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EXPECT

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FromTHE Publisher

I

t’s hard to believe this is the 30th issue of World. Who would have dreamt, back in 2005, that our baby would still be blooming and growing in 2014? I don’t suppose we gave it a thought, but here we are, more than 6,000 glossy pages later, looking better than ever. Originally the magazine was going to be called WORLD Cars – a title reflecting my own passion for beautiful autos – but we decided to drop Cars from the masthead and our content has evolved and broadened ever since. World has grown to include fashion, jewellery, beauty, décor, personality profiles, boats, cruising, timepieces and a large travel section – not forgetting those fabulous cars, of course. Speaking of cars, we have some rare and iconic beauties in this issue (page 107), captured by American auto photographer Royce Rumsey at the Beverly Hills Concours d’Elegance a few months ago. Royce is a true artist of the camera, just like another of our regular contributors, Peter Lik. Peter’s amazing landscape images form a stunning photo essay beginning on page 133. Great photos, I’ve always believed, make for a great magazine. This seems to be the issue for anniversaries: Partridge Jewellers celebrates a very impressive 150 years in business, and our fashion-label namesake WORLD has turned 25. We profile both enterprises here, so it’s a three-way party. Crack open the Bollinger!

Original WORLD Cars concept cover

Parties of a different kind involve 10 top Auckland chefs cooking for a cause we’re happy to get behind – raising funds to help reduce the frightening child cancer rates in the Pacific Islands. You can read about it in The Last Word (page 226) – and maybe even join the cause. Finally, in this special issue of World, I’d like to thank all those who have helped us survive and thrive – our writers and photographers and backroom heroes and, of course, our advertisers and our controlled circulation partners who have trusted World to take their message directly to their most valued clients. Enjoy.

Don Hope


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STYLE IN SYNC It’s 25 years since Denise l’Estrange-Corbet and Francis Hooper launched the WORLD fashion label.

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JEWELS IN THE BLOOD

PLATINUM BEAUTY

Partridge Jewellers celebrates 150 years and six generations of a glittering family business.

We chart the stellar career of pioneering cosmetics guru Jane Iredale.

48 BEST OF BRITISH The creators of My Burberry see their new fragrance as the embodiment of the very British label.

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GREAT OUTDOORS A cache of international designers helps make DEDON outdoor furniture unique.

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A TUSCAN WEDDING A glorious country estate near Siena was the backdrop for a very special Kiwi union.

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NATURE BOY Ben Shewry’s Melbourne restaurant, Attica, is once again named among the best in the world.

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CURIOUS KITCHENS World picks five international restaurants, each with a unique point of difference.

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THE MODERN CLASSIC Looking for a classic watch built for the 21st century? Check out Bani McSpedden’s ‘timeless’ dozen.

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100 YEARS OF HORSE POWER Ace car photographer Royce Rumsey captures the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance.

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SAIL AWAY WITH ME Charter a luxury yacht for all the joys of a sailing holiday without the burden of ownership.

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PETER LIK Earth’s dramatic landscapes surrender their inner beauty to a master photographer.


WAT ER FO R D CRY S TA L .COM . AU


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MY WORLD Thomas Hyde sends word from his new home – Abu Dhabi, pristine capital of the UAE.

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ON THE PIG’S BACK An Australian chef and his partner offer a culinary adventure in France’s bucolic Loire Valley.

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LOVE ME TENDER Tricia Welsh takes off for the best long lunch in Australia.

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AFLOAT IN FRENCH POLYNESIA Patrick Smith cruises Tahiti’s Leeward Islands and falls for Huahine.

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HANDMADE HEAVEN The Tahitian island resort of Le Taha’a is “the bespoke sanctuary of your dreams”.

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SYDNEY BY SHIP Have you ever thought of travelling to Australia the old-fashioned way? We did.

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SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL Brett Atkinson cruises Alaskan waters aboard a luxury yacht that goes where larger ships cannot.

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ALASKA STYLE Two backcountry lodges provide fine hospitality and cuisine in a rugged northern landscape.


THE WHOLE WORLD TO THE NEAREST MINUTE.

Duomètre Unique Travel Time. Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 383. Paris, New York, Tokyo, New Delhi… Swiss precision around the globe. The Duomètre Unique Travel Time is the world-time watch offering dual-time adjustment to the nearest minute. A feat made possible by the patented Dual-Wing movement. With 180 skills united under one roof, the Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre consistently contributes to driving advances in the field of Fine Watchmaking.

YOU DE S E RVE A R E A L WATC H.


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194

SCENES FROM THE SERENGETI Thomas Hyde joins an eight-day safari during the great wildlife migration.

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MALAYSIA HOT & COOL Yvonne van Dongen escapes to the hills and discovers the shiny new city of Putrajaya.

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WORLD CONCIERGE Spotlight on Amanresorts, a collection of 26 exceptional properties around the globe. THE LAST WORD Ten high-profile Auckland chefs are cooking up a storm to help Pacific Island children beat cancer.

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PUBLISHER Don Hope Ph +64 9 358 4080 donhope@paradise.net.nz ART DIRECTOR Desmond Frith JKFrith Design FEATURES EDITOR Thomas Hyde TRAVEL EDITOR Patrick Smith

WINE AND FOOD EDITOR John Hawkesby MOTORING EDITOR David Linklater TIMEPIECE EDITOR Bani McSpedden CONTRIBUTORS Brett Atkinson, Jeni Bone, Frances Chan, Michal McKay, Tricia Welsh, Yvonne Van Dongen

ADVERTISING Debra Hope Ph +64 21 930 717 debrahope@paradise.net.nz ADVERTISING CO-ORDINATOR Nicky Joyce Ph +64 9 634 9867 nicky.joyce@fairfaxmedia.co.nz

DISTRIBUTION Netlink Distribution Company PRINTING PMP Limited

PRODUCTION Sara Hirst - PREPRESS MANAGER Debbie Curle - PREPRESS

www.worldmagazine.co.nz

World is published quarterly by Fairfax Magazines, a division of Fairfax Media, 317 New North Rd, Kingsland, Auckland, New Zealand (PO Box 6341, Wellesley Street). Advertising within this publication is subject to Fairfax Magazines’ standard advertising terms and conditions, a copy of which is available online at www.fairfaxmedia.co.nz or by calling 09 909 6800. FAIRFAX NORTHERN REGION MANAGER 9Vk^YEZccn™FAIRFAX MAGAZINES COMMERCIAL MANAGERÄ9jcXVc7gdj\]™FAIRFAX MAGAZINES EDITORIAL DIRECTOR – Kate Coughlan This magazine is subject to the New Zealand Press Council. Complaints to be first directed to “donhope@paradise.net.nz” with “Press Council complaint” in the subject line. If unsatisfied, the complaint may be referred to the Press Council, P O Box 10 879, The Terrace, Wellington 6143 or by email at: info@presscouncil.org.nz Further details and online complaints at www.presscouncil.org.nz” SUBSCRIPTIONS: Ph +64 9 926 9127 worldsubs@fairfaxmags.co.nz ISSN - 1176 9076 ©2014 Fairfax New Zealand Limited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

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under the ice time stands still


JEWELS IN THE

BLOOD

PARTRIDGE JEWELLERS CELEBRATES 150 YEARS IN BUSINESS THIS YEAR, WITH THE SIXTH GENERATION OF THE DYNASTY PLAYING HER OWN ROLE IN THE COMPANY’S LONG-RUNNING SUCCESS. MICHAL MCKAY TRACES THE HISTORY.

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G

rant Partridge is a connoisseur of watches. Very beautiful watches that bear names like Patek Philippe, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Rolex. They make a stunning display in “Haute Horology” area on the first floor of his Queen Street store. His own horology collection glitters with prize timepieces. But despite his obvious delight in the keeping of time, he confesses his real passion is jewellery. It’s been a lifelong obsession for the company’s managing director. And this year the Partridge family will celebrate not only 150 years of business in New Zealand (possibly the oldest-established family business in the country) but also six generations within the jewellery dynasty that bears its name. This pioneering spirit originated in England, in the small town of Kingsbridge, Devon, where James Timothy Partridge was born in 1839. His grandfather, Timothy Smale, was an experienced jeweller and silversmith who had been in business since 1824. With no sons of his own, he trained his grandson in the skills and techniques of engraving and jewellery manufacturing. As a recognised artist in his field, J.T., as he was known, took over the family business, by now in its 50th year of trading. But as the family grew to eight children, the rooms above the little shop in Fore Street grew too small for J.T. and his wife Mary. And so, lured by the promise of a fortune to be made in far-off Aotearoa, the family boarded the emigrant ship Waipa, finally disembarking in Canterbury and settling in Timaru. The rest, as they say, is history. J.T.’s workmanship soon gained him – and subsequently his sons – a fine reputation. Having moved to Christchurch, where he became involved in local politics, it was his son Linnaeus Richard (known as L.R.) who took over, transferring the business to Willis Street in

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Wellington. There he joined forces with another wellestablished jeweller, George Jenness. This partnership flourished under the name of Jenness & Partridge for a further 40 years. J.T. also became actively involved in politics, helping to found the NZ Employers Federation and ultimately becoming president of the Wellington Manufacturers Association. But his bequest remains his skill and artistic talent. And having trained numerous apprentices, including his son Cecil Linnaeus, who took over the business in 1949, the company ultimately became C. L. Partridge & Son, with both a factory and a shop. Among many distinguished commissions was a silver salver for Queen Elizabeth II. Cecil’s son, Ray, opened Partridge Jewellers on Perrets Corner and followed this shop with others around Wellington selling fine jewellery, Swiss watches and crystal. Ray was a goldsmith and it was this legacy that became Grant’s playing field at the age of 16. Jewellery is Grant’s hobby. And his life. But as an astute businessman, he also saw the

Three generations of the Partridge Jewellers family (from left): Grant, Nikki and Ray.

potential in the watch trade and set about acquiring some of the world’s most prestigious brand names. “We started with Rolex, but other brands came along.” Among these were Breguet, Breitling, Chopard, Cartier,


ASHOKA DIAMONDS One of the rarest cuts of diamond in the world. Each cut has 62 facets with an elongated shape allowing it to reflect more light than any other. Known as the “Emperor of Emperors”, the original Ashoka diamond was discovered in India – a unique 41.37 carats. And flawless. New York diamond cutter William Goldberg transformed the diamond’s aspects of shape, energy and ability to capture light into a cut that was so original it gained its own patent.

DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RINGS A diamond, signifying enduring love because of its strength and beauty, first became popular as part of an engagement ring in the 1930s. But it’s thought the betrothal ring itself dates back to Roman times. The most popular cut is the round brilliant, with 58 facets, but others are the Princess, Emerald, Oval and Cushion cuts.


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Dior, Gucci and Jaeger-LeCoultre. On his acquisition of the Patek Philippe brand, Grant says: “It came along in 2004 after a long courtship – many years of a solid campaign. They only have around 400 global outlets and we have two of them. For our 150-year celebration we will have two unique one-off pieces which they have made available especially for us.” But it is the jewellery side of the Partridge business that produces the real sparkle in Grant’s eye. He admits he has absorbed his prodigious knowledge somewhat like osmosis. “Well,” he says, “I did start at 16 and have never left it.” When he goes overseas – which is often – he has one mission in mind: to look at jewellery. And he selects with painstaking precision. He regards the trade fair of BaselWorld as the ultimate. “Everyone in the industry meets there. They have 2,500 exhibitors, including most of the Swiss watch brands.” The result of this worldwide research is that Partridge Jewellers harbour the most covetable jewellery names in

life of another decade at most, highly sought after. As the only jeweller in Australasia permitted to craft the Ashoka diamond into bespoke pieces, he set about acquiring this exclusive name. The Ashoka cut is attributed to William Goldberg – a globally recognised diamond cutter from the Bronx – and the business is now run by his family. Grant arranged an introduction to Eve Goldberg (William’s daughter) and with only around 20 dealers in the world having access to this name, he “felt very privileged to meet this very imposing woman”. Obviously, he convinced her. Partridge is now a national company with five stores – the most recent opening in Christchurch last year. Grant opened Queen Street, Auckland in 1999 (managed by Glenn Peachey), took over another space in Newmarket (manager: Christine Power) and in 2009 opened in Queenstown, the shop run by his daughter Nikki. Nikki represents the sixth generation of jewellers in the Partridge line. She’s also the first female and holds

the world – the Ashoka-cut, and Argyle Pink diamonds (from Australia’s Kimberley Ranges) being the jewels, so to speak, in a dazzling crown. But there are also glamour names such as Gucci, Furrer Jacot and Crivelli with their unique craftsmanship and distinguishing hallmark designs. “It took forever to get the Argyle Pink diamond business,” says Grant. “The ateliers they select are put through a rigorous process. If we think a diamond is precious, an Argyle Pink diamond is extraordinarily precious – one of the rarest in the world.” And, with a production

both a Bachelor of Design (with honours), majoring in jewellery design, and a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in marketing. She and Sean Butler are the company’s bespoke specialists. Both, explains Grant, are “talented designers rather than goldsmiths, in that the former create and the latter make”. All stores have well-qualified gemologists on site, with four more in training, plus a staff geologist heading off to New York next year to study at GIA. Although bespoke designs originate in the Partridge premises, a

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AUTORE PEARLS South Seas pearls have long seduced discerning jewellery specialists. And the Autore pearls, which grow in the warm waters off the northwest coast of Western Australia, are among the most seductive in the world. The Autore pearl gains its high grading through the ďŹ ve S’s: shine, shape, surface, shade and size.

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THE ARGYLE PINK DIAMOND These precious and extremely rare diamonds come from a mine in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia. The mine produces over 90 per cent of the world’s pink diamonds, along with other naturally coloured stones, including champagne, cognac and rare blue diamonds. However, it’s thought the mine’s productive life will end in another decade, making pink diamonds especially rare and unique.

HALO This special collection was created by Nikki Partridge. Her contemporary range, with its idiosyncratic twists, uses cognac and white marquise and brilliant-cut diamonds in free-flowing asymmetric shapes that give each piece its own unique form. “When I design bespoke pieces,” she says, “I like to get to know the client... I want it to feel 100 per cent personal to them and make sure that every time they look at it, they love it.”

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design may draw on the talents of the world’s top stonecutters and goldsmiths for its realisation: from the first consultation through to minutely detailed sketches to the setting and positioning of the gems, many specialists may be involved. And it is Grant’s responsibility to find the best. “I go to Hong Kong, Geneva and Bangkok – the Asians have been in the jewellery business for centuries and their technical skill is extraordinary,” he says. “Germany has the best goldsmiths and I buy the most beautiful stones from Idar-Oberstein, which is the home of stone cutting. “But the factories in Thailand are also exceptional, not only for their sheer volume but you are able to have several people working on a piece with such precision it is remarkable. However, in the end, what is most important is having the best people to do the job – either directly here or overseas.” It is Grant and Glenn who oversee the store interiors, a feat in itself, particularly with brands that are very particular about the way their products are displayed. “They send the furniture and often specialists to install it,” he says. With three sons – “still too young to tell if they will want to continue the business” – and daughter Nikki, who also creates her own range, Halo, the longevity of the Partridge dynasty looks to be on a firm footing. www.partridgejewellers.com


Photo: Shaun Pettigrew

STYLE IN SYNC

IT’S NOW 25 YEARS SINCE DENISE L’ESTRANGE-CORBET AND FRANCIS HOOPER LAUNCHED THE WORLD FASHION LABEL. THEY TALK TO MICHAL MCKAY ABOUT THE JOURNEY AND THE SECRETS BEHIND THEIR WINNING COLLABORATION.

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B

ack in the 80s, BIG was the fashion statement of the day, so it isn’t surprising that two fledglings in the fashion world, fed up with what they were facing in their own work arenas also thought big. Today, Francis Hooper and Denise L’Estrange-Corbet of WORLD are household names. Back then, though, when they were both “bored, isolated, looking for direction” and, working in separate New Zealand fashion companies, they were yet to make their mark – but they knew what they needed to do to get there. “We just sat down and said, ‘why don’t we do our own thing, start our own brand?’,’’ explains Francis. A big idea but a simple one. They had the vision and in 1989, with $400 between them, they began what has now become one of New Zealand’s most progressive fashion labels. As retailers, it was all about their own ideas and concepts. From day one they had a vertical operation. “It was a gorgeous little store in Century Arcade,” Francis remembers. “We wanted to make jewellery but we couldn’t even afford a machine, so we invited Tracey Collins to join us. We collaborated well.” Collaboration is something Francis and Denise have developed into a fine art. Their business is based on it. And this first venture was a shining example of their nose for talent. Since those small beginnings, Tracey has become one of New Zealand’s foremost production and costume designers for TV, film and theatre, with multiple credits and awards to her name. No doubt the support provided by the WORLD duo’s enthusiastic appreciation of her work was her kick-start. “For us, it is all about working with people who excite us,” says Francis. It’s a philosophy that has obviously stood them in remarkably good stead. A little jewel in Auckland’s fashion retail mecca of High Street was their next destination. “It was a bit like a small club where we worked our guts out,” Francis says. “We started our journey into fashion with ties and tees, baseball caps and Doc Martens. And we just grew and grew. It was organic rather than instructive – instinct led us. Within a year we became fashion entrepreneurs with our own brand including jeans and denim.” The big break – which any fashionista worth their salt knows – was entering and winning the avant-garde section of the Benson and Hedges Awards in 1995. The 21st century origami dress was constructed from two pieces of card and formed the mould for WORLD’s future direction – a direction recognised for colourful, imaginative clothes that break the boundaries of convention while still maintaining a unique wearability. That winning style, by the way, was ultimately bought by Auckland Museum and used to design a one-off collectible miniature for Barbie. Other iconic WORLD designs are on display at Te Papa in

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Wellington and at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.) “We changed our [direction] from easy fashion to high fashion made beautifully,” Francis says. “I wanted our clothes to be characterful.” Impeccable tailoring and lush design are the WORLD trademarks. By 1994 the brand’s new direction was well defined. “No copying” was their mantra. They went to London Fashion Week as part of the New Zealand

Four group show (along with Trelise Cooper, Nom*D and Zambesi) and in 1997 their showing at Australian Fashion Week brought them to the attention of Italian Vogue. The brand has also shown in Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore. Such ventures could have cowed lesser mortals. But there is no question Denise and Francis make a formidable pair. They operate according to their convictions and despite the fact they admit to no particular divine plan,


“WE STARTED OUR JOURNEY INTO FASHION WITH TIES AND TEES, BASEBALL CAPS AND DOC MARTENS. AND WE JUST GREW AND GREW...

...IT WAS ORGANIC RATHER THAN INSTRUCTIVE – INSTINCT LED US.” FRANCIS HOOPER

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those instincts and their passion are rock solid. They still sell into Europe, which is sure proof of this. Courage, they have in spades. Not content with a foray into the fashion world (challenging enough in itself), they launched their first beauty store at the start of the recession – a class act combining antiques, chandeliers, rare books, taxidermy, trophies and luxury beauty and fragrance brands. While their clients may have been retrenching, WORLD progressed. But Francis adds a codicil: “Even in the boom times we have grown slowly.” Each store focuses on a customer base that will respond to specially selected merchandise to suit their tastes. And, of course, Francis and Denise’s. With clothing stores now in Britomart, Ponsonby, Newmarket, Christchurch and Wellington, along with beauty stores in Vulcan Lane, Ponsonby, Mt Eden and Wellington, each shop has its own identity – with eccentricity the key. These stores are treasure troves where customers meet the unexpected. The product mix is eclectic and desirable and is derived from the team’s pure gut feeling about the appeal of each item. It’s not, they say, about commercial viability or

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being a “winner” – that business model is far removed from the WORLD philosophy. The WORLD clothing brand itself has a global reach that extends into Australia, Europe, Asia and the United States. Francis believes this gift to go where others fear to tread is a combination of self-belief and an excellent antenna for honing talent. “We have always surrounded ourselves with creative people to whom we are attracted and they are equally as pulled in by our ethos.” They pride themselves on the standard and quality of the label’s workmanship, never accepting less than the best and always questioning how to do it better. Though Francis and Denise may be the figureheads of the business, they are very quick to attribute their success to that remarkable capacity to collaborate. They pour generous praise on those with whom they work. “It is all about the team: recognising skills, working with exceptional people in whatever walk of life, whether it is Josh [their production manager, who joined them 10 years ago as a driver] or Benny [Castles], who is now a partner and regarded as part of the family.” They travel constantly and their suppliers and retailers around the world have become friends. “We operate on a family concept; relationships are our essence.” This is demonstrated well by the fact that Denise, though still a director of the company with a continuing influence on all decisions – “I do oversee projects and the big stuff” – happily admits that it is Francis who is “obsessed by fashion”. For her, WORLD is now a springboard for exploring other avenues that stretch her skills and mind. “With Benny on board,” she says, “I was fortunate enough to be able to move from the workroom to other things.” As a Gold Elite speaker, Denise is in demand on the celebrity circuit. She spoke at APEC in 1999, sat on Helen Clark’s Business Forum in 2000 and in 2002 became the first female fashion designer named a Member of the NZ Order of Merit. Her autobiography, All That Glitters, made the bestseller list in 2008 and today she writes a weekly column with her daughter Pebbles for Canvas magazine. But her political interests, her charity and fund-raising work also play significant roles in her life. Working closely with the Mental Health Foundation, Starship and IHC, and as an ambassador for the Diabetes Foundation in Auckland, Denise freely admits, “I am the one who goes and begs”. With exceptional results. Voted second most trusted woman in a 2011 Reader’s Digest poll (after Chief High Court Judge Helen Winkelmann), her credibility was further enhanced by being made an Honorary Fellow of the Universal College of Learning (UCOL) for an outstanding and distinguished contribution to the wider community and to society in general.


With a reputation for speaking her mind, Denise’s insight and mentoring skills are well mined as both a lecturer and judge, with would-be students and designers clamouring for her advice. She lectures throughout the country, delivering no-nonsense counsel and guidance and has a reputation for not suffering fools lightly. She likes hard workers who are serious about making it and will provide unstinting support if she believes in you. Equally, she admits to being intolerant of those who take short cuts and want to be at the top before putting in the hard yards. “When Francis and I started, we did everything, and that included making the tea and sweeping the floors. Success is all about not being too proud to pick up the garbage – of whatever kind.” And, as Francis points out, the only way to know your customer is to be at the coalface. That means loading the van, cutting the fabric, stuffing the envelopes and – vitally important – selling at the shop. In fact, being the face of the brand. So, with 25 successful years behind them, what is the WORLD vision for the future? According to Francis, the journey doesn’t end: he sees the first 25 years as the foundation of a 500-year legacy. “This is a niche luxury brand of the best quality and we would like to see this original and innovative concept simply expand and grow.” New alliances will bring about fresh directions such as lifestyle, perhaps food and the expansion of the beauty boutiques. They will, of course, continue to explore areas that are extensions of their personalities and professional outlooks: a factory of ideas and experiments, if you will. To do this they will continue to travel – twice a year to Europe to sell, recharge and rekindle ties with suppliers and others. “It’s like osmosis,” says Francis. “We meet new people, become inspired with their innovative thinking. And despite the grind of a relentless calendar, the opportunities for being amongst the beauty that is Paris or Milan, discovering novel fields, keep you young.” “I think 30 years younger than I am because that is the nature of fashion. It’s young at heart. Pebbles and I share the same world – and she’s only 24. Just as it gets boring, another season comes along and – presto! – all is new again. How do you spell fashion? C. H. A. N. G. E. It’s ruthless and unforgiving. If you don’t embrace it, it will be at your peril.” Denise adds the final footnote on the secret to WORLD’s success and longevity: “Fashion is a signature. You have to know your look. Like Prada. Like Chanel. You have to tell a story. It is not a formula,” she says. Then adds with a smile, “Welcome to my soapbox!”

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s an undergraduate, Jane Iredale’s beautiful career looked set to follow an altogether different path: one leading to the world of entertainment. With a Masters degree in English and philosophy, she explored the fields of casting, writing and producing in film, television and theatre. How then did this unlikely beginning form the springboard to her plunge into the equally competitive world of cosmetics? It was actually the entertainment business that sparked the idea. She says she had always wanted to be

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involved in enhancing women’s lives and, with a particular leaning towards healing, she had become aware of the detrimental effects make-up had on actresses whose careers depended on a flawless complexion. Constant use of heavy make-up to disguise faults, along with the added effects of harsh lighting, aggravated the skin. And while puzzling over this she had an epiphany: why not produce a make-up line that was an extension of skin care? Makeup that was in fact good for the skin. Amazing Base was the result. Launched in 1994, it was a make-up foundation of loose mineral powder in five shades and the first of its kind on the market. But, working from home – with a chemist to ensure the efficacy of the line – she recalls that, although the idea was wonderful, marketing it was difficult. “It was too small for department stores and though I considered the health area, I fortunately realised it was perfect for plastic surgeons who were treating patients with laser,” she says. “As well as providing complete coverage for skin conditions such as acne and rosacea, it also disguised redness from chemical peels and resurfacing. And as the product was non-comedogenic [nonclogging], the skin could breathe and function normally.” THE SKIN CARE MAKEUP was on the map. Loose powders were followed by pressed powder – a challenge to make without compromising the integrity of the minerals that were so strategic to the line. Antioxidants and moistureretaining ingredients added to the effectiveness.


‘‘

WE ARE TOTALLY TRANSPARENT ABOUT WHAT GOES INTO OUR BRAND RANGE. AND WE WERE AMONG THE FIRST TO LIST ALL OUR PRODUCT INGREDIENTS ON OUR WEBSITE, PLUS A GLOSSARY OF WHAT THEY ARE AND WHAT THEY DO.

‘‘

Image used by permission of Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, Ltd

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But the defining moment was the release of Liquid Minerals in 2003 – a liquid make-up that used state-of-the-art liposome technology to combine lightdiffusing minerals with anti-ageing ingredients. Not only did it deliver active and beneficial ingredients but also provided superb coverage and set a whole new standard for make-up. Today, THE SKIN CARE MAKEUP includes more than 400 products, but Jane acknowledges that, while her innovative thinking launched a whole new concept in the cosmetic field at the time, such a beginning would probably be impossible today. “We were massively under-capitalised,” she says. “And my belief that growth was a simple philosophy of selling more product, making more money and therefore buying more raw materials was about as naïve as you could get. We had no backer, no mentors.” But her husband was a banker and together they strategised. It is his status as the “Rock of Gibraltar”, she feels, that has provided the balance and constant support to allow her to achieve success both for herself and for the company. “These days you really do need a substantial capital,” she says. “You also need a well-designed product line and marketing plan. The way we started, with one product at a time, one customer at a time, is virtually impossible to contemplate today. “We didn’t have internet. Now you have to have a sophisticated website, e-commerce and a flourishing social media network in order to compete. The direct-to-the-consumer philosophy has changed everything. Having originally sold business-to-business with very little consumer contact, it is a daily discussion today.” But Jane believes the real secret is having a team spirit within her company that brings out the best in all the players. She employs only those who have enthusiasm, compassion and an obviously supportive nature. This is the crux. “It’s easy to lead those who want to learn and are happy in what they are doing… but teaching someone how to be a team player is hard.” THE SKIN CARE MAKEUP line is now sold through 43 countries, with a distribution rooted in medical clinics, top spas and salons. Jane credits the ongoing success of the line to the principle of providing positive skincare benefits with every make-up product; all must be as natural as possible and a true extension of skin care. And each product undergoes rigorous sensitivity and safety tests to ensure it is as good for the skin as it is to wear. “There are a number of brands out there that use the term ‘mineral’ very loosely for their marketing hype, but the products themselves are not true to the concept. We are totally transparent about what goes into our brand range. And we were one of the first to list all our product ingredients on our website, plus a glossary of what they are and what they do.” More innovation and expansion is planned for the brand, including a commemorative 20th anniversary creation, new packaging and some ground-breaking consumer and trade initiatives reflecting the brand’s philosophy. New ingredients, new technologies and new ways of marketing offer unlimited potential in the life of Jane Iredale and the next decades promises to take her magical make-up range from platinum to gold. Recognition from her peers, meanwhile, is the final proof of her achievements: at the time of writing she was due to be presented with the 2014 International Spa Association’s Visionary Award at the 24th Annual ISPA Conference and Expo in Las Vegas.

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jane Iredale Liquid MineralsTM


A closer look reveals the hidden beauty of your skin. There’s an art art to creating great looking skin, and it’s an art Environ has mastered. Remember, beautiful skin is a journey. And we’re with you every step of the way. Book your consultation today. Visit www.psb.net.nz to find your nearest stockist or like us on facebook at Facebook.com/environ.nz

Image courtesy of Sriram Subramaniam. | 12249/E

THE ART OF CREATING BEAUTIFUL SKIN.


Best of

British THE LAUNCH OF THE FRAGRANCE MY BURBERRY IS REGARDED BY ITS CREATORS AS THE EMBODIMENT OF THE VERY BRITISH LABEL. MICHAL MCKAY IS ON THE SCENT.

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ew brands sum up that well-used saying “The Best of British” better than Burberry. And though the name itself represents the kind of tradition and quality for which the British are renowned, it is Burberry’s meteoric rise over the past 10 years that has caught many unawares. For a company whose laurels rested on tradition – most particularly that of the trench coat – its most recent volte-face has been nothing short of breathtaking. Much of this is due to the talents of Christopher Bailey, CEO, chief creative officer and designer of the clothing and accessories upon which today’s success is based – though the achievements of dynamic Americans Rosemary Bravo and Angela Ahrendts (who recently left to take over Apple retail) cannot be ignored for their pivotal roles in putting Burberry on the luxury map. After a hiatus of many decades, it was their collaboration with Bailey that spun the name Burberry into every fibre of today’s fashion world. Now regarded within the industry as a digital pioneer and leader in integration, creativity and experimentation, the company has come a long way since the day in 1856 when a young Thomas Burberry set out to equip local sportsmen from his tiny shop in Basingstoke, Hampshire. He made his name by patenting a waterproof, tightly woven cotton as gabardine – lightweight, durable and breathable and fashioned into outfits for mountaineers, aviators and explorers. It was, however, a trench coat – originally worn by Army officers – that became known as The Burberry, and earned the brand a rich man’s reputation as the all-purpose label. Even King Edward VII was heard to instruct his valet to “fetch me my Burberry”.

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THE GLASS BOTT O LE ALSO REFLECTS ITS HERITAGE: T A HORN-FINISHED CAP ECHOES THAT AT VERY DISTINCTIVE TRENCH COAT AT BU UTT TON.

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When Christopher Bailey arrived in 2001 to take the creative reins, the revamped Burberry was competing for a logo-mad public with the likes of Gucci and Louis Vuitton. The ubiquitous Burberry check had almost done its dash: a new direction and innovation were needed. In just a decade the brand has evolved from what was essentially an outerwear and accessories company into a Fashion Week favourite. The label Burberry Prorsum (Latin for “forward”), with its knight-and-horse logo, is the summation of this innovative thinking. “I sometimes describe Burberry as a young old company,” explains Bailey. “Old in terms of heritage and history but with a very young team, a very young energy – and for me, that’s a wonderful combination.” Entry into the digital world was gradual. Burberry started a Facebook page in 2009 and today its catwalk campaigns and behind-the-scenes content of brand news, store openings and milestone events, attracts more than 16 million followers. It also utilises Google+, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube. And its digital flagship (www.burberry.com) delivers to more than 40 countries in five languages with click-to-chat and -call customer services in 14 dialects. Beauty has played no small part in the company’s renaissance. Beauty for Burberry is the huge fragrance and make-up/skincare area of the business. Originally under the control of Inter Parfums (a company known for Karl Lagerfeld, Arpels, Jimmy Choo and Boucheron brands), it was brought under the umbrella of the original company and has since been a sprinter in the industry. Burberry Beauty Box, a stand-alone shop in Covent Garden

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Francis Kurkdjian

Christopher Bailey

devoted entirely to all things related to the neck up, provided a whole new playing field. And this very British label had a new focus – one with the mantra: “One Company – One Brand”. The global launch in September of My Burberry is the epitome of this fresh thinking. With a range of fragrances, skincare and make-up products already on every upmarket department store’s shelves, this new fragrance embodies the Burberry DNA and is regarded as the most significant new scent in the stable. Created by Christopher Bailey in collaboration with perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, My Burberry takes its name from the affectionate way so many wearers refer to their trench coat. It’s a timeless classic, an expression of past and future. And the fragrance itself? A grand floral with a touch of the unexpected – confident, elegant, yet with that typical British understatement – you could say it captures the scent of a London garden after the rain. Even its hue reminds us of the trench coat’s honey shade. The glass bottle also reflects its heritage: a horn-finished cap

echoes that very distinctive trench coat button; and the hand-tied knot is actually made of Englishwoven gabardine – a reminder of the fabric that made Thomas Burberry his fortune more than a century ago. A trench coat coloured box with Burberry check interior completes the perfect British package. Alongside the fragrance will be a small cosmetics range, with Nude Glow leading the way to provide that perfect English luminosity. A brilliant visual campaign, shot by the inimitable Mario Testino, embodies Burberry’s past-and-future philosophy in casting iconic British beauty Kate Moss (the most photographed cover girl of the past 40 years) alongside a virtual ingénue, Cara Delevingne (queen of selfies and Twitter hits). Watch for this inspired pairing on billboards and posters around the world, streamed online and blogged (the website has its own blog called The Art of Trench). Twitter, tweets and digital teasers will have preceded the launch of My Burberry – 21st-century thinking that’s bound to make this one of the most sought-after fragrances by men and women of every age.


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Auckland Showroom · 106 St Georges Bay Road · Parnell · Ph (09) 921 5574 Mon – Fri 9 – 5.30 · Sat 9 – 4 · Sun by appointment · info@domo.co.nz · www.domo.co.nz

www.dedon.de


GREAT OUTDOORS FOUNDED BY A FORMER PRO FOOTBALLER, DEDON HAS ATTRACTED A CACHE OF INTERNATIONAL DESIGNERS TO ITS UNIQUE OUTDOOR FURNITURE BRAND.

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reat ideas often come from simple notions. For DEDON founder Bobby Dekeyser, he simply wanted to “share an atmosphere”. But what a refined yet relaxed atmosphere he has created. For more than 20 years, Dekeyser’s “outdoor living room” concept has produced elegant and practical pieces made from durable synthetic fibre, crafted by Filipino master weavers. The first driving motivation behind Dekeyser’s vision was to work with family and friends. The epiphany came while recovering in a hospital bed from facial injuries that almost left him blind in one eye. It was 1990 and 26-year-old Dekeyser was the goalkeeper of the Bayern Munich Football Club. But he quit the professional soccer world to be an entrepreneur and has never looked back. He incorporates his love of the outdoors and “creating beautiful things together” with his tight-knit family.

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Uncle Seppi helped him to develop the weatherproof fibre he thought would be perfect for outdoor furniture but he wasn’t sure how to produce it. At a trade show in Cologne in 1991 he came across woven rattan furniture from the Philippine island of Cebu. Six days later he was on a plane jetting towards Southeast Asia with 47kg of fibre waiting to be transformed. His whole family soon followed, and six months later they returned home with DEDON in business. The family bought an old farmhouse in the Hamburg countryside as a home and company headquarters – Dekeyser arranged the shipments from Cebu, Uncle Seppi renovated, Aunt Resi cooked and Dekeyser’s wife Ann-Kathrin tended to the farm and their three children. It was hard slog introducing DEDON to the European market – and beyond. These tough early days were important for Dekeyser, however, as he explains in his 2012


autobiography Not For Sale. His journey is not unlike many successful entrepreneurs: “Stay true to yourself. Don’t lie to yourself. Follow your own path and don’t be afraid to make mistakes and continue and go forward. We did all this and we made so many crazy things and so many mistakes and good things. At the end it turned out how we live now.” By the late 1990s the DEDON brand was undergoing a major expansion. In 2000 they built their own factory in Cebu to manufacture fibre, frames and packaging, along with supervising the weaving workmanship. Now they had full quality control of every aspect of the production process. By 2003, Dekeyser’s sister Sonja and her husband Jan van de Hagen opened DEDON’s first international sales office in Barcelona. DEDON’s choice of designers has been impressive, beginning with renowned American Richard Frinier. His first collection, DAYDREAM, was inspired by the Arabian

Nights: the daybed undulates like a magic carpet; the four-poster bed features a romantic billowing canopy; the weave has a Moorish look. Frinier’s 2003 collection, ORBIT, was sold in 30 countries, and has become an icon of modern outdoor furniture design, with its generous round loveseat with canopy and matching full-moon and halfmoon side tables. And when the German national football squad was photographed lounging in ORBIT furniture at their team quarters during the 2006 World Cup, it fuelled more sales and high-profile association. Speaking of high profiles, Philippe Starck joined DEDON’s designer cartel in 2010 with PLAY, in which you can play with colour and weave options for a smart dining chair. His RAYN collection is a fully fledged suite of sophisticated loungers. More recently, French designer Toan Nguyen has contributed the MU and WA collections. MU is a slimline, minimalist modular system of loungers suitable for

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Stephen Burke

PREVIOUS PAGES: The MU collection by Toan Nguyen is a versatile modular system. ABOVE: Hanging about in style: Daniel Pouzet’s SWINGREST seating platforms. RIGHT: DALA, a circular lounge chair. Its simplicity is achieved by expert design from young American designer Stephen Burke.

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Toan Nguyen

inside and out. It can be configured for intimate spaces or expansive deck areas. WA is Nguyen’s dining extension of MU: the same weave is seen on the seats, and the slender angles of the chairs and tables complement the loungers. The beautiful organic form of NESTREST is a real eye-catcher. Designed by Romanian Daniel Pouzet and Frenchman Fred Frety, this suspended pod is woven from double-width DEDON fibre (4cm) to ensure super sturdiness. Exactly as the name implies, loungers can enjoy a secluded, sheltered sanctuary. They can look out, but you can’t see in. Pouzet’s SWINGREST builds on the hanging lounger concept. This round platform also has a basketweave bottom but hangs by an ingenious cord that wraps around its exposed tubing. A canopy adds privacy and shade and a touch of idyll. There’s also a standing version of the lounger. The SWINGREST was one of the first products designed in the Outdoor Living Lab on DEDON Island in the Philippines. Dekeyser opened his luxury resort in 2012 as a place where friends, family and

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Fred Frety and Daniel Pouzet

collaborators live, to be inspired and experiment in design and organic farming. DALA may only be a three-piece collection, but its simplicity is achieved by expert design from young American designer Stephen Burke. The circular frames of the lounge chair, footstool and stool/side table are constructed from an aluminium mesh. Into the mesh is woven a revolutionary eco fibre made from recycled food and drink packaging mixed with recyclable polyethylene, a DEDON innovation. Fibres come in Stone, Fire and Grass, in which a two-toned striped pattern is created. Matched with comfortable cushions, the pieces are colourful, lightweight and portable. Dekeyser’s design philosophy imbues every DEDON collection: “…furniture should be an expression of a lifestyle. At the end we try to bring people together and try to make a good time for them”. From three employees to nearly 3,000 today, DEDON continues to raise the standards of outdoor furniture, reaching more than 80 countries. With more projects being launched, such as DEDON Gardens and DEDON Places, Dekeyser and friends have many more good times ahead. www.domo.co.nz


Auckland Showroom · 106 St Georges Bay Road · Parnell · Ph (09) 921 5574 Mon – Fri 9 – 5.30 · Sat 9 – 4 · Sun by appointment · info@domo.co.nz · www.domo.co.nz

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A Tuscan

Wedding THE BACKDROP FOR A VERY SPECIAL KIWI UNION WAS A GLORIOUS COUNTRY ESTATE NEAR SIENA. BY MICHAL MCKAY. PHOTOS JULES BOWER .

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A

glamorous three-day wedding celebration in an Italian estate was probably the furthest thing from Marissa Letica and Dane (Danger) Fisher’s minds when they met at the Invercargill race track some years ago – although, in true coupe de foudre fashion, Dane had made up his mind there and then to marry her. Brought together by a love of cars, it was this passion which led them to travel to the Bologna countryside when Dane was offered a role he could not refuse – as global finance and pre-owned manager ’and later Commercial Motorsport’ manager with the renowned Automobili Lamborghini Company. Cars are Dane’s life – apart from Marissa, of course. At the age of three he decided the motor industry was it.

School and university were just a waiting game to get him the qualifications he needed to achieve his dreams. A 10-year career with Giltrap Prestige (Porsche, Aston Martin and Audi) culminated in his becoming general manager of Audi, and prefaced the voyage to Bologna. The trick was convincing Marissa to move to Italy with him. As a real family girl from Auckland’s North Shore, she had taken some persuading just to move over the Harbour Bridge with Dane. For Marissa, it was a blind leap of love and faith, but within a couple of years they had built a rock-solid foundation for their ultimate union. “Italy was tough”, says Marissa today. For visa reasons she was unable to work and was often left to her own devices while Dane toiled up to 12 hours a day. But it was this need to rely on their own resources – and each other’s support – that brought them closer each day,

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BELOW: Magical moments before saying “I do” create unforgettable memories. OPPOSITE PAGE : Marissa’s stunning dress by Oscar de la Renta makes a statement in the superb Tuscan setting.

despite the challenges. They had fun, fell down a lot, but in the process formed a mutual trust: whatever life threw at them, they could survive – together. Marriage became inevitable. And because it was Italy that had brought them to this point, “it just felt right” they should wed there. But bringing family and friends from one side of the world to the other demanded something more than a


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ABOVE: The ancient winery became the perfect substitute wedding venue when the skies opened. OPPOSITE PAGE: They say rain brings luck – here the happy couple celebrates the occasion.

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one-day celebration. They planned a long weekend of festivities and after searching “every conceivable website” for the perfect venue they chose the Castiglion del Bosco near Siena – one of the largest private estates in Tuscany. Once a derelict village spread over 1,800 hectares, Castiglion del Bosco was bought by Massimo Ferragamo (of the famed Florence fashion house) in 2003. Refined by him as a members’ club, the village has become a hotel complex of 26 suites. The farmhouses were converted and refurbished to the highest standard of understated style and luxury by Ferragamo’s wife, Chiara. An infinity pool, cooking school, winery, a superb spa and a stunning golf course were the final touches that convinced Dane and Marissa this would be the perfect venue for their grand event. On May 26 this year, Marissa’s parents, grandparents, brother and bridesmaids arrived to finalise every last detail with wedding planner Valentina, of Weddings Italy.

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But with rain forecast for the big day, Plan A swiftly gave way to Plan B. Fortunately, with a vast choice of places to party in, this proved to be no problem. The pre-marriage market dinner moved to one of the more casual restaurants – rustic and strongly Latin in flavour with a typically endless array of Italian dishes. Family stayed at the Villa Castello, with its own pool and outdoor area. It was the original venue for the wedding breakfast, but as the rain clouds loomed, the Borgo restaurant came to the rescue. A romantic winding staircase led down to a room lit by 100 candles in the winery that was the substitute chapel. A white carpet flanked by rows of chairs became the aisle. For Marissa, who had spent seven years working for wine company Delegats, it felt like “the perfect church”. The bride wore a stunning Oscar de la Renta strapless gown of Chantilly lace with cascading snowflake lace and pearl appliqué. Marissa is a fashion lover, so with the idea


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of a perfect princess-style dress in mind, she added a multi-layered tulle half overskirt that revealed the dress silhouette through an open front panel. Bridesmaids wore champagne silk dresses individually designed by the bride to capture each of their personalities. Warren Edwards Couture fulfilled her vision. White roses made simple and elegant bouquets. Love and Object, a company part-owned by Marissa and Dane, sourced fabulous gold rose brooches from the 60s and 70s at a European auction house for the men’s corsages. Dane’s was the piece de resistance – a Karl Lagerfeld black-and-gold porcelain rose. Marissa also designed the couple’s rings, hers made to go with her superb four-carat cushion-cut diamond, a gift from her parents (set by jewellers and friends Jeanco). Jazz notes echoed across a winery decorated in champagne and liquid gold before the bride entered to the sounds of a string quartet playing A Thousand Years. A few emotional tears fell during the registersigning as star soloist Felicity Wright sang Make You Feel My Love, followed by an exit to Can’t Help Falling in Love.

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Later, guests indulged in a typical Tuscan feast in the Osteria, where a five-piece band had guests dancing into the wee small hours. The blissful honeymoon in Priano and Capri is now over. Marissa and Dane Fisher are back living in Hong Kong, where Dane has moved into “the passenger side of the car business” as Asia and Oceania director for challenger brand Infiniti Motor Cars. Marissa, meanwhile, is taking advantage of this new market to develop Love and Object.


Cavit&Co provide the finest furniture and accessory collections from around the world and are exclusive retailers of Ralph Lauren Home. Our design consultants can work with you to create a unique and beautiful home. AUCKLAND 547a Parnell Road, Parnell | Tel +64 9 358 3771 | Email info@cavitco.com ARROWTOWN 18 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown | Tel +64 3 442 0128 | www.cavit.co.nz


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BOY NAT U R E

PATRICK SMITH MEETS BEN SHEWRY, THE KIWI CHEF WHOSE SMALL MELBOURNE RESTAURANT HAS ONCE AGAIN BEEN NAMED AMONG THE BEST IN THE WORLD. World Magazine

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I ABOVE: Ben Shewry with son Kobe foraging for Nature’s bounty. OPPOSITE PAGE: Fresh curd ice cream (top) lies beneath a scattering of fragrant petals; Attica dining room.

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t’s a 20-minute ride on one of Melbourne’s ubiquitous trams from the CBD to Ripponlea, an undistinguished suburb whose main claim to fame is an historic house and gardens described as “the last of Australia’s grand suburban estates”. There’s nothing grand about the suburb’s dreary high street, however, and I’m beginning to wonder if this can really be home to one of the best restaurants in the world. Surely it doesn’t sit amongst these shabby shop fronts that line one side of Glen Eira Road? In fact, it does, although the tidy, redbrick façade of number 74 is in much better shape than some of its sadder-looking neighbours. Attica doesn’t shout its presence to the world: its unfussy logo appears twice on the former bank building, once in plaster relief and again on a small illuminated sign above the door. A menu sits behind glass next to that grey door. But don’t expect to wander in and find a table: Attica is booked out up to six months ahead. So keen, in fact, is competition for tables, reservations are accepted three months – no longer – in advance. Bookings open on the first business day of each month and credit-card details

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are required at the time: no-shows who don’t give at least 24 hours’ notice of cancellation will have A$190 deducted from their plastic – the cost of Shewry’s eight-course tasting menu. What’s so special, then, about this small suburban restaurant far from the buzz of Melbourne’s famous food precincts? Well, according to the 900 international experts who judged the 2014 S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, Attica is the 32nd best restaurant on Earth (last year it was the highest new entry at 21). It was also named the Aqua Panna Best Restaurant in Australasia, while The Age Good Food Guide 2014 awarded it a third chef’s hat (think Michelin stars), named it Restaurant of the Year and its New Zealand chef, Ben Shewry, Chef of the Year. “This was totally unexpected, I didn’t even dare dream… It’s so great, we’re so humbled and honoured,” Shewry said at the Melbourne awards ceremony. Others were less diffident. Speaking about Shewry’s Best Chef award, Good Food Guide 2014 co-editor Janne Apelgren said: “Ben Shewry is one of the world’s most inspiring and original chefs. There. We’ve said it. Shewry’s food is exciting, beautiful to look at and plain delicious. The world may have discovered him, he may be a Kiwi by birth, but we’re lucky as Melburnians that for now, at least, he’s all ours.” Shewry’s food is characterised by “a deep connection with nature”, as the S. Pellegrino award commentary put it. “His cuisine remains uniquely imaginative and original, with dishes often referencing the landscape and memories of his childhood on the wild west coast of New Zealand’s North Island.” Typical dishes might include King George whiting cooked in smoking paperbark; Minted potato “medium rare”; Snow crab and sour leaves; and Cucumbers, holy flax, goat’s milk. This Saturday evening I find the man himself in the softly lit 55-seat dining room preparing for another night of full tables. Apelgren has described Shewry as “one of nature’s gentlemen” and he greets me with an open friendliness as he shows me back to his cramped office for a chat...


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WORLD: You and Attica have won numerous awards over the past five or so years. How do you react to having Attica named one of the best restaurants in the world? SHEWRY: It’s always been the burning desire after every award to be thankful for it, but to take that award ultimately with a grain of salt and say to yourself when you return to work next day, “everything must improve”. You can never rest on your laurels… You can’t forget that core thing that made your business great in the first place. I’d never forget my roots. I never forget that I come from New Zealand. I never forget that I grew up in a humble, tiny little place called Aukau Road.

W: Does your food today seem like a natural progression from that or did you have an “epiphany” along the way? S: I probably had the epiphany at the beginning. I decided whatever I did would speak of me – the person who created it –

W: That was in Taranaki? S: Yes, in the Awakino Gorge. It was pretty remote. I spent about the first 19 years of my life there. Mum and Dad had a 2,500-acre farm and half of that was native bush, so my earliest memories of food and life were based around that farm and that place. It was very rugged terrain and very difficult farming country… But being a sheep and cattle farm and my mother being an excellent gardener, we had plenty of food.

W: Do you remember when you first decided to become a chef? S: I decided to become a chef when I was five – I still don’t really know the reasons for that, although my mother Kaye always cooked delicious food for us, my grandmother Lois was also a brilliant cook and my father loves food. So I spent my childhood and my teenage years just following that dream, sometimes at great lengths.

W: What was your first cooking job? S: I was 10 the first time I worked in a restaurant, in New Plymouth, a place called The Mill. I spent Fridays and Saturdays there for a month... Then my mother got me a job at a place called the Time Out Café when I was 14. That was the first experience I ever had of seeing what my hands could make and what we could serve and in return see the joy that could bring to someone.

W: Mentors? People who’ve inspired you? S: Well, cooking-wise my mother would be number one and grandmother Lois, but chef-wise the biggest inspiration was a Wellington chef called Mark Limacher [now co-owner of Ortega Fish Shack]. To my mind he’s a brilliant man and friend… I worked for him when he had his own fine-dining restaurant called The Roxborough Bistro. He was the first person to ever tell me what was up with food… Mark just wanted to source the best produce, cook it in a really interesting way, make sure it’s fresh, make sure it’s hot, get all the basics right, serve it to the customers in timely fashion, treat them with integrity, humility and respect, value them, value your staff – all the basic fundamentals of running a good business.

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not of somebody else. Of course, when a young chef begins his journey he’s cooking mainly with the influences of his mentors and the people he’s learnt from initially… But I moved away from those influences because you can’t just cook with others’ ideas forever; you have to cook new stuff that speaks of you and I was fiercely determined to do that. Right from the very first menu I wanted to do that.


“ a deep connection with nature” Shewry’s food is characterised by

as the S. Pellegrino award commentary put it.

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LEFT: Ben Shewry wears a winner’s blue sash at the S. Pellegrino & Aqua Panna World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, held earlier this year at London’s Guildhall. FAR LEFT: Simple and simply perfect: Walnuts.

you’re the only person providing an income. So it was really out of our sheer stubbornness and determination that it survived – we just wouldn’t let it fail. I knew that if it failed I might not get another shot at becoming a head chef in a good place because nobody wants to touch someone who was a chef in a restaurant which closed down. I didn’t want a bar of that. I’d be damned if we were going to fail.

W: The awards must have helped.

W: When you arrived at Attica in 2005 the restaurant wasn’t exactly winning awards. You must have wondered what you’d let yourself in for. S: When we took over the restaurant it was doomsday, it was absolutely on its last legs, it had weeks, probably, not months [before having to close], neglected by the people David [Maccora], who’s my business partner, had employed previously. It was very, very hard times at the beginning – we nearly lost the restaurant three or four times. It was worse than starting a new restaurant because it was a restaurant that was old and already had a bad reputation.

W: But you did turn it around… S: When I came on I was ready to do battle and fight for it, but we still lost a lot of money because we didn’t have customers… And when you’re a first-time head chef and 27 years old it’s even harder – especially if you’ve got a wife and baby at home and

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S: I would say it was four years of hard struggle. Yes, we won a lot of awards during that time but awards only brought success for a very short period of time and then you were back down where you’d come from, which was being quiet in winter again and doing four people on a Tuesday night. We always kept believing in the quality and the effort and kept evolving, but it sometimes takes somebody renowned to say “wake up everybody, that place is really, really terrific, you should all go there”. And then people will go there.

W: What do you think people expect when they come to Attica today? S: They of course expect the food to be delicious – that’s a given – but they also expect a level of creativity. I hope they expect warmth and great hospitality. Care. For me, I want to be excited when I go to a restaurant, I want to be nurtured, I want to feel like I’m a part of something, like I’ve entered into a club where just the people that are eating in that restaurant are all in on the joke. Make your customers feel awesome – that’s a gift, that’s the power that we have. www.attica.com


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we planted vines, which grew into a family tree. Samuel Smith planted Yalumba’s ďŹ rst vines in 1849 and wine has been an integral part of his family ever since. Five generations of Samuel’s descendants have lived and breathed the business, which is today the oldest family-owned winery in Australia. A lot has changed in 165 years. The winery has grown substantially and there are a lot more people around. But one thing that will never change is the family atmosphere. Whether they have Smith in their last name or not, every single person who works at Yalumba is part of the family. Because everyone is here for the same reason, for the love of wine.


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CURIOUS KITCHENS AT A TIME WHEN THE RESTAURANT TRADE IS MORE COMPETITIVE THAN EVER, WE PRESENT FIVE EATERIES WITH A UNIQUE POINT OF DIFFERENCE. BY THOMAS HYDE

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ou’ve probably read about them. The dinner party for however many at a table suspended in mid-air by a crane. The underwater restaurant, popular in places like the Maldives and Dubai, where diners experience the pleasures of fine wine and the best of international cuisine beneath the sea. The ultimate question is, of course: is the food any good? We’ve uncovered five unusual restaurants with uncommon appeal because they are unique in their location, the way they serve guests and, by most accounts, anyway, the excellence of their grub.

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The downside is this: booking a table – sorry, booking the table – can be a challenge, especially on Italian holidays. In fact, one source told us to forget holidays: a local looking to romance his sweetheart would have booked well in advance. In any event, bookings are taken by email only. The upside: they can be made a year in advance. The restaurant’s interior is strictly Italian, highlighted by sumptuous leather furnishings, decorative chandeliers and, for cooler nights, an open fireplace. A cosy spot whatever the season. Outside, a collection of exotic palms from all over the world provide a unique touch to an extended view over a valley of olive groves and vineyards. After an enchanted evening of fine wine and food, guests sign a memory book, whose pages reveal the true international renown of this tucked-away two-seater. www.soloperdue.com

SOLO PER DUE, ITALY Bring at least 500 euros – in cash. Solo per Due (“Just for Two”) does not accept credit cards. Plastic, it seems, is too bothersome for owner-chef Remo Di Caldio, who bills his eatery as “the smallest restaurant in the world” (one table, two chairs) while billing his two guests 250 euros each. Solo per Due is an hour’s drive from Rome in the village of Vacone. But, if you prefer, the restaurant will happily organise limousine service from the airport or your Rome hotel. And if you’d like to arrive by Ferrari, they can organise that, too, on your behalf. Apart from Solo per Due, there’s not much else to see or do in Vacone, yet people from all over the world turn up here just to indulge in a menu based primarily on homemade recipes and fresh local and regional ingredients such as bread, pasta, cheeses, olive oil, wild mushrooms, sweets and meats. Of course, the service is top notch – undivided in fact – with chef Remo and his staff of one, or sometimes two, on call at the ring of a little silver bell.

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JUMBO KINGDOM, HONG KONG One guest who fancied himself an expert on dim sum, a man who firmly believed all dim sum to be much the same, give or take a spring roll, left this restaurant declaring it to be the best source of dim sum in the world! Commonly billed as “the largest floating restaurant in the world”, Jumbo Kingdom is arguably Hong Kong’s most famous restaurant. That it’s also a major tourist attraction may have something to do with that. Like a trip up the tramway to the top of Mt Victoria or a cross-harbour ride on a Star ferry, it is one of the “things to do” when visiting Hong Kong. The restaurant is happy to accommodate a table for two, but since it seats 2,000, why not bring family and friends? Its style is that of a classic, highly ornamented

Chinese palace, brightly lit and topped by colourful pagodas, with lots of red and gold about. Some might find it bit garish, but this is Hong Hong and the Chinese are not known for subtle décor. Once upon a time the food here was bland and the prices jacked up, leaving visitors wishing they’d shopped elsewhere for a decent Chinese meal. But that’s changed. As one critic recently reported: “Jumbo Kingdom is now one of the better restaurants in Hong Kong.” The menu is a comprehensive overview of food in Hong Kong, its history and styles; varieties of rice and noodles, of course, but also a mind-boggling array of seafood. Still, it’s the dim sum that leaves everyone thinking they will go back again. www.jumbo.com.hk

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AUREOLE, LAS VEGAS The wine cellar contains 20,000 bottles, although this is not your average cellar. In fact it’s a four-storey glass tower serviced by “wine angels” who abseil up and down the tower to bring you your chosen bottle. You might think it a bit gimmicky – and in a way it is – yet Aureole, at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino and owned by accomplished chef Charlie Palmer, has won Wine Spectator’s Grand Award every year since it opened in 1999. Charlie Palmer, meanwhile, is acclaimed for his Progressive American cooking that’s based on classic American dishes infused with a modern French touch. His style, originally developed at Aureole in New York, proved so successful there he opened another in the city of sin. Aureole Las Vegas has since earned a Michelin star. Chef Palmer’s talents further include four books, a listing in James Beard’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America and a boutique hotel in Union Square in San Francisco. Meanwhile, Aureole Las Vegas seats 210 guests who can, if they wish, disappear into one of three private dining rooms. But why that when all the action hovers (literally so) around the wine tower in the main dining room? www.mandalaybay.com

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AT.MOSPHERE, DUBAI It begins with the thrill of riding the world’s quickest elevator. Located on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, this is the highest restaurant in the world. At.mosphere is two levels below the observation deck, so once you’ve made the effort to get up there (booking required) you may as well enjoy the view further by booking a table at the restaurant – or in the lounge for afternoon tea or drinks. Guests are greeted with a spacious lobby that leads to a main dining floor, private dining rooms, including a Chef’s Table for 12, and open-display cooking stations. To say, as one critic noted, that this is an “unparalleled” dining experience, is to state the obvious. It’s one of a kind. The menu is à la carte, specialising in prime cuts of beef, organic poultry and a wide selection of seafood – all freshly sourced. Its stylish interior features polished mahogany walls, decorative decanting tables and a grill divided by marble and glass walls. The chic lounge specialises in light lunches and high teas between 2.30pm and 5pm every day. After dark it turns into a vibrant bar with a night view like no other in the world: all those lights spreading out far below. Live entertainment and a worldly selection of cocktails make the lounge especially popular at sunset. But as well as those extraordinary views, At.mosphere prides itself on serving nothing but the best Europeaninspired cuisine in Dubai. www.atmosphereburjkhalifa.com

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THE TREEPOD, THAILAND Soneva Kiri Resort is one of three “castaway” resorts operated by the former owners of Six Senses Resorts & Spas. This is their second creation, the original being in the Maldives. You’ll find it 350 kilometres southeast of Bangkok and 80km out to sea on the island of Koh Kood, reached by direct flights from Bangkok. Soneva Kiri features 10 villas and residences expressing the resort’s SLOW philosophy: Sustainable, Local, Organic and Wellness. The resort has seven different spots for dining, from the beach to a terrace with a sea view to its main restaurant. But the option that catches most of the attention is up a tree. The Treepod is like a rattan bird’s nest: it’s suspended from a tree five metres off the ground. Guests arrive at the Treepod on the ground and after fastening leather seatbelts are hoisted to – uh – new heights, and a singular dining experience. But wait, there’s more!

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The waiter/host appears suddenly on a zip line strung from a small platform perched on a hill not far from the kitchen. The meal is served and he disappears back up the hill, but not so far away that he can’t be called back down the zip line at the diners’ behest. The Treepod took more than two years to design and build in a way that avoided any physical attachment to trees. It is, in other words, eco-friendly and perfectly in line with the philosophy of the resort. The “table” serves breakfast, lunch and, after dark, candlelit dinners. www.soneva.com

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the most important bottle of wine in our history is the one we’re making tomorrow. We know the reputation of our wine is only as good as the next bottle of Yalumba a customer opens. So we put the same attention to detail into every bottle of wine we make. Regardless of variety. Regardless of quantity. And regardless of price tag. We treat each bottle like it’s the most important one in the winery. That’s why our most affordable wines receive awards and accolades as well as our premium drops. Sure it means more work. Sure it’s probably not the most profitable way to operate. But it’s how we’ve done it for over 165 years and how we’ll keep doing it for the love of wine.


THE

MODERN CLASSIC IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A CLASSIC WATCH BUILT FOR THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU HAVE PLENTY TO CHOOSE FROM. HERE WE OFFER A DOZEN ‘TIMELESS’ PIECES THAT WILL ALWAYS LOOK THE PART. BY BANI MCSPEDDEN.

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sk any watch aficionado and you’ll find there’s one thing they mostly agree on: a list of the truly classic watch brands. Patek Philippe would be there, along with Rolex, Breguet, Vacheron Constantin, Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Omega, Audemars Piguet, Girard-Perregaux, Blancpain and IWC. All have earned their stripes, as it were, often over centuries of hard and clever bench work. But what of the watches these brands produce, the individual pieces themselves? The great ongoing models would surely include Cartier’s Tank (born 1917) and Santos (1904); Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso (1931); Omega’s Speedmaster (1957) and Seamaster (1948); IWC’s pilot watches (1935); and Rolex’s Submariners (1954). Given current tastes and standards, though, which models might be regarded as today’s “classics”? If this seems to be a straightforward question, I found myself getting into deeper and deeper waters regarding just what actually constitutes a classic watch. Is it one whose lines remind you of the past? One where things are kept to an uncluttered minimum – say, just three hands telling the time? One that’s the essence of pure no-frills design, Nomos-style, for example? On reflection, it seems to me that each of these is a category in its own right – retro, simple, pure – and that in arriving at a selection of “classic” watches, the correct approach is to recognise the role categorisation itself has to play. If looked at this way, there are numerous watches that do a classic job in differing categories, ticking boxes from legibility to desirability. As varied as these pieces may be, they have one thing in common: a certain “specialness” that sets them apart. Here are 12 from this year’s crop that more than fit the bill. Just don’t expect that bill to be a small one.

CLASSIC EVOLUTION CARTIER TANK MC TWO-TONE SKELETON While Cartier might not be alone in perpetuating an iconic line, what distinguishes the brand is an approach that manages to take an early design and with seemingly little change render it thoroughly contemporary again. This watch is a case in point. Its case was first sketched by Louis Cartier in Paris in 1917. Almost a century later and Cartier’s boffins in Neuchatel have barely needed to change it, as evidenced by this striking 2014 release. While the dimensions have been fattened up a little, it’s still a Tank and, thanks to a clever sculptural treatment of the brand’s traditional Roman numerals – they do double duty as the bridges of the movement itself – it’s a Tank that nonetheless belongs in a world that’s resolutely high-tech. On the wrist, the watch plays with contrasting spaces and finishes, the grey surfaces of the numerals for example being edged with gold matching the case. The lack of a traditional dial – well, any dial – hardly detracts from learning the time, and means you can spy on the hand-wound movement’s 138 parts quietly doing their thing.

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CLASSIC SPORT PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS TRAVEL TIME CHRONOGRAPH It’s a Patek, it’s luxurious, sporty and for the first time you get two time zones and date, combined with a chronograph function to let you time your breakfast eggs – or laps around the block. What’s not to love? Even the design is harmonious, with the up and down pushers for adjusting the time zone (there on the left of the case) nicely offsetting the chronograph pushers flanking the crown on the opposite side. An all-new self-winding movement powers things, adding fresh zest to the brand’s cult classic of 1976. Perfect for home or away, night or day, indoors or out.

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CLASSIC INVESTMENT PATEK PHILIPPE REF 5960 ANNUAL CALENDAR Why lose money on a watch? A fair question, although, truth be told, very few timepieces appreciate dramatically, and probably the best way to avoid a loss is to avoid selling. That said, if monetary value is important to you it might pay to only buy Patek complications, since no other make can match their reputation for record results at auction. Yes, Vacheron Constantin, Rolex, Cartier, Audemars Piguet and newcomers such as Greubel Forsey and Richard Mille also regularly feature in Antiquorum, Christie’s and Sotheby’s catalogues, but none as fabulously as Patek, which has achieved the highest prices ever paid. No wonder, then, that the annual calendar here has boffins in a lather. Unusually, it’s cased not in gold or platinum, common with complications of this ilk, but in steel, with a decidedly contemporary treatment of the dial. That’s black gold highlighting the main hands and markers and framing displays for day, date and month, with chronograph hands highlighted in red. Yes, bankable brilliance on a bracelet.

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CLASSIC UNDERSTATEMENT JAEGER-LECOULTRE GRAND REVERSO ULTRA THIN 1948 In the Reverso, Jaeger-LeCoultre has one of the few watches with a genuinely unique case. The trick? It swivels, turning on itself in a clever cradle. Dial-side up, it presents the time, while dial-side down there’s the blank rectangular case back offering itself up as a potential canvas for your initials or decoration. Not that this was the original idea – the case mechanism was designed to accommodate 1930s polo players, who, by turning the case over in its “cradle”, effectively protected the glass and dial from damage during play. The idea not only caught on with the gentry, but has continued to find favour, helped by Jaeger’s continued refinement of the range. Here they’ve reverted to a rare 1948 version of the dial, one you can hardly imagine being improved upon. Its white dial, complemented by blued hands and a movement you actually have to wind, is surely a pleasure. If the original was a classic, it reminds us how powerful a little understatement can be in a world of ever bigger and busier timepieces.

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CLASSIC DRESS WATCH GIRARD-PERREGAUX 1966 SMALL SECONDS The defining thing about a dress watch is that it’s discreet. Sure, you can wear your Panerai with pride but if you want to sport something with panache you’ll opt for a watch that slips under the sleeve, not over it. So we’re talking something gold and gorgeous, luxe and legible and reeking refinement. All of which could describe the Girard-Perregaux here, a slim (10.01mm) disc of delight spanning 41mm with simple rose-gold hour markers and hands presented against a gently curved satiny dial, with small, discreet seconds and date displays. Inside, a self-winding in-house movement keeps things ticking over. A nice detail: the fit of the alligator strap snuggling into the case with its subtle lugs. You can choose from brown or black hide, and while the former looks the part, it’s the latter that’s de rigueur for the dinner suit.

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CLASSIC COMPLICATION BREGUET CLASSIQUE TOURBILLON QUANTIÈME PERPETUAL 3797 If you’re talking complications – those additional functions watches may boast, from chronographs to moon-phases, perpetual calendars to chiming minute-repeaters – few brands have the track record of Breguet. After all, it was founder Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823) who invented that crowning complication, the tourbillon, in 1801 and is credited with creating the first wristwatch, in 1810, for the Queen of Naples. No surprise that he also created watches for her brother, the Emperor Napoleon I, among other luminaries of the day and has a swathe of horological breakthroughs to his name. What, then, could be better than a modern-day Breguet, given the brand’s continuing accent on raising the bar? The model here boasts both a tourbillon and a perpetual calendar with a retrograde date at 12 o’clock, day indication at 9 o’clock and month and leap year at 3 o’clock. Sapphire discs are employed to simplify the display, bringing the hours and minutes to the fore. Cased in pink gold or platinum, the clou de Paris and guilloche finishes on the dial leave no doubt as to this masterwork’s traditional origins.

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CLASSIC CHRONOGRAPH PANERAI RADIOMIR 1940 CHRONOGRAPH In a way, all Panerai watches are classics, because they adhere to cases that were designed in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Perhaps the reason they have such appeal today is their accessible authenticity, wherein the character of the watch is not merely retained but enhanced with smoother finishing and updated engines. After all, the original Panerais were tool watches for divers, not monuments to masculinity. The chronograph here qualifies as a classic because it’s an unusual nod to several early Panerai codes and cogs. Regarding the codes, there’s the cushion case of the Radiomir, the lugs of the Luminor, and dial detail – either dots and dashes or the so-called California dial featuring both Arabic and Roman numerals – first seen 80 years back. As for the mechanicals, power comes from a Minerva movement (you can see it through a crystal case back), again a name associated with Panerai since those early days. Only 250 pieces will be produced: the brand has opted to case this model only in platinum or gold. But we’d still like to see a version in the original steel…

CLASSIC TWO-TIMER ROLEX CELLINI DUAL TIME The problem with many dual-time or GMT watches is one of clarity – it’s often hard to tell at a glance just what time it is in whatever zone you’re not in, thanks often to home-time being indicated on a 24-hour scale while you’re in normal 12-hour mode. Then there’s the added difficulty of knowing whether it’s day or night wherever you don’t happen to be. The new Rolex Cellini avoids both traps beautifully via the simple expedient of showing a second time on a completely separate little dial and indicating day or night with a sun or moon symbol. Rolex articulates this solution in such grand terms I am compelled to quote from its description: “The Cellini Dual Time grants its wearers the gift of temporal ubiquity. With a quick glance at the dial they are simultaneously aware of the time here and the time elsewhere.” Never mind the “temporal ubiquity”, given those looks, not to mention the fine internals, that quick glance will confirm that you have something rather special on your forearm.

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CLASSIC DIVER IWC ACQUATIMER DEEP THREE Professional divers are a little bit different to you and me when it comes to watches: their favourites are likely to be a no holds barred dive computer or a banged-up Seiko or Citizen that’s proved to be a brutally reliable tool. Appearance? Secondary. That said, it’s fair to say IWC’s new Acquatimer Deep Three comes close to offering the best of both worlds, being a handsome thing and one designed for serious water work rather than the odd splash. Its depth rating of just 100m is a hint: a real pro needs no more; certainly not the thousands of metres offered by some models – depths at which a watch might still work but a body certainly wouldn’t. The second clue is that the Aquatimer doesn’t just offer a rotating bezel for timing dives, but has a fully functioning depth gauge built in. The engineering behind all this is impressive. The depth gauge is mechanical, with a fly-back hand showing depths to 50m, while the bezel is an under-the-glass affair cleverly linked to an outer ring that operates with ratchet-like efficiency. IWC calls it the SafeDive system. Unlike any other, it brands this 46mm diver a genuine classic.

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CLASSIC SURPRISE ULYSSE NARDIN MARINE DIVER TITANIUM The whole point of owning more than one watch is to have something up your sleeve that occasionally surprises, a watch you mightn’t wear day, in day out, but when you do it feels special. And, of course, sets you apart from the herd. It’s similar with cars – if the obvious choice is a Porsche, you might instead opt to arrive in an Audi R8 or R12. And if the obvious dive watch is the one you already have – for example an Audemars Piguet offshore or Rolex Submariner – what could be a better holiday for your wrist than this number from Ulysse Nardin? The brand is revered in horological circles, and doesn’t do anything by halves. This blue jewel is cast in titanium, mounted on a rubber and titanium-trimmed strap, powered by a chronometer-rated self-winding movement and is good for depths up to 200m. Best of all, it doesn’t remind you of the watches you already have. It’s very blue, very bold. And chances are your buddies won’t have seen anything quite like it.

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CLASSIC FUSION HUBLOT TOURBILLON NIGHT-OUT Hublot almost has a patent on the words “classic” and “fusion”, so often and consistently has it used the descriptions in its marketing material. They get away with it because it describes what they’ve excelled at – classically fusing differently materials from tantalum to silicon – even Hublonium – to produce timepieces that bring something different to the wrist. The Tourbillon NightOut is no different. Cased in polished black ceramic with titanium screws dotting the bezel, the dial is lacquered, the hour markers formed from baguette diamonds, the hands plated in rhodium, the strap constructed from rubber and shiny calf leather and the hand-wound movement coupled with a tourbillon. Cementing its status as a classic is the strikingly clean appearance – unusual given the variety of materials and incorporation of that tourbillon – something most watches make more of a song and dance about; if not a meal.

CLASSIC RETRO OMEGA DE VILLE TRESOR MASTER CO-AXIAL You could have pulled this out of your father’s sock drawer of prized possessions, except for one thing: it’s got wonderfully modern mechanicals that make it as much a watch for tomorrow as a treasure from the past. The past is there all right. You can see it in the domed and patterned dial, the slim gold time markers – no need for fussy numerals here – while the slim 40mm case, now in Omega’s coppery Sedna gold or white gold, looks to have been inspired by the original Tresor model from 1949. Turn that case over, though and you’re in for a surprise. Revealed in all its glory, thanks to an expansive domed sapphire-crystal case back, is a chronometer-rated Master Co-Axial movement with a silicon balance spring offering superior power reserves and anti-magnetic qualities (for the engineers among you, that’s resistance greater than 15,000 gauss). The movement is manual winding and the case water-resistant to 30m. But this is a watch to be doted on, not dipped.

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YEARS OF HORSE POWER THE RODEO DRIVE CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE BRINGS BEVERLY HILLS’ FAMOUS SHOPPING STREET TO A HALT ON FATHER’S DAY EACH YEAR. WORLD WAS THERE, ALONG WITH PHOTOGRAPHER ROYCE RUMSEY. ABOVE: 1936 Bugatti Type 57 Competition Electron Torpedo

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everly Hills loves a show and this year’s annual Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance was certainly that: a gleaming spectacle with 90-some rare and elegant cars representing 100 years of automotive evolution and refinement. And this year’s occasion was doubly special, staged to honour the city of Beverly Hills’ centennial – 100 Years of Horse Power, in fact. Concours chairman Bruce Meyer described the 2014 collection as “the most highly curated show” in the event’s 21-year history, with “spectacular examples of cars that have graced the winding, tree-lined streets of Beverly Hills over the past century”. The vehicles in the jaw-dropping line-up were the automotive stars of their respective eras – some even owned by real-life A-listers such as Howard Hughes (1955 Packard Caribbean), Fred Astaire (1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I), singer Mel Tormé (1937 Jaguar SS100 Roadster) and actor Steve McQueen (1956 Jaguar XKSS). This year’s “Honoured Marque” was Maserati, which is also celebrating its centennial, while other great names from yesterday and today included Pierce Arrow, Duesenberg, Hispano-Suiza, Cadillac, Bugatti, Ferrari, Shelby, Porsche and Lamborghini – all in superb condition and buffed to perfection. Our favourites? Here are just some of them:

BELOW: 1953 Siata 208s

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ABOVE: 1929 Auburn Boattail Speedster from the famous Aaron Weiss collection

BELOW: Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta CoupĂŠ

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ABOVE: Isotta Fraschini A8 “Flying Star”

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ABOVE: 1939 Delage DB120 Cabriolet by Chapron

ABOVE: 1956 Jaguar Aerodyne CoupĂŠ

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1947 Norman Timbs Special (Buick Streamliner)

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ABOVE: 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competition Coupé BELOW: 1938 Talbot Lago T150C SS

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ABOVE: 427 Cobra SC BELOW: Jaguar D-Type Competition Roadster

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1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible

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AT HOME IN

The Beverly Wilshire is certainly at the heart of things in Beverly Hills, as you’ll know if you saw the movie Pretty Woman. In fact, for those bent on a romantic weekend for two, the hotel offers a “Pretty Woman” experience, when you’ll stay in the Presidential Suite (aka Pretty Woman Suite). There’s a personal shopping consultation on Rodeo Drive and then you’ll be whisked away in a Rolls-Royce to Greystone Mansion for a romantic “shoeless” picnic inspired by the similar scene from the movie. At night you and your significant other will spend the evening at the new Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts or the LA Opera. Of course, there’s much more to this famous Four Seasons hotel than Pretty Woman. From the moment we entered

BEVERLY HILLS FAMOUS FOR ITS CELEBRITY GUEST LIST AND AS THE SETTING FOR THE FILM PRETTY WOMAN, THE BEVERLY WILSHIRE HAS NEVER LOST THE ART OF MAKING EVERY GUEST FEEL WELCOME.

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rom the window of our suite at the Beverly Wilshire we could look down on the junction of Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive and watch some very rare and desirable cars arriving for the annual Father’s Day Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance. On another day Rodeo Drive would be bustling with shoppers and window-gazers; it is, after all, one of the world’s most exclusive shopping streets. Here, and on Wilshire Boulevard itself, you’ll find all the big luxury brands. Step out of the main entrance, turn left and stroll along to Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.

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the gracious, flower-bedecked lobby we knew we’d arrived somewhere very special. Rooms and suites are as opulent and stylish as you’d expect in such a hotel. Our suite had a large, comfortable living room, separate bedroom and two Italian marble bathrooms. Specialty suites such as the Penthouse and Presidential are simply spectacular. Restaurants include the sensational Cut by Wolfgang Puck and THE Blvd, a Beverly Hills institution with an outdoor patio where we happily people-watched over breakfast. The Spa at Beverly Wilshire is stunning and it’s easy to while away hours around the rooftop swimming pool with its sun loungers and poolside bar and café. We did manage to drag ourselves away one evening, though, when we took the hotel’s complimentary Rolls-Royce to go to dinner at Mastro’s Steakhouse, another Beverly Hills institution. Returning to the hotel after a memorable dinner, we were ushered into the welcoming lobby. It felt like coming home. Beverly Hills style. www.fourseasons.com/beverlywilshire


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55m / 180’ 4YOU - Amels - Sleeps 10 guests ZÜRICH | ALBOURNE | ATHENS | AUCKLAND | DUBAI | DÜSSELDORF | FORT LAUDERDALE | FRENCH RIVIERA | GENEVA | LONDON | MONACO | MUMBAI | NEW YORK | PALMA DE MALLORCA | VIENNA |

Email: auckland@ocyachts.com | Tel +64 9 358 3446


THE place to be seen Diverse cuisine, welcoming locals, lively ports and sparkling azure waters; the winning combination that is the Mediterranean. A magical setting, perfect for your next luxury yacht charter. Our brokers provide clear, unbiased and expert advice so you can make sound, informed decisions. OCEAN Independence can assist you on all aspects of yachting and management, with absolute conďŹ dence. The depth of our knowledge ensures we are a cut above the rest.


Sail away with me CHARTERING A LUXURY YACHT OFFERS ALL THE PLEASURE AND FREEDOM OF A SAILING HOLIDAY WITHOUT THE EXPENSE AND RESPONSIBILITY OF OWNERSHIP. JENI BONE REPORTS.

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t was John F. Kennedy at a 1962 celebration for America’s Cup crews who said, “All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt as exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea – whether it is to sail or to watch it – we are going back from whence we came.” It may not be an anatomical fact, but it’s moving and true enough. Blame it on the sea air, the body’s biorhythms on vacation, or the champagne, but there is no deeper sleep or more profound peace than that enjoyed at sea. And while owning a yacht is certainly an immense source of joy, not owning one, instead chartering from among the world’s most covetable personal vessels, allows you infinite choice and range. Lars Bjorklund, senior broker at Ocean Independence – a leading luxury charter agency managing the world’s largest luxury crewed superyacht fleet and a top-ranking sales agency with branches in 16 countries – says the main advantage of chartering is the freedom it delivers. “You can choose a different yacht each time, anywhere in the world – the crème de la crème of yachts,” he explains. “You own the yacht for the period of the charter, with none of the weight of ownership. The crew tend to your every whim and personal itinerary. But then, afterwards, there are no issues with crew, maintenance, refits and mooring fees. “As a charter guest, you don’t have the hassles of buying or selling and, in fact, it’s a cheaper option than owning a yacht.” By charter yacht, you can travel to a different port, bay or island each day, as the weather, your preference or events inspire you. There’s no need to pack, cart luggage, hire cars or taxis, meet planes or spend hours delayed in airport lounges. And the views are always better from a boat. “Once you’re on board, it’s your floating five-star hotel,” says Bjorkland. “The skipper and crew are at your disposal and because of their local knowledge of a cruising ground, they can share with you the hidden gems few traditional travellers can reach, some only accessible by boat.” Relying on the insight and up-to-date information of a qualified, well-respected broker is the first step. Depending on a guest’s preference of motor or sailing yacht and the list of activities, places and people they would like a holiday to encompass, a broker will establish what style and format of charter would suit. Is it a romantic, secluded charter à deux? Or extended family style charter where the crew can be counted on to entertain a multi-generational group? “A broker can suggest a host of inspirational ideas,” says Debbie Gribble, seasoned broker at Ocean Independence, based in Auckland. “All the brokers at Ocean Independence come from yachting backgrounds, so they have the expertise and knowledge of charters to provide a customised level of service.

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We have first-hand experience of many of the yachts and all the major charter destinations, and that level of expertise enhances a client’s charter.” Like a bespoke travel agent, brokers handle every detail of the arrangements, from arrival at the destination to stepping on board and all the way through the full schedule of the charter. “Our brokers do all the leg work. We create itineraries based on the advice of our captains worldwide who know every nook and cranny of a destination. We work with detailed preference sheets so that we can ensure that the crew is fully prepared for guests and has all the particular food and wine requested on board ready for them. Superyachts have their own personal chefs on board who cater for every palate and even those with restricted diets. Chefs delight at stocking up with the fresh produce in local markets to present you with a mouthwatering menu of the day, adding to the authentic flavour of the experience. “This also extends to activities, both shore-based and on

board, cruising plans and any special memorable occasions that may be celebrated during the cruise.” While the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Italian and French Rivieras are the perennial favourite cruising grounds of the superyacht set, with myriad anchorages, historic sites and


LUXURY ABOARD: A Jacuzzi in the stern, a glass of champers by the pool, a table for eight – no skimping here on life’s little pleasures.

LEFT: Everything including the grand piano! Tell your charter broker what you want and they’ll fix it.

LEFT: If the young’uns don’t appreciate the solitude of a remote island, a superyacht can carry plenty of fun distractions.

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DREAM BOAT

MY SARAH More a floating five-star boutique hotel than a yacht, MY Sarah is a superyacht from the Dutch yard Amels, designed by the highly awarded Donald Starkey. With her striking blue hull, Sarah is 62 metres long and provides huge interior space for up to 12 guests in nine guest staterooms. Best of all, she comes complete with 20 crew to cater to your every whim! By way of accommodation, Sarah boasts a full-beam master stateroom with super-king bed on the main floor, four queen double staterooms (two on the main deck and two on the upper deck) and four twin staterooms on the lower deck, all with luxurious en suites. You may be far from shore, but you don’t have to be out of reach, as Sarah’s onboard technology ensures your business or pleasure needs are met, with high-tech AV, satellite TV, on-demand movies and music and Wi-Fi throughout the yacht. The ideal entertainer, Sarah’s main saloon flows through to an alfresco dining area on the aft deck. For more casual gatherings, her upper saloon is just as appealing. For those who enjoy the sunshine, the spacious sundeck features a large Jacuzzi forward and large bar. Retractable awnings mean you can take cover if the Riviera sun gets too intense. Any luxury charter yacht worth its salt has a plethora of playthings and Sarah has some of the best kit around. Two tenders – one a 7.3m Seahorse Limousine, the other a Seahorse Sport – and an array of water toys will keep young (and young at heart) guests amused. There are Waverunners, water skis, wakeboards, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, snorkelling and fishing gear and assorted tow toys.

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sophisticated diversions to explore, suggesting itineraries that take guests further afield is the specialty of any broker worth their salt. “The most popular destination is the South of France combined with Corsica, Sardinia and Italy. The winter destination is usually the Caribbean,” says Lars, who has 30 years’ experience in the industry, which he describes as “specialist and a real people business”. “The skill of the charter broker lies in listening to the client’s description of what they’d like to get out of their charter and their interests. The yacht and crew play a major role in making your holiday the best ever. It’s very important that the broker gets a feel for the client so that they can marry it to the most appropriate yacht and crew. Considerations like crew nationalities and personalities, their skills and specialties, are very important. The broker will have inspected the yacht and crew at one of the international charter shows and in most cases will have first-hand knowledge of their attributes.” At Ocean Independence, brokers suggest itineraries that go beyond the major ports and harbours, to take in Sardinia, Corsica and some regions considered more remote, such as Croatia and Turkey. “From the breathtaking views of Bonifacio on the southern end of Corsica, to Porto Cervo in Sardinia, which is known the world over for its incredible social scene, there are many options in some of the world’s most exotic locations that are best accessed by yacht,” Gribble says. For example, circumnavigating Sicily takes you back in time to the ancient maritime origins of the island and provides spectacular panoramas of fascinating townships such as Taormina with its Greco-Roman ruins, Catania and Palermo. From the sea, you can better absorb the majesty of the island’s active


ROOM TO SHARE: More a ďŹ ve-star hotel than a yacht, Sarah boasts a full-beam master stateroom (below) and a huge main saloon that ows through to an alfresco dining area.

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volcanoes – including Europe’s largest, Mount Etna – and it’s just a quick tender trip to shore to walk the cobbled streets and immerse yourself in the unique Sicilian culture. When it comes time to return to your own private yacht, cocktails and world-class cuisine served with a backdrop of the sun ablaze on the horizon is one of life’s most exquisite experiences. Chartering a luxury yacht for a major event is in high demand with celebrities, VIPs, the world’s media and, increasingly, avid travellers with a penchant for soaking up the atmosphere while escaping the crowds. There’s no closer vantage point to the F1 track at the Monaco Grand Prix than the superyacht berths at Port Hercules. The Vieux Port de Cannes is a mere elegant step from the famed main street, La Croisette, where film stars grace the red carpet each May for the Cannes Film Festival. Prior to an Olympic games, host cities ramp up their investment in river and harbour infrastructure to secure visiting superyachts, which have front-row seats for the celebrations. The America’s Cup? Well, there can be no better spot from which to savour the high-tech foiling action than the deck of your own yacht. “The appeal of chartering a yacht for something like the Monaco F1 lies in the bird’s-eye view you can enjoy, being on deck right by the track during the racing,” says Gribble. “Some of the best-positioned yachts are berthed near the

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DREAM BOAT

MY 4YOU Totally dedicated to pleasure pursuits, 4YOU is a custom-built Amels Limited Edition 180, designed by the renowned Tim Heywood, with interiors by Laura Sessa Romboli. While her exterior and interior are equally impressive, it’s her leisure and entertainment facilities that make her the ideal charter yacht for socialising and entertaining with large groups. Starting with the expansive deck spaces, some of the biggest of any yacht, 4YOU is a 55m fun ship. Guests will spend all day – and probably much of the night – on deck, savouring the views from the upper sky lounge, which is fitted out for lounging in supreme style with ample seating, bar, Jacuzzi and even a well-equipped fitness studio and a grand piano. Below decks is accommodation for up to 12 guests in six staterooms. The full-beam master stateroom is on the main deck, and has an adjoining twin cabin – perfect for families. Two queen double staterooms and two twin staterooms are on the lower deck. All staterooms feature marble en suite bathrooms and state-ofthe-art AV systems. For active guests, there is a 7m inflatable tender, Waverunners, Seabobs, wakeboards, water skis, various inflatable tow toys and, for the thrill-seekers, a Freestyle Cruiser Water Slide to really make an exit! You’ll probably need to wind down with an expert massage after that, so guests can avail themselves of the onboard spa. The expert 13-strong crew ensure every moment of the 4YOU experience is exhilarating, or completely chilled out. Like every charter, the choice is yours!

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SY MALTESE FALCON This superlative ultra-modern sailing superyacht tops the bucket list of charter guests. A veritable palace for a privileged few, Maltese Falcon is like no other and she has the accolades and awards to prove it. In fact, this incredible feat of design and engineering has been declared among the top 50 superyachts ever built. She even has her own website. Ken Freivokh Design created what is one of the world’s largest privately owned sailing yachts, built with a Perini Navi hull by Yildiz. At 88m, she boasts an immense and eye-catching DynaRig, which drives her to record speeds of over 20 knots. The Maltese Falcon is a truly unique work of art and, crewed by 19 sailing and charter professionals, she is just the yacht to take to the Aegean or elsewhere in the Mediterranean on your own voyage of discovery.

track’s main chicane, which is thrilling, seeing the cars so close. Our clients rebook year after year because when they compare it with staying in a hotel it just doesn’t compare – even the most luxurious hotel binds you to that place. “On a yacht, you have the freedom to cast off for day trips to St Tropez, La Mala, a private beach at Cap d’Ail, where you can snorkel and dive or explore caves, and the fishing village of Villefranchesur-Mer, with its medieval fortress. Of course, arriving by yacht makes the location all the more breathtaking and memorable!” Gribble herself has spent around 10 northern summers aboard superyachts exploring the east and west Med and the Greek islands. She has been captivated by the rugged coastline of Turkey’s turquoise coast, where yachts can moor in secluded bays secured to one of the native pines that characterise the shoreline and where guests have an entire beach to themselves. “The South Pacific is slowly on the increase as well,” says Bjorkland, referring to the idyllic destinations such as Tahiti, Fiji, the Cook Islands and Vanuatu. “Many of our clients want to blend luxury yachting with a cultural experience, really unplug and enjoy nature, dive, fish, meet local villagers and share some of their lifestyle – and the South Pacific is ideal for this.” www.oceanindependence.com

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COATESVILLE | 170 O’brien Road

A PRIVATE AND MAGNIFICENT COUNTRY ESTATE View one of the finest examples of modern architecture with the guidelines of Hulena Architects. On a grand scale, the home exceeds 1,260 sq. metres. The 5 acre estate is sited handsomely on the elevated crest of the ridgeline with a birds eye view overlooking the well publicised ´Dot Com Mansion´. The 8 bedroom, 9 bathroom home portrays harmony and the continuity of rooms are in perfect proportion incorporating multiple living areas including a cinema.

The whole top floor is dedicated to the ´Master´of the house. With a lounge adjacent to the imperial office fit for a President, the east wing portrays a Hollywood dressing room and an enormous bedroom suite. The property features a 25 metre gas heated pool, floodlit tennis court, sauna, gym, home theatre, video surveillance, controlled heating and cooling plus a lot more. VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT ONLY | PRICE $15,000,000

Michael Boulgaris Principle and Sales Broker O 09 520 1192 | M 021 366 366 michael.boulgaris@boulgarisrealty.com 419 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland | PO BOX 28801, Remuera, Auckland 1541 | Info@boulgarisrealty.com


The Traveler’s Luxury Department Store

DFS.COM


WORLD|PHOTO ESSAY

EARTH’S DRAMATIC LANDSCAPES SURRENDER THEIR INNER BEAUTY TO THIS AUSTRALIAN-BORN MASTER OF PHOTOGRAPHY.

PETER LIK

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ulti-award winning landscape photographer Peter Lik, the son of Czech immigrants, was born and raised in Melbourne, where his passion for photography began when his parents bought him a Kodak Box Brownie for his eighth birthday. He launched his professional career with a commercial shoot for Tourism Queensland and though he opened his first gallery in Cairns, he soon left Australia for the United States. Some 80,000 kilometres and 1,000 rolls of film later his US project turned into his first book, Spirit of America. Lik, who has since become a US citizen, eventually settled in Las Vegas, from where he launched LIK USA, a business that has become a multi-million-dollar enterprise with 15 dedicated galleries spread across the States from Hawaii to New York to Miami and places in between. His newest two galleries can be found in the Galleria Mall in Houston, Texas, and on Beverly Drive, a block from Rodeo Drive, in Los Angeles.

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In 2011, a photograph entitled Ghost, shot in Antelope Canyon, Arizona, was accepted as part of an exhibition of nature photography at the Smithsonian Institute of Natural History in Washington, DC. The image had won the Art in Nature category of the 2010 Windland Smith Rice International Awards for Nature’s Best Photography and another of his photographs, Inner Peace, took out the 2011 awards. Lik’s work has been honoured in many other ways, but most notably he has been recognised as a Master of Photography by both the Australian Institute of Professional Photography and the Professional Photographers of America. He has been awarded fellowships by the British Institute of Professional Photographers and The Royal Photographic Society. Photography is his passion, but when he’s not out seeking the perfect shot he can be found at a drawing board: he has designed a number of homes and offices spaces. He is also a philanthropist, most recently donating the proceeds of a number of works to a special-needs school in Las Vegas.

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ew photographers react as sensitively to nature as Peter Lik. Take, for example, images, Inner Peace and Ghost, that featured in exhibitions at the Smithsonian. Of Inner Peace – a picture of a Japanese maple tree in late afternoon – Lik has said: “Every branch told its own story [and] I truly felt an indescribable energy.” To capture Ghost, his Navajo guide tossed a handful of dust into a shaft of light just as he clicked the shutter, producing a ghostly human figure and leaving him to wonder “if the ancient spirits of the canyon had been present with me that day”. In a uniquely original way, his work captures the subtle and often hidden beauty of the natural landscape. Perhaps we see it too sometimes with our own eyes, but for Peter Lik it’s not just about seeing it in the moment, it’s about capturing it through a high degree of personal perseverance and patience few photographers possess, to be present at a certain place at a certain time. Lik’s work goes beyond the scope of the human eye. His images capture the perfection of Nature.

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ASPENDeerGLOW Valley, Utah

Concerning Eternal Beauty, Lik has said this was just one of those moments when form, shape and colour combined to create a perfect union, adding: “I was well underground, close to nature’s heart and soul. I stood in total awe, staring up at the most beautiful natural sculpture I have seen in my life, carved entirely by Nature’s hands of time.” His Peter Lik’s 25th Anniversary Big Book, released two years ago, was a 560-page collection of his best work from his first 25 years in the US. It sold out all 7,500 copies. That success inspired him to produce a follow-up called Body of Work – an 850-page tome for which he trawled through more than a million of his past images. Design, printing, hand-binding and packaging will take 18 months. Plans for the remainder of 2014, we asked? His assistant told us: “Hard to say. Peter becomes inspired and he goes. It’s tough to pin him down to a specific schedule.” No worries, mate, we know that wherever he is he’ll continue to capture landscapes like no one else.

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ALLURE

Columbia River Gorge


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INNER PEACE Japanese Maple Tree


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OCEAN DANCE Maui, Hawaii


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PELE’S WHISPER Kilauea, The Big Island, Hawaii


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GHOST

Antelope Canyon, Arizona


ETERNAL BEAUTY Antelope Canyon, Arizona


THE CAR YOU NEVER KNEW YOU ALWAYS WANTED. You know that car you always wanted as a kid? That car you dreamed of one day owning? This is better. The all-new Jaguar F-TYPE R Coupé. 550hp, 0-100kph in 4.2 seconds and dynamic, responsive handling. It’s time to rethink your current dream car. F-TYPE Coupé from $125,000.† #goodtobebad JAGUAR.CO.NZ

HOW ALIVE ARE YOU? †Including GST and excludes on road costs.


MY

WORLD LETTER FROM ABU DHABI BY THOMAS HYDE.

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oving to the “Middle East” produces certain anxieties in family and friends back home – as if the entire Gulf region were subject to the turmoil of war-torn countries like Syria and Iraq. So let’s cut to the chase: the United Arab Emirates and its two major cities, Dubai and the capital, Abu Dhabi, might be two of the safest cities in the world. Not that we knew this for certain on arriving here earlier this year to set up a new business. But we’ve learned that and more since. We’ve learned that Abu Dhabi pretty much escaped the economic downturn that hit Dubai and much of the rest of the world in 2007. The singular reason for that is oil, still the main source of revenue here. Because of oil, Abu Dhabi contributes nearly 60 per cent of the UAE’s GDP. But the story of Abu Dhabi today is about more than oil. The emirate has established free-trade zones – a policy that relates directly to my wife’s decision to expand her multi-lingual, digital publishing business into the Arabicspeaking world and base it here. Free-trade zones allow a foreigner to own 100 per cent of their business, overcoming the traditional obstacle of a new business requiring 51 per cent local ownership. Free-trade zones are exempt from tax and all profits can be repatriated back to the home country. In short, doing business in Abu Dhabi is a good investment. Tourism is also growing, sparked by the annual Formula 1 race staged here every November at the Yas Island Marina Circuit 30 kilometres out of town. For more than three million tourists a year, in fact, Abu Dhabi has become more than a mere transit stop at the airport, from which Etihad Airlines has expanded services to Europe and elsewhere.

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The first feature to strike a new arrival in any city is the skyline. This is certainly true of Abu Dhabi, whose towering architecture is unlike anything I had seen before. To note just three examples: the 20-storey Aldar HQ building, a circular tower sitting like a giant glass coin standing on its edge; the date palm-like Al Baha Towers, home to the Abu Dhabi Investment Council; and, the top tourist attraction, the marvellous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the few mosques in the UAE open to visitors. For my part, on a weekend visit to the waterfront Corniche my scan of the cityscape settled on the Etihad Towers complex, its five towers resembling – to my eye, at least – five polished sabres pointing to the sky. I was inspired to learn more about them and I didn’t have to wait long. By chance, an invitation arrived two days later. A Kiwi friend of a Kiwi friend invited us for dinner. Where did she live? Etihad Towers, in one of the three residential towers that together contain more than 800 very flash apartments. The towers have a fitness centre, a decked swimming pool, landscaped gardens and panoramic views of the city and Gulf. A fourth tower is devoted to office space while the fifth is Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, a 382-room five-star hotel linked internally, as all the towers are, to the Avenue at Etihad Towers, a high-end shopping mall. Our dinner party at a threebedroom apartment on the 36th floor of Tower 5 was great fun. Looking down on Emirates Palace (one of the world’s few seven-star hotels, we were told), we connected with new-found friends, who offered useful advice as we drank far too much wine. Private consumption of alcohol, by the way, is okay if someone has a licence to buy it. Public drinking, on the other hand, is against the law, which is strictly enforced. And frankly, after living for many years in downtown Auckland, I think that’s not a bad thing.


550HP AND TWO VERY INTIMIDATED REAR TYRES. It takes a strong resolve not to unleash the full power of 550 horses at every opportunity. Just knowing that you can take the Jaguar F-TYPE R Coupé from 0-100kph in 4.2 seconds, or oversteer at will, is a tantalising thought for the driver but an altogether different proposition for the wide rear tyres. But you’ll behave yourself, won’t you? F-TYPE Coupé range from $125,000.† #goodtobebad JAGUAR.CO.NZ

HOW ALIVE ARE YOU? †Including GST and excludes on road costs.


ON THE PIG’S BACK AN AUSTRALIAN CHEF AND HIS PARTNER TAKE FOOD LOVERS ON A RICH CULINARY ADVENTURE IN FRANCE’S BUCOLIC LOIRE VALLEY. STORY AND PICTURES: TRICIA WELSH.

ABOVE: Richard chooses new baby potatoes at the Tours market. OPPOSITE PAGE: Château de Villandry is the perfect backdrop for the famous potager of vegetables and flowers.

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re-dawn in the tiny Loire Valley village of Giseux, Australian chef Richard Hauptmann is on a mission: to buy a six-month-old dressed pig. He’s up earlier than usual, even earlier than his six students here in the French countryside to learn how to butcher and prepare this handsome beast in a nose-to-tail session. Once back in the farm kitchen, he throws down the carcass onto the stainless steel workbench, removes his jaunty beret, dons his apron and with eager students around – gets straight into it.

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Along with half a dozen new friends, I am on an eightday culinary adventure, Yarra Valley @ Loire Valley, in the domaine of La Briche, hosted by Richard and his partner, Lisa O’Connor. On this, our first day, we help bone, slice, chop, dice and prepare various pork cuts for classic French dishes such as cassoulet and choucroûte, learn how to make boudins blancs sausages with local expert Anita Gousse (whose secret recipe is closely guarded) and tasty small goods such as rillettes, fromage de tête and pâté en croute that are planned for lunches and as picnic fare during the week. With more than 25 years’ experience in some of Melbourne’s top restaurants, including Mietta’s and Florentino’s, followed by Chateau Yering and the Healesville Hotel in the Yarra Valley, Richard has gained a reputation in recent years for his innovative “Porcine Pursuits” – all-day hands-on workshops turning rare-breed Large Black pigs into cold cuts. Lisa is well known for her award-winning Jam Lady Jam and Handmade in Healesville produce that is sold or served in the best Australian restaurants, hotels and produce stores, even as far afield as Singapore and Dubai. Each September, the talented pair exchange their Victorian base in the Yarra Valley for a few weeks in the Loire Valley and invite eight food lovers to join them. Having lived at La Briche some 20 years ago, Lisa was welcomed back by Australian owners Nathan Waks and Candice Williams, who assist during the culinary week with logistics and offer their considerable knowledge of the area. It’s a comfortable hour’s train ride from Paris to the little station at Saint Pierre de Corps, where Richard and Lisa meet and transfer guests through the chateaudotted countryside. According to Lisa, when La Briche was operational, it was the largest agricultural farm in France. It seems an appropriate spot for our culinary adventure. We discover our corner of the property has its own chapel with stained-glass windows, thriving vegetable garden and gentle woodlands that are carpeted with tiny pink and white wild cyclamen. Accommodation is in comfortable rustic quarters with shared bathrooms, just metres from the spacious kitchen and separate welcoming lounge/dining room – the heart of the complex where guests gather to enjoy breakfast seated on church pews at a large communal table and where hearty dinners are also served following drinks and canapés by a warming country hearth. Using kitchen essentials and fabulous copper pots bought from E. Dehillerin, an 1820s-established kitchenware store in Paris, Richard has designed a comprehensive culinary programme teaching techniques used in preparing confit de canard, coq au vin and lapin aux pruneaux plus


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[1] Lapin aux pruneaux (rabbit with prunes) with pommes de puree (potato puree). [2] Fresh berries and fruit at nearby Langeais Market, Loire Valley. [3] Our haul of blonde gris snails foraged from the garden. [4] Sausage-making class at La Briche. [5] Richard shows local sausage expert Anita Gousse how to plait sausages at La Briche. [6] Chocolate tart with damson plum gin for dinner at La Briche.

a full range of pastries for classic regional desserts such as an excellent almond-filled pithivier, the ever-popular upside-down apple tarte des Demoiselles Tatin and the to-die-for gateau nougat de Tours. One day we stock up on fresh produce at the nearby Langeais market, sampling handmade nougat and local cheeses as we go and later visit adjacent Château Langeais, where Anne of Bretagne twice married the King of France and which now houses an impressive collection of tapestries. A visit to Château de Villandry is highly anticipated and as we arrive at this world-famous potager, threatening clouds part and the sun bursts forth, spotlighting plump produce and perfect blooms growing in arguably the most magnificent vegetable garden in the world. We later enjoy a vineyard tasting of local regional Vouvray wines made from Chenin Blanc grapes, and picnic on our homemade gourmet treats. Another morning we set off for the indoor market at Tours, where Lisa has organised an indulgent oyster tasting with a specialist from Cancale, France’s oyster capital. The high-tidal Couesnon estuary produces some 25,000 tonnes of oysters a year and is reputedly responsible for around 80 per cent of all France’s oysters. History records that Louis XIV used to have Cancale oysters sent to him at his palace in Versailles, while Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte also relished the flat molluscs. Richard checks

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out other seafood stalls and buys langoustine, mussels, scallops and crevettes for a “seafood extravaganza” dinner that night. While there is something happening all the time, there is no obligation to don an apron, but nobody wants to miss out either. In between cooking, we pluck damson plums from hedgerows to make jam – and to flavour gin, forage for blonde gris snails in the surrounding woodlands and pluck golden-ripe ears of corn, sun-ripened tomatoes and more from the kitchen garden. Local regional wines from Vouvray, Bourgueil and Chenin flow generously throughout the week, with some excellent champagnes plus wines from the Waks’ own private cellar. Like all good hosts, they keep the best till last: a farewell dinner in the candlelit chapel with a surprise menu that turns out to be our plump snails cooked with girolles for entrée, followed by succulent local Charolais côte de boeuf with potato gratin and the most delicious buttery tarte tatin with cinnamon ice cream for dessert. It’s a fitting finale to a week of classic French flavours and superlative dishes, and we’ve been made to feel quite part of the small community during our stay – which truly is a lovely bonus, n’est-ce pas? The writer was hosted by Yarra Valley @ Loire Valley and International Rail (www.internationalrail.co.nz). For more information on Yarra Valley @ Loire Valley culinary adventures, visit www.jamladyjam.com.au


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TRICIA WELSH TAKES OFF FOR THE BEST LONG LUNCH IN AUSTRALIA.

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his has to be one of the best “long lunch” offerings anywhere: fly by private jet from Melbourne to Coonawarra; visit historic Wynn’s winery, where you can “blend your own” wine; fly on to Millicent for a Wagyu beef master class and four-course lunch at Mayura Station (accompanied by museum-release Coonawarra wines); and fly back to Melbourne over the iconic Twelve Apostles – arriving back just in time for dinner! It’s clear that John Dyer, of Air Adventure, thinks outside the square. The innovative air touring company, established by his late father, Rod, has been operating for 38 years around country Australia, through the Outback and Africa. Originally from a farming background in Hamilton, the Dyer family continues to farm in Victoria’s Western District while expanding the increasingly popular air adventures. The approximately one-hour flight in the 10-seater Outback Jet from Essendon Airport takes a 550km straight path over the Northern Grampians before landing on the tiny private McGillivray Airstrip at Coonawarra, over the border in South Australia. Staff from Wynn’s Coonawarra Estate, the oldest and largest winery in the wine-rich region and famed for its unique terra rossa soil, transfer us to the iconic triple-peaked cellar door built by founder John Riddoch in 1896. Winemaker Sarah Pidgeon gives us a tour of the cellars before we don lab coats and get down to work. We have bottles of their 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Shiraz and 2013 Merlot for blending and a sample of Wynn’s Red Stripe label for guidance. We are given three tries to blend our own using a graduated cylinder and pipette for measuring – and a personally labelled wine bottle to take home our favourite. I buck the favoured 50:38:12 ratio of the Wynn’s blend for a 30:35:35 – leaning more to the smoother “bridging” characteristics of merlot. Smooth, savoury and “chocolatey” are flavours that linger on the tongue. Back in the aircraft, we fly further south to Millicent and transfer to historic Mayura Station. Chef Mark Wright is preparing lunch in an open teppanyaki-style kitchen restaurant. He has two cuts of prime Wagyu steak at the ready: large cubes of rump cut and thick slivers of oyster blade. What he calls a “mystery box” is roasting in the oven. We sip on a sparkling 2005 Padthaway Estate Eliza while learning about the highly prized breed that in Japan is considered a national treasure. Wright says Wagyu cattle were so prized in Japan, their owners used to rub sake into the hide to keep it shiny and add beer to their feed to stimulate their appetite. “But that was perhaps a thousand years ago, when households had just two or three head of cattle,” he suggests. Mayura’s herd started with just 25 heifers and four bulls

imported in 1997. Today, with 6,000 head on 3,240 hectares, it is the largest 100 per cent full-blood Wagyu cattle station outside of Japan and is a “self-generating, self-replacing herd”, according to station managing partner Scott de Bruin. In the Mayura tasting room, Wright sears the large cubes of well-aged beef on a very hot griddle, lets them rest in a hot oven for two minutes and then serves them with a dipping bowl of light soy sauce – “Wagyu loves salt” – and a simple salad “to refresh the palate between each mouthful and to get the full flavour of Wagyu with each slice”. A glass of Rymill Shiraz 1993 is the perfect accompaniment. The next course is oyster blade, simply seared with sea salt, chargrilled king oyster mushrooms simmered in a master stock and served with coriander, orange segments, dehydrated

mushroom with ashed sea salt and shichimi togarashi (Japanese spice mix) – perfect with a Zema Estate Cluny 1998. But when Wright extracts the huge slow-cooked (three hours) tomahawk cut rib-eye from the oven, we are gobsmacked. It is huge. He serves it in three cuts: the eye fillet, the Scotch cap and the finely chopped crispy bone meat – giving us all the equivalent of a dinosaur-sized bone to chew on. Divine! “All the marble has been melted down and absorbed,” he explains. And to complement this melt-in-the-mouth steak: a 2002 “Grand Reserve” Patrick of Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. We finish with an exemplary vanilla pannacotta. Before flying back, we stop by a huge barn known as the Mayura Moo-Cow Motel, where the pampered cattle are grain-fed for up to 12 months and given a kilo and a half each day of a secret ingredient: chocolate! Which may possibly explain why Wagyu and red wine is a match made in heaven. The all-inclusive Great Wagyu Adventure launches in October and costs A$1,000 per person. www.airadventure.com.au

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AFLOAT IN

FRENCH POLYNESIA PATRICK SMITH CRUISES TAