in niche perfumery these days is artificially produced. ›

BonBon Bop by The House of Oud What About Pop by The House of Oud
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Erba Pura by Xerjoff

THE NOSE

Niche perfumes are fashioned by the best ‘noses’ in the business, all of whom usually create for designer brands as well. Just a few perfumers that stand out (and are usually hired by more than both niche and designer brands) are:

» DOMINIQUE ROPION: a French master perfumer who has created some of the most iconic perfumes in modern times, including Mugler Alien, Lancôme La Vie Est Belle, and the designer perfume, Portrait of a Lady.

» JACQUES POLGE: a French perfumer who worked as an in-house perfumer for Chanel from 1978 to 2015. The creator of the popular ‘blue’ genre of fragrances and of Chanel Bleu de Chanel.

» CHRIS MAURICE: Also known as

Christian Carbonnel, he is a director of Spanish perfume company Carbonnel S.A. and the creator of arguably the number one niche brand, Xerjoff’s most famous scents – including Naxos, deemed the Best Niche Fragrance of All Time by the world’s largest and most prestigious perfume community, Fragantica.

» FRANCIS KURKDJIAN: a French perfumer and owner of Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris. He is credited with having brought niche perfumery to a wider audience. This house is most famous for its top-selling perfume, Baccarat Rouge, which is reputed for possessing a poetic alchemy with breezy jasmine facets, radiant saffron, and ambergris mineral notes.

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TOP NICHE PERFUME HOUSES

Niche perfumery has become big business, with an expected $6,207.16M worth by 2030. The biggest names in the business include:

» XERJOFF: Founded in Italy in 2007 by Sergio Momo and Dominique Salvo. Momo is the brand’s Creative Manager, and from the start, he has aimed for his brand to stand out owing to its combination of luxurious raw materials and contemporary artistic sensibility. Xerjoff also owns Sospiro – a collection of elegant, sophisticated bottles inspired by the beauty and sophistication of classical music. On the Xerjoff website, you will find an impressive collection belonging to the Casamorati line, which is inspired by the ancient art of Italian perfumery and an ode to the antique and artistic heritage of the glamorous Art Nouveau era.

» PARFUMS DE MARLY:

Founded in 2009 by Julien Sprecher (an olfactory

expert in the sector), it is inexorably linked to the history of France and Louis XV, drawing inspiration from the 18thcentury French era and the splendour of the Royal court.

» MAISON FRANCIS

KURKDJIAN: Founded in France in 2009, it is known for scents that reflect an array of emotions and modern life itself.

» SERGE LUTENS:

Founded in 2000, this brand has designer as well as exclusive fragrances. Its creations tap into memory and storytelling. Fragrances in this brand are known for their unconventional, complex, captivating nature.

» THE HOUSE OF OUD:

Founded in 2016 by Italian master perfumer, Andrea Casotti and oud producer

from Jakarta, Mohammed Abu Nashi, it is known for its rich, gourmand fragrances and oudinfused creations.

» FREDERIC MALLE:

This eponymous brand is known for working with the world’s best perfumers (including Dominique Ropion), who are given complete freedom to create, accorded access to the world’s most exclusive raw materials, and invited to work without time or budget constraints.

» KILIAN PARIS: Founded in 2007, this is the baby of Kilian Hennessy, the grandson of the founder of the LVMH group. Bottles are sold under the name ‘by Kilian’ and they are inspired by Hennessy’s olfactive memories and his love for nightlife. ›

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THE 5 PERFUMES TO START YOUR NICHE COLLECTION WITH

Because niche perfumes can cost anywhere between €300 to €550 or more, blind buys are not recommended. Try buying samples directly from the manufacturers or decants from well-reputed sellers on Etsy. It is also recommended to click on the Fragantica website to discover what others think of the perfumes that pique your interest. Having said that, the following perfumes are considered ‘safe buys’:

1 – NAXOS BY XERJOFF, with top notes of bergamot, lemon, and lavender; middle notes of jasmine sambac, cinnamon, honey, and cashmere; and base notes of tobacco leaf, tonka beans, and vanilla.

» Ideal for: Those who are crazy about citrusy scents with an edge of tobacco.

2 – DELINA EXCLUSIF BY PARFUMS DE MARLY, with top notes of litchi, pear, and bergamot; middle notes of Turkish rose, oud, and incense; and base notes of vanilla amber, and wood.

» Ideal for: Those who love clean, sweet, gourmand rose scents.

3 – ANGEL’S SHARE BY KILIAN, with a top note of cognac; middle notes of cinnamon, tonka bean and oak; and base notes of praline, vanilla, and sandalwood.

» Ideal for: Those who like ‘boozy’ scents.

2

4 – BACCARAT ROUGE EXTRAIT BY MAISON FRANCIS KURKDJIAN, with top notes of bitter almond and saffron; middle notes of Egyptian jasmine and cedar; and base notes of ambergris, wood, and musk.

» Ideal for: Sophisticated wearers who like to make a statement.

5 – FUMERIE TURQUE BY SERGE LUTENS, with a top note of redcurrant; middle notes of honey, juniper berries, tonka bean, chamomile, and turkish rose; and base notes of tobacco, patchouli, styrax and suede.

» Ideal for: Those looking for the ultimate tobacco scent. e

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SOCIAL ANXIETY IN TEENS

AND WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY

Is your teen quiet and hesitant to talk with others, fearful of being embarrassed or humiliated? Do they fear performing in front of others or speaking up in class? Do they avoid eye contact, hesitate to start conversations, and appear to always be ‘on the fringes’? If so, perhaps they have social anxiety – a disorder affecting one out of three teens. It might be surprising to you, but social anxiety is the most common anxiety disorder and third most common mental health disorder.

RED FLAGS OF SOCIAL ANXIETY

When a teen has social anxiety, they may avoid social interactions altogether, leading to diminished relationships, withdrawal, and loneliness. They are often afraid to attend a party or speak up as part of a group, fearing they will say something inappropriate. Some fear eating in front of others, experiencing physical symptoms (such as blushing, nausea, or sweating), and replaying social situations in their mind after they occur. They

may also have academic problems and be reluctant to attend school or take part in extracurricular activities.

NOBODY IS TO BLAME

If your child or teen has social anxiety, you may logically wonder what the source of this issue is. This disorder can arise from a myriad of factors, including genetic, environmental, societal, and brain/biological factors. ›

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Risk factors can include:

» Being naturally shy or fearful of trying new things

» Having physical issues or disabilities that are noticeable to others

» Having a speech impediment

» Being a victim of bullying

» Overprotective parenting styles that keep children from experiencing a healthy degree of social interaction

If your child worries for days before attending

a social event, finds it hard to make friends, or struggles to strike up conversations with others, don’t blame yourself. Instead, focus on solutions that can help them enjoy a rich and fulfilling social life. The one good thing about social anxiety disorder is that it is treatable.

THERE ARE SOLUTIONS

It is important to seek help for your teen, since ‘forcing’ them to attend

social occasions or simply ‘hoping they will eventually snap out of it’ may result in stagnation. The main approach for this disorder is cognitivebehavioural therapy (which teaches people how to identify unhealthy thinking patterns and behaviours and encourages them to adopt new ones). Just a few weeks of therapy can do wonders for a teen, illuminating them on how one negative belief

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can result in thoughts, emotions, and behaviours that harm them.

Take the negative core belief, “I’m dumb.” This can result in thoughts like, “If I speak, they’ll all think I’m stupid/ they’ll laugh at me/ I’ll stutter or get blocked up and blush.” These thoughts can lead to emotions like fear, shame, or selfdisgust… which in turn can result in avoidance and self-isolation. By working on beliefs and thoughts (based on evidence – for instance, evidence that the child is not ‘dumb’), emotions can change, and behaviours improve. The therapist may also suggest that the teen experiment with new behaviours (for instance, “Say the dumbest thing you can think of on purpose and see what happens) to help their teen clients see that the result is usually not nearly as horrible or earth-shattering as they thought it would be. Exposure therapy

(encouraging teens to expose themselves to public and social situations little by little) is also highly effective. The use of medication to treat social anxiety is rare but sometimes deemed necessary.

WHAT CAN YOU, THE PARENT, DO?

There is so much you can do to support your child in their struggle against social anxiety. For instance, you can provide them with opportunities to take part in social events, without forcing them to do so. Praise them for conquering situations they fear, but don’t make them feel bad when they simply aren’t up to the task. Help them choose realistic

goals and encourage them to take part in mindful activities such as artistic creation, yoga, musicmaking, and journaling. Be a good listener, sharing your own stories about being a teen and having to face new, challenging situations. Remind your teen of past successes, boosting their confidence instead of adding to their burden with expectations beyond their reach. Above all, try to see therapy as the incredibly fruitful investment it is. The techniques your child learns at therapy will help them overcome social anxiety and demonstrate emotionally intelligent behaviours in many other realms of their life. e

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WHY PET INSURANCE IS A MUST FOR PET OWNERS

Over 90 million homes across the EU have a pet, and it’s safe to say that most pet owners deeply love their pets and would do anything to ensure they are healthy and happy. If you’re thinking of adopting a pup, though, it is vital to know that pet ownership can be expensive. Research shows that the average cost of having a dog is around €1.131 per year, while cat owners can expect to pay around €986 annually.

These amounts don’t take into account unexpected occurrences that can require expensive treatments, tests, or surgery – and the latter in particular can cost you thousands of euros. Anyone who has had a pet require eye surgery after developing an ulcer or

patellar surgery for a luxating patella (to mention just two of many health issues a pet might develop) knows how harrowing it can be to watch our pets in pain or discomfort. Which is why taking out pet insurance is the smartest way to enjoy pet ownership calmly and confidently.

HOW MUCH IS PET INSURANCE IN SPAIN?

Costs vary but in general, you can keep your bill as low as possible by insuring your pet when they are young. Insurance can cost anywhere from around €100 to €350 per year (I paid the latter because my pet was five years old when I insured her).

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WHAT DOES PET INSURANCE COVER?

Pet insurance covers a wide array of conditions and incidents, but it is important to take the required time to do your research, since not all policies are alike! For instance, some don’t cover vaccinations, limiting their coverage to emergencies and third-party damage. Yet others are more ample, and while they may cost a little more, many would say they are worth it for the peace of mind they bring.

Pet insurance can cover one or more of the following contingencies or events:

» Damage caused to the animal by accidents, theft, or loss. Some policies cover the ‘value’ of the pet in case of death, or the costs of veterinary assistance required by accidents (including veterinarian services fees, necessary diagnostic tests, surgery, and more).

» Any lawsuits entered into by the owner that are related to the ownership of their pet.

» The cost of keeping your pet in a pet care centre if you are hospitalised and cannot attend to them.

» Death-related costs such as cremation.

» Telephone consultancy for information regarding pet centres, pet-friendly

hotels, behavioural schools, breeders, exhibitions, and more.

» Optional coverage for illness, including vet visits, diagnostic tests, lab analyses, surgery, hospitalisation, and home visits by your veterinarian.

CONDITIONS VARY IMMENSELY

Some pet insurance companies cover the costs of a consultancy and treatment regardless of which vet you visit. Others have a prearranged list of collaborating hospitals and veterinarian clinics. Should you take your pet to a veterinarian outside this list, then a co-pay system would apply. That is, you may have to cover the costs above the limit specified in your policy.

WHY HAVING PET CARE SAVINGS IS STILL NEEDED

Even if you have a comprehensive policy, setting aside a small nest egg for your pet is wise. This is because some diagnostic tests are optional (take a six-monthly echocardiogram, which is useful to check how your pet is progressing if they have a problem like mitral valve disease) or an MRI to check for brain issues. As a pet owner with

a fully insured pet, I had to pay for both these tests, and relied upon savings specifically set aside for this purpose. Nevertheless, it was reassuring to know that all my pet’s emergency visits were covered.

Another issue you should be prepared for is gathering documentation every time you apply for coverage. Insurance companies can require very specific information – for instance, some ask for detailed reports from your veterinarian, indicating whether your pet was treated with medication in injectable or tablet form. If your pet requires medication, then you know that this alone can set you back around €150 or more per month.

HIGHLY RATED PET INSURANCE COMPANIES

Just a few companies in Spain with good ratings from customers include MAPFRE, Barkibu, and Adeslas. The latter, for instance, is a little pricey (€269 per year) but covers unlimited vet visits. Others cost around a third of this price but only cover veterinary assistance in the case of accidents. There is no one-size solution so it pays to be a bit of a Sherlock Holmes when it comes to dealing with insurance companies! e

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Find out what life will be like for new residents of Vista Lago who will enjoy an enviable array of amenities.

Marbella Club Hills has established a reputation as an outstanding development that blends modernity with traditional touches – its architect, Pablo Villarroel reveals the inspiration behind his design.

eenterprise 196 Vista Lago 202 Marbella Club Hills 208 Business News « BACK TO CONTENTS

THE LIFESTYLE OF

VISTA LAGO

RESIDENTS

Being part of a gated villa community within a gated country club has obvious advantages, not least being able to enjoy the privacy of your own home combined with a world of lifestyle amenities on your doorstep.

COURTESY OF BRIGHT & REAL DE
LA QUINTA
ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » ENTERPRISE | PROPERTY « BACK TO CONTENTS 196 MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN
Non-motorised water sports at the elegant El Lago Club

In this case the reference to lifestyle amenities means not only those offered by the greater Marbella area in general – as the country club Vista Lago finds itself within, is the nearest one to the town and its shoreline – but also to what is available within Real de La Quinta itself.

This expansive private residential resort is surrounded by 200 hectares of hill and valley scenery, bordering Nueva Andalucía on the one side and the protected national park of Sierra de las Nieves on the other. Not hindered by traffic lights along the way, you can be in Puerto Banús or Marbella town in less than ten minutes, but within this realm it is open country and sea views that dominate within an environment of tranquillity and nature. Conceived as a residential resort with a country club ambience and accompanying sports and leisure facilities, Real de La Quinta is being developed to a masterplan that carefully coordinates architectural design, modern infrastructure, and minimal environmental impact, and as a result it is the first project of its kind in Spain to be BREEAM certified. ›

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The amazing social, leisure and sports club at Real de La Quinta

Pass the gated entrance to the community from one of two access points and you will see luxurious apartments and villas dotted against the hillsides overlooking the country club’s focal point. In truth, for most of the residents here the main view will be of the sea, but ‘vista lago’ – views of the lake –compete with it for impact. This manmade lake occupies a broad valley, where it is flanked by greenery in the form of walking

and cycling paths, and a six-hole golf course that complements the nearby courses of La Quinta, Los Naranjos, and Las Brisas. The northern section of the lake is deeper and situated further away from the main hub of amenities, making it suitable for water sport activities, while the main lagoon provides the backdrop for an extensive leisure area with an elegant lakeside restaurant and terrace at its heart.

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Slide the door open to an outdoor way of life

A RESIDENTIAL RESORT

Measuring 400 metres at its longest point and covering a total area of 36,000m2 , the lake is the focal point of the El Lago Club that is designed as the social and leisure hub for residents and their guests. It will also feature a manmade beach with an enclosed swimming area, and in the further section non-motorised sports such as windsurfing, paddle boarding, kayak, water bikes, and rowing boats. All of this is skirted by walking and cycling paths that meander between nature and the greenery of the six-hole golf course designed by Manuel Piñero, which also features a golf academy and a short and a long game practice area. The course lends itself to a variety of combinations that also make it possible to play a full round of 18 holes here.

The complex also includes an equestrian centre, a tennis and paddle club, a luxurious restaurant and member’s club, a small commercial area with shops, a kid’s club with children’s play park (including a climbing area), and the five-star Angsana Real de La Quinta boutique and wellness hotel that is part of the acclaimed Banyan Tree group. The health and wellness centre will be operated by Le Max Club and features a 420m 2 spa with Jacuzzi, heated pool, hammam, sauna, sensation showers, as well as sports facilities and beauty treatments. In all, Real de La Quinta will be the largest leisure complex on the Costa del Sol that forms part of a private residential country club. ›

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COUNTRY CLUB LIVING

The 18 design-led villas of Vista Lago Residences overlook, and form part of, this country club environment, yet they comprise a select private portion of it, with its own gated entry, security, and management that is designed to ensure the villas find themselves within a beautifully kept setting. The developer works with the buyers to add personal touches and upgrades as desired, and these can

include further amenities such as private gymnasiums, spas, home cinemas, bodegas, workspaces, and entertainment areas. “With Marbella and the coastal area within a ten-minute range, the country club amenities on your doorstep, and almost 100,000 hectares of protected nature extending inland from your home, Vista Lago offers a unique blend of elements that amount to style, comfort, and above all quality of life,” says Michael

Rodziewicz, CEO of BRIGHT.

“It is this combination of factors within a residential resort environment with all manner of amenities that has seen prices in this area double since the first owners bought – and property values are the most honest indication of just how desirable a home and its lifestyle are.”

BRIGHT

TEL: (+34) 682 105 002

EMAIL: INFO@BY-BRIGHT.COM

WWW.BY-BRIGHT.COM

Impressive tall living spaces
200 MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN ENTERPRISE | PROPERTY « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »
A MODERN HOTEL, IN THE HEART OF PUERTO BANÚS Completely refurbished, this avant-garde hotel on the Costa del Sol offers guests a wide range of gastronomic options, as well as fully equipped facilities to make their stay more comfortable. Its privileged location in this iconic nautical and tourist enclave of Marbella puts golf courses, marinas, shopping centres and beaches within easy reach of guests; a perfect destination for a holiday with family or friends. AV Rotary International Puerto Banus Marbella 29660 | Málaga | España 34-851 814 000 puertobanus.res@occidentalhotels.com

MARBELLA CLUB HILLS

DESIGN INSPIRED BY A SETTING

Architects will tell you that the first inspiration in the creative process of designing a home or complex comes from the plot itself. As Pablo Villarroel, who shaped Marbella Club Hills, says: “In the first instance, it is the setting that gives you the background, the material with which to work, and this information feeds back into your client’s brief, which in the case of Marbella Club Hills was clear: Let this beautiful site inspire you.”

ENTERPRISE | PROPERTY « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » 202 MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN
WORDS MICHEL CRUZ PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF MARBELLA CLUB HILLS

Abeachfront location sells itself, buyers don’t need much convincing. The reason why they too tend to be designed with care is related to the cost of the land and the associated value of the property being created, but the rule of thumb states that when you build a little further inland, you have to make more of an effort. This is generally true, and it results in some beautifully thought-out villas and apartment complexes, often within a select country club environment, but there are cases where the sheer beauty of a hillside setting can

The properties at Marbella Club Hills perfectly show how classic charm can be incorporated into modern home design be such that it too shouts ‘Location, Location, Location’.

“I am a true believer in the fact that the plot informs the process,” says Pablo Villarroel. “It gives you vital details such as topography and the amount of earthmoving or support required, the orientation that makes the most of the views and natural light, climatic conditions to bear in mind, and all manner of other factors to take into consideration before you even start developing the concept and designing the homes, but above all it gives you a feeling. It is precisely the feeling from which the aesthetic inspiration flows.” ›

“The setting of Marbella Club Hills speaks to you, and for that matter it’s name is very apt. Standing here you feel you’re in Andalucía, and looking out over the green hills to the wide expanse of the Mediterranean Sea, it looks like classic Costa del Sol. This is the pure essence of this coast, it is Marbella personified. Or rather, it is what we picture and sense when we think of Marbella and the attributes that make it so special. Properties built today have to be modern and fully up-to-date in technical terms, but standing there I knew it also had to breathe Andalusian style.” ›

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MODERN ANDALUCÍA, IN THE MARBELLA TRADITION

Marbella has a long tradition of absorbing modern and international design trends into Andalusian architectural traditions, and vice versa, and this is exactly what Pablo wanted to emphasise in his designs for Marbella Club Hills. “We’ve lost our connection a little bit in recent years, lost the link to the landscape and the cultural heritage that surrounds us. Architects, developers, and buyers all love modern design, but to be truly outstanding it has to have meaning, an identity

that fits into its setting, not just be a home that could be anywhere in the world. That becomes too anonymous.”

And so, he worked hard to find the right balance, as the mastery is in the detail. The result is a residential resort

that stands out among so many developments because it looks sleek and modern, offers all the latest comforts, luxuries, and technology, but does not follow the mainstream. Marbella Club Hills has a wonderful identity about it that stems from inclined

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Mediterranean roofs with terracotta tiles, real wooden beams hanging from modern concrete ceilings, but also the large minimalist frames of the powder coated aluminium windows and seamless glass terrace railings.

“Architecture of this kind is like the blending of modern and classic furniture in a stylish interior, it’s all about balance,” says Pablo, and it is in knowing how to proportion the different elements that he has created the added value to a project that

blends effortlessly into its beautiful setting. Attention to detail and a knowing eye produce a seamless flow to the landscaped areas that surround the buildings placed with precision to optimise light, views, and a sense of space. It also means creating roads with gradients under 15% that follow the natural contours of the land, not an easy task.

“This, together with the question of how to shape and position the units so that every one of the apartments has optimal

sea and country views, offers an example of how the good old-fashioned tenacity and dedication of our fantastic studio team at Villarroel Torrico overcame a technical challenge. Once well designed, the work then flows well, and we’ve now moved from Phase I, which is fully sold, on to Phase II, where construction is progressing swiftly.” The developers are matching this with a fresh marketing presentation and regular progress updates sent to owners. ›

205 MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN

A NEW SENSE OF APPRECIATION

Where once the focal point of the mainstay of buyers on the Costa del Sol was the sea, the sea and nothing but the sea, today that is significantly different. “The frontline beach location is of primary importance to buyers of holiday homes, but for those people who come to live or spend extended periods of time here, perhaps also have children in school, the idea of a conveniently located but private country club environment with resort

facilities and wonderful views close to nature and space is the ultimate embodiment of quality of life. Projects like Marbella Club Hills are made for them.”

Such homeowners want the space, authenticity, and privacy that beachfront locations struggle to offer, so the market selects and corrects itself. “The thing is to respect the natural setting and create the best project you can, in terms of aesthetic design, technical specifications, build quality and materials, as well as the

amenities it provides," says Pablo, whose designs for Marbella Club Hills includes four villas and six semidetached homes situated close to the racquet club and its clubhouse. “This is not just a stylish residential complex, it’s a private resort.”

MARBELLA CLUB HILLS

URB. CASERÍAS DEL ESPERONAL, CARRETERA DE MONTE MAYOR, BENAHAVÍS

TEL: (+34) 639 581 853

TEL: (+34) 951 661 173

AW@MARBELLACLUBHILLS.COM

WWW.MARBELLACLUBHILLS.COM

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bbusiness news

Engel & Völkers Achieves Impressive Success in 2023

Engel & Völkers Marbella exceeded all expectations in the competitive luxury market in 2023, with two sales closed in December and January for a price above €12 million euros, located in Cascada de Camoján and Sierra Blanca. Additionally, a new villa in La Zagaleta and another in Cascada de Camoján have been sold, with their finalisation before the notary taking place last month. In February, the real estate company opened its seventh office in Marbella, dedicated to new developments, after-sales services and rentals. 2024 will also see the opening of a new division of the Private Office in Marbella catering exclusively for the top end of the market, as an addition to the Engel & Völkers international Private Office. WWW.MARBELLA-EV.COM

208 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN ENTERPRISE | BUSINESS « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »

Marbella Deemed Best Travel Destination by European Best Destinations

Marbella is a magnificent place to visit, work in, and invest in. Such is its appeal that it has been voted the best destination to visit in 2024 by the travel website, European Best Destinations. Over one million travellers hailing from over 172 countries voted, and Marbella garnered 14 per cent of all votes. It was Spain’s only entry to the poll and was lauded for its sun-soaked shorelines, golf courses, shopping, and more.

WWW.EUROPEANBESTDESTINATIONS.COM

209 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN

Bromley Estates Announces Latest Exclusive Development

Bromley Estates is pleased to announce the launch of its latest exclusive development, One80 Collection – a luxury apartment complex located close to Estepona and just minutes from the beach and local amenities. Its elevated position on a gentle slope bestows enviable views of the Mediterranean Sea, Gibraltar, and the African coast on the horizon. With exclusive amenities, communal spaces, and quality fixtures and fittings such as BOSCH kitchen appliances, it is a dream residence, whether for permanent living, idyllic holidays in the sun, or a sound investment for years to come. One80 Collection comprises just 40 lowrise, south- and south-west-facing apartments.

WWW.BROMLEYESTATESMARBELLA.COM

Presenting Ikkil Bay: Luxury Frontline Living in Estepona

Estepona welcomes one of the most exclusive residential projects on the Costa del Sol. The prestigious Ikkil Bay building, situated on the beachfront of El Cristo Beach in Estepona, is now complete and is scheduled for handover in spring 2024. With an investment of over 16 million euros, this residential complex is committed to luxury, exclusivity, and privacy. The building, constructed with unique trapezoidal architecture that opens to the sea and light, breaks away from traditional patterns of highend housing, offering ‘high-rise villa’ living. The residents of its nine unique apartments will enjoy the benefits of living in a villa, with the advantages of an enclosed community.

WWW.IKKILBAY.COM

ENTERPRISE | BUSINESS « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » 210 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN

The Golden Mile Center Opens on the Golden Mile

The Golden Mile Center is an establishment located in the heart of the Golden Mile, opposite the Marbella Club Hotel and just a short walk from the legendary Puente Romano Hotel Resort and Spa. In this stylish space, exclusive retail, innovative concept stores, and high-end catering promise unique experiences. Discover fashion, food, lifestyle, beauty, art, and luxury brands like Karl Lagerfeld, Malo, The Art –Interior Design, Loriini, Armani Dolci, Mariage Frères, Missoni Home, Maison Assouline, Bijan365, and Bijan Maison. Or relax and enjoy the delicious food from The Art Bistro by Loriini or The Gourmet. Visitors will also enjoy live music and events.

WWW.THEART-GROUP.COM

Vodafone and Fundación Unicaja Present Technological Bootcamp for Women

Vodafone and Fundación Unicaja recently held the second edition of the FemCoders technology bootcamp for women. Some 24 unemployed women took part in the intensive, full-stack web development training programme, coordinated by the Arrabal-AID Association and structured according to the Somos F5 methodology. Specialised mentors were provided and once the course was completed, three internship positions were offered to the women. Present at the event were Jesús Amores, Director of Vodafone Innovation Hub; Ana Cabrera, Head of Solidarity and Research at the Unicaja Foundation; Laura López, Director of the Málaga Center of the Arrabal-AID Association; and Guillaume Thureau, Director of Somos F5.

WWW.FUNDACIONUNICAJA.COM

211 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN

Sotogrande International School Triumphs at Cross-Country Championships

Sotogrande International School, the victors at the International School Cross Country Championships, extended heartfelt thanks to Mr. Arriaga and all the staff of St Anthony´s College (Fuengirola) for hosting the event comprising 10 International Schools and over 400 participants, this was the largest cross-country championship event held in our area. With ages ranging from under-11 to under-19 and the courses adjusted from 2km up to 5km, this event served as a true litmus test of the fitness levels of each school.

WWW.SIS.AC

The Wedding Market Returns to Madrid in March

The Wedding Market, an event held to help couples plan the wedding of their dreams, is back in Madrid this year after the success of last year’s edition. It will take place at the event venue, Espacio Jorge Juan on March 16 and 17. Over 55 vendors specialising in venues, catering, jewellery, suits and dresses, decoration, photography, sound and lighting, entertainment, mixology, pastry, and travel agencies, among other exclusive services, will be present. The event will additionally feature a gastronomic area by the Eneldo catering service, as well as live music.

WWW.THEWEDDINGMARKET.ES 212 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN ENTERPRISE | BUSINESS « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »

Puerto Banús Fashion Sector On a Roll!

Cívitas Puerto Banús has the largest concentration of luxury commercial premises in Spain after Madrid’s Golden Mile. 100 firms with the most sought-after fashion brands certify this. The estimated turnover of these premises in 2023 was €282 million which represents a significant impact on both jobs and income generation for the city of Marbella. Virtually all luxury names are present: Bvulgari, Rolex, Cartier, Dior, Hermès, Luis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, Carolina Herrera, Dolce Gabbana, Valentino, Jimmy Choo, etc. among many more.

WWW.PUERTO-BANUS.COM

The Gynaecology Department of the Vithas Xanit Estepona Presents New Laser Treatment

The Gynaecology Unit of Vithas Xanit Hospital in Estepona has recently incorporated CO2 laser technology, which enables staff to provide non-surgical treatment for issues such as urinary incontinence, vaginal dryness, pain during sexual intercourse, post-partum scars, and atrophy, among others. The treatment not only aesthetically regenerates cells but also improves their functionality. For instance, in cases of mild to moderate stress urinary incontinence, it promotes collagen regeneration in pelvic floor cells and tissues, restoring normal urinary retention without the need for surgery.

WWW.VITHAS.ES

213 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN

Costa del Sol Property Services & Real Estate Expo Takes Place at the Senator Marbella Spa Hotel

Contemporary Art Exhibition in Málaga by Jamila Art

If vivid, abstract, contemporary art thrills you, then catch the latest exhibition by Jamila Art (Mariam Fadlalla) at the exhibition hall of the Ilustre Colegio Oficial de Dentistas de Málaga (the Official College of Dentists). The artist is originally from Berlin and has African roots. “Art has always fascinated me and the colours give me a magic impulse and I always try to innovate,” she says. The exhibition will be on until April 15.

PASILLO DE ATOCHA, 3, 1 IZQUIERDA, MÁLAGA.

TEL: 680 981 135. INSTAGRAM: JAMILAA_ART

The Costa del Sol Property Services & Real Estate Expo, organised by Costa del Sol Networking, will be taking place at the Senator Marbella Spa Hotel on Thursday, March 7, from 11am to 3pm. The event aims to connect individuals and businesses interested in buying or selling products and services and those wishing to create and maintain relationships within the Coast’s real estate and property service supplier markets. It will feature a host of leading industry figures as guest speakers, providing valuable insights into different aspects of how to maximise return on investments in the industry. Participating exhibitors will showcase their products or services to attendees.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION,
214 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN ENTERPRISE | BUSINESS « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »
WWW.COSTADELSOLNETWORKING.COM

José María Baena is Vithas Groups’ New Territorial Director for Andalucía

José María Baena is now the Territorial Director of the Vithas Group in Andalucía, a post he will be fulfilling alongside his role as Director of Clients and Business of Vithas’ six hospitals in Andalucía. He aims to strengthen and expand the healthcare operations and leadership of the Vithas group, as well as foster strong relationships with healthcare professionals in the region. Baena has a degree in Economics and Business and a Master's in Hospital Management and he began his professional career in private healthcare in 2006. In 2010 he joined the Vithas Xanit International Hospital as Deputy General Manager.

WWW.VITHAS.ES

Habitat Inmobiliaria Commercialises 1,500 Homes in Andalucía

Habitat Inmobiliaria, a national real estate promoter, is pleased to announce its impressive investment in Andalucía. In 2023, the firm obtained three pieces of land, in which it will invest €62 million. The company is currently commercialising 1,500 homes in total, spread out among Sevilla, Córdoba, and Málaga. It has created 3,600 direct and indirect jobs, evidencing its belief in the potential of Andalucía. “On the Coast, we have very attractive projects, such as the innovative Zeta District and various beachfront promotions,” said Víctor Martínez de la Puerta, Territorial Manager for Eastern Andalusia.

WWW.HABITATINMOBILIARIA.COM

215 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN

New Women’s Unit at the Quirónsalud Málaga Hospital

The Quirónsalud Málaga Hospital has launched a comprehensive Women's Unit to address and care for women's health at all life stages. It is located on the second floor of the Quirónsalud Málaga Day Hospital (on Pilar Lorengar St.) and boasts specialised units for various pathologies with top professionals and the latest technological advances to comprehensively address female patients’ needs. The list of specialist departments includes the Hysteroscopy, High-Resolution Gynecological Ultrasound, Endometriosis, Pelvic Floor, Lower Genital Tract, Menopause, Gynecological Oncology, Breast, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Assisted Reproduction, and Emotional Support units. WWW.QUIRONSALUD.ES

Kenneth MacMillan’s Ballet, Manon, Live at the Cinema

If classical ballet is a passion for you, don’t miss out on watching live performances by the Royal Ballet at the cinema. Recently, renowned choreographer, Kenneth MacMillan presented Manon, a tragic romantic work that was enjoyed by audiences in Málaga (at Yelmo Cines Vialia, Multicines Rosaleda, and Mk2 Cinesur Málaga Nostrum), Marbella (Kinepolis La Cañada and Red Dog Cinema), Vélez-Málaga (Mk2 Cinesur El Ingenio), Fuengirola (Mk2 Cinesur Miramar), Coín (Cine Pixel), Fuengirola (Multicines Alfil) and Rincón de La Victoria (Yelmo Cines).

TO KEEP UP-TO-DATE ON UPCOMING PERFORMANCES, VISIT WWW.YELMOCINES.ES

©ROH Alice Pennefather
ENTERPRISE | BUSINESS « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » 216 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN

AEDAS Homes Presents Middel Views III

Real estate developer, AEDAS Homes, has begun delivering homes at Middel Views III, the third and final phase of this highly successful residential project. Boasting breathtaking views of the Mediterranean, the development comprises 40 one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom properties, alongside communal areas that include an outdoor saltwater pool with spectacular views, a sun terrace, a gym, and more.

“These high-quality homes have been designed for the ultimate enjoyment of their residents,” said Roque Ballesteros, Promotions Manager of AEDAS Homes on the Coast.

WWW.AEDASHOMES.COM

HM Hospitals Stresses the Importance of Early Cancer Detection and Prevention

Close to 300,000 cases of cancer will be diagnosed this year, representing a 2.6 per cent increase in the annual number of diagnoses compared to 2023, according to data provided by the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM) in collaboration with the Spanish Network of Cancer Registries. Dr. Javier Díaz Santos, Director of the Clara Campal Comprehensive Oncology Center (HM CIOCC Málaga), addressed the press on World Cancer Day to remind people of the importance of early detection and a healthy lifestyle. The most frequently diagnosed types of cancer this year will be those of the colon and rectum, followed by breast and lung cancer.

WWW.HMCIOCC.COM

217 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN

Satisfy your cravings with a culinary experience par excellence at Marbella’s newest Michelin Star Restaurante

Back. Discover stellar cuisine curated by Paco Morales of Noor in Córdoba. Taste the difference with fine ecological wines from Bodegas Barbadillo.

ggourmet

220 Michelin Dining at Restaurante Back

226 Paco Morales, Chef of Noor

230 Gourmet Bytes

234 Ecological Wines

« BACK TO CONTENTS

MICHELIN DINING IN DOWNTOWN MARBELLA

Aficionados of top level gourmet dining can now satisfy their cravings at Marbella’s newest Michelin establishment, Restaurante Back in downtown Marbella, which was awarded its first Michelin Star recently in November.

WORDS JAMES SINCLAIR PHOTOGRAPHY KEVIN HORN
GOURMET | RESTAURANTS « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » 220 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN

DYNAMIC DUO

The restaurant is the product of the perfect partnership of David Olivas and Fabián Villar. David, who hails from Jaén, is a talented chef who worked alongside Dani García for more than a decade, honing his creativity in a number of prestigious venues. He is known for his meticulous attention to detail and the championing of Andalusian produce. Fabián meanwhile, who is from Ronda, is the front-of-house manager, and has garnered a reputation as an award-winning sommelier, including Best Sommelier Andalucía - Málaga - Costa del Sol in 2014. Together, they form a formidable team which, since opening Back in 2016, has established an

ever-growing admiration from critics, the public, and the media.

The restaurant is located in Calle Pablo Casals, comprising the street-level premises of stone-clad Edificio Fontanillo. You will normally be greeted by Fabián on arrival and shown to your table, from where you will be able to observe David and his team working their magic in the glass fronted kitchen. If, like most, you are coming for the Menú de Degustación, it is imperative to reserve and to be aware of the latest possible arrival time to be able to savour its many courses.

The main dining salon is elongated and combines rectangular, square and

circular solid wooden tables with wall sofas and distinct sets of dining chairs set at each. Plants divide the area and there is also a compartmentalised section offering a more private dining experience. Slate coloured tiles with a Fleur-de-Lys motif form the flooring throughout and large windows running the length of the street provide plenty of daylight during lunchtime, reflecting from the substantial mirrors on the facing wall to convey the sensation of spacial separation. With unobtrusive background music, the ambience is a pleasant elegant casual combo. Angled spotlights develop this cosy dining atmosphere in the evening. ›

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THE MAIN AFFAIR

With the delivery of rustic bread and a duo of fine olive oils – Cortijo Spiritu Santo and La Oliva Rioja – our party of four settled in for the main experience: the Menú Entorno. This is a multi-tiered gastronomic journey that showcases eight individual plates,

each one of which is really a double dish with the main constituent of the primary serving also being employed in an alternative preparation, that is either served alongside or immediately afterwards. To keep apace of this, pay attention to the knowledgeable and smartly dressed waiters, Dimitri and Kelso, or sometimes Fabián himself, who present each dish with an explanation of its constituents.

So, for example, the first serving of Almadraba Tuna Belly, Porra Antequera with Iced Pepper and Gazpacho has the same cut of tuna served on a brioche with black pepper as its follow up, and so

the theme continues for the duration of the tasting menu. Among the many highlights of this culinary extravaganza, were the Squid from Estepona and Pickled Sea Fennel, Genal Valley and its Iberian Chestnut Pig, and Fried Pigeon Breast in Bread Crust. The experience is a unique one, with waves of contrasting flavours, taste sensations, and palate refreshers, like a finely tuned symphony. The medley of plates, dishes, stands, and artefacts these intricate concoctions are served upon is impressive to say the least, as is the wooden rack of cutlery with columns of spoons and forks placed beside each diner. ›

222 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN « BACK TO CONTENTS GOURMET | RESTAURANTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »

East Asian Fine Dining

NEW TAI PAN

Marbella

NEW TAI PAN

Tel: 952 777 893 / 952 775 500

www.taipanmarbella.com

Puente Romano, Fase 2, Marbella.

Open Daily for Dinner

THAI GALLERY

Tel: 952 818 392

www.thaigallerymarbella.com

Puente Romano Hotel, Plaza Village, Marbella.

SUKHOTHAI

Tel: 952 770 550

www.sukhothaimarbella.com

Marbellamar, L-3A, Marbella.

SUKHOTHAI
F I

An array of wine pairings served in fine-stemmed glasses is available to enjoy with Entorno or one can order by the glass. The former features a diverse selection of vintages, including a Brut Cuvée, an aromatic white wine from Ribeira Sacra in Galicia, an Orange wine from the Axarquía, and excellent tintos from Cazalla de la Sierra in Sevilla and Castilla-La Mancha.

For those with a particular penchant or with less time available, the á la carte menu features a tempting range of preparations including some of the elements of the Tasting Menu available as main course options.

We finished a lengthy lunch sojourn with a Lemon Peel Iced Tartlet, well accompanied by a chilled Málaga Mountain Wine, all in agreement that Back is supremely named as we will surely return. e

RESTAURANTE BACK C/PABLO CASALS, 8, MARBELLA.

OPEN FROM TUESDAY TO SATURDAY

FROM 13:30 - 15:30 AND 19:3022:30  WITH ARRIVAL FOR THE ENTORNO MENÚ NECESSARY BEFORE

14:30 AND 21:30 RESPECTIVELY.

TEL: 951 550 045 / 615 993 120

RRPP@BACKRESTAURANTE.COM

WWW.BACKRESTAURANTE.COM

224 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » GOURMET | RESTAURANTS « BACK TO CONTENTS

PACO MORALES OF NOOR

FOOD FOR THE BODY, MIND, AND SOUL

“THE EXPERIENCE OF TASTING FOOD IS MORE MULTI-SENSORY, WHICH IS WHY IT REQUIRES THE MOST SOPHISTICATED PART OF OUR BRAIN TO PROCESS IT. EATING IS INFLUENCED BY HEARING, SIGHT OR TOUCH, AS WELL AS FLAVOUR: WE PREFER APPLES THAT CRUNCH LOUDLY, STEAKS THAT LOOK BLOODRED, SAUCES SO SMOOTH THEY SEEM TO CARESS THE INSIDE OF OUR THROATS.”

WORDS MARISA CUTILLAS PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF NOOR
GOURMET | CHEFS « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » 226 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN

If you live in the south of Spain or you visit this area frequently, then you have undoubtedly come across the term ‘Al-Andalus’, a period that spanned from the 8th to the late 15th century and saw Islamic influence impact the art, architecture, and gastronomy of this region profoundly. Fragrant spices like saffron, elaborately cured meats and sausages, and aromatic herbs were just a few of many ingredients that enriched our culinary offerings. And thanks to chefs like Paco Morales, they have once again come to the forefront of Michelin-starred dining.

Morales’ restaurant, NOOR, located in the heart of Córdoba, brings back the magic of an era whose milestone was undoubtedly

the caliphate of Abd alRahman III (Abderramán III) –a ruler who transformed Córdoba into one of the most advanced, culturally rich cities of its time. Following this leader’s example is Paco Morales who has positioned NOOR as one of the top restaurants on a global scale in a relatively short period of seven years.

This year, NOOR was recognised with three Michelin stars and over the past four years, Morales has consistently been deemed one of the top 100 chefs in the world. His secret? The knowledge that discerning diners are craving more than a good meal. A visit to NOOR is a multisensorial experience that results from intense research into the cultural and gastronomic heritage of Córdoba.

Upon arrival, diners almost instantly sense that they are about to embark on a historical, transformative, poetic voyage that is subtle yet felt with every bite. To understand Morales’ cuisine, it is vital to delve into history – particularly, the five-year period that saw the Catholic King and Queen (Fernando and Isabel) capture Granada. This period roughly coincided with the discovery of the New World and the expulsion of those of the Jewish faith who refused to convert to Christianity (a process that began at the commencement of the 12th century). All these events ignited a cultural revolution that saw the rise of the Hispano-Muslim culture and gave the people of this region knowledge about the flora, fauna, and other wonders of the New World. ›

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All this has inspired Morales, who has interpreted the journey of the Andalusians and the Spanish Golden Age through creations that can be found in three different menus. The first menu, Mudéjar, honours those who were born in the peninsula and practised the Muslim creed, living in peace with the Christian and Jewishconverted population. The second, Morisco, pays homage to the natural inhabitants of the Iberian peninsula who practised Islam and converted to Christianity at the end of the reconquest by the Christian kings. Fusion is the word that sums up this menu. The third, Al-Yazira (meaning ‘the peninsula’ in Arabic) is inspired by Algeciras, which

the Arabians called al-Yazirat al-Hadrá. The menus vary in size. Mudéjar has 11 dishes, Morisco 15, and Al-Yazira 20. All menus come with an optional wine pairing.

Simply reading the menus takes you to far-off places in time, which are so close in terms of physical distance. Dishes like the karim of pine nuts and green apple with rasalhanout or the khan curd with field egg yolk, caviar, habanero chilli and capers promise a

bite, complementing the sheer artistry that goes into the presentation of every exquisite dish.

228 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN « BACK TO CONTENTS GOURMET | CHEFS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »

BACALAO DE ISLANDIA SETS OUT TO DISCOVER THE VERY BEST BACALAO RECIPES

The Concurso de Escuelas de Cocina de Bacalao Islandia is a yearly competition that seeks to promote young chefs while endeavouring to find the very best cod recipe in Spain. This year, budding chefs from some 20 schools across the country will be competing in Extremadura in March. In February, young chefs from Málaga gathered at La Fonda and La Cónsula to present their creations locally. Good luck to all participants; may they be touched by the muse of creativity!

WWW.BACALAODEISLANDIA.ES

GOURMET | NEWS « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » 230 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN

ALL IN 1 CAFÉ CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY

Allin1 café celebrated its 20th anniversary with a gala dinner and all-night live music featuring Rose Philippens and the fabulous Piano Man, Paul Maxwell. It was an amazing evening, with a lovely crowd joining owners, Tenés and Diana. It all started in 2004, when Tenés Mertens launched the establishment in Monte Halcones, on the Ronda road, Benahavís. It was the first business to open in the commercial centre and was initially a bar/cafeteria that also served as a convenience store and DVD rental (thus the name ‘All in1 Café’). Today, it is famous for delicious food, live music events, clients’ celebrations, and its takeaway service.

WWW.ALLIN1CAFE.COM

PREMIOS MACARFI TAKE PLACE AT THE NH HOTEL MÁLAGA

Charismatic TV personality, Carlos Latre, recently presented the Premios Macarfi at the NH Hotel Málaga. Prizes are given to the very best restaurants from different provinces, as chosen by representatives of the Macarfi guide, chefs, and journalists. The top five restaurants in Málaga are Bardal, Kaleja, Los Marinos José, Back, and Skina. The event brought together over 60 chefs from the very best restaurants in Spain, including Jordi Roca (El Celler de Can Roca), Oriol Castro (Disfrutar), and Pere Monje (Via Veneto).

WWW.CLUBMACARFI.COM 231 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN

GUÍA REPSOL GRANTS ITS SUSTAINABILITY SUN TO FOUR RESTAURANTS

Guia Repsol has recognised the environmental commitment of four Spanish restaurants – Les Cols, A Tafona, Loreto and La Revelía –with its Sustainability Sun. Les Cols stood out for its passion for local produce, A Tafona for its work alongside universities in the area of sustainability, Loreto for its ‘Green Hope’ plan, and La Revelía for its use of geothermal energy to climatise its spaces. Congratulations to all restaurants and may many more follow suit!

WWW.REPSOL.COM

THE ICONIC RUTA DEL COCIDO MADRILEÑO STARTS AT THE HOTEL BARCELÓ IMAGINE

If you’re into Spanish cuisine, then you’re undoubtedly a fan of cocido – a dish from Madrid that contains boiled meat, cabbage, chickpeas, and other delicious ingredients. Now in its 15th year, the Ruta del Cocido Madrileño involves various establishments cooking their own version of the iconic dish. This year, the Barceló Imagine is the first stop on the route, and you can sample their recipe until March 31. The Hotel is offering a vegan version of cocido to up the health factor of this popular plate!

WWW.BARCELO.COM 232 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN GOURMET | NEWS « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »

ECOLOGICAL WINES

You may think that, unlike other areas of commercial life, the wine business is surely beyond the influence of social trends. Well, it’s not. Over time, taste and consumer demand vary. Responding to those changes makes for a dynamic and evolving market.

We have seen an explosion of certain zero-alcohol products, largely prompted by a demand spawned from the gym membership revolution and its focus on overall health. Sadly, for all the skill, financial incentive, and potential demand, zeroalcohol products tend to be pale by comparison. I am yet to find a drinkable zeroalcohol beer or wine.

Conversely, there has been a meteoric shift in the more conventional world of wine making that adds greatly to the wine drinking experience, its aesthetic, and the morning after experience! This has been prompted

less by the simple demand/ supply curve and is more geared to answering some of the biggest issues facing mankind.

Environmental concerns have been a catalyst for this development. Increasingly, major corporate wine growers, in tandem with the more artisan specialists, have sought new ways of guiding viticulture to comprehensively embrace the planet’s ecological position. There is a need to recast tried and tested models to ensure that wine production adheres to the core principles of sustainable viticulture including energy consumption, a conscientious preservation of the local ecosystem, and its wildlife.

234 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN GOURMET | WINE « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM »

Ecological wines, which also embrace those described as ‘organic’ or ‘biodynamic’ wines, are the result. These wines are made from vineyard-harvested grapes that are grown free of herbicides, pesticides, and other products derived from synthetic chemicals. Organic wines are made without any preservatives. They contain no added sulfites or enzymes but rely on natural fermentation to deliver the complexity of flavour. By contrast, Biodynamic wines are regarded as an upgrade in the Organic variant, in that they are produced with a holistic approach to nature and the planet. A final category, in this menu of ecological wines, is described as a ‘Natural Wine’ which is made from organically grown grapes and is left totally unfiltered.

The underlying principles of sustainability are to respect and protect the environmental balance in the wine making process, including a focus on the sensitive use and treatment of water, recycling of by-products, and the disposal of waste. For others, seeking a vegan classification for their wines, they choose

not to use the addition of egg albumin to achieve clarity.

Spain has become a world leader with over a quarter of the world’s ecological vineyards. Two thirds of Catalonia’s vineyards are now defined as ‘Organic’.

Moving further south, the ancient town of Sanlucar de Barrameda, south of Cádiz on the Andalucía coast at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River, is best known for two things: the exciting annual August horse race on its beach, said to be the oldest horse race in Europe, and for being the home to one of the regions finest sherry making dynasties, Bodegas Barbadillo.

Founded in 1821, Bodegas Barbadillo is still family owned with a long and illustrious history for innovation. However, it prides itself on

‘thinking small’, embracing its geography, bearing both a unique sand-rich soil and an ideal microclimate for grape cultivation. Its range of ecological wines is simply superb.

We will be focusing on two delicious whites: the Sábalo and the Patinegro.

They take their names from two local endangered species. A Sábalo, is Shad, a herring-like fish, that has virtually disappeared from the region. It can no longer journey upstream to spawn, frustrated by man-made river dams. A Patinegro, a pretty, finely marked bird, known in English as a Kentish Plover, is on the verge of extinction. Bodegas Barbadillo is collaborating with Cádiz University to establish safe nesting sites for these little birds. ›

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Their aesthetic is extremely strong with beautifully executed label art which extols the virtue of the bottle’s contents. Both are made from the iconic Palomino grape which is locally grown on two Abariza vineyards, typified by their light-coloured soil comprising a mix of calcium, clay, and fossilised marine life, situated around the town that have been managed under the organic farming process for 20 and 25 years respectively.

Sábalo (circa €13,95) has a deliciously balanced taste echoing a slight saltiness while the Patinegro (circa €15,75) has more developed notes of almonds and wood smoke.

A collateral benefit, I am told, of drinking Organic wines is that, and I am not yet convinced, no matter the quantity consumed, the day after you will be headache free! That sounds like a challenge. e

GOURMET | WINE « BACK TO CONTENTS ESSENTIALMAGAZINE.COM » 236 | MARCH 2024 | MARBELLA, SPAIN

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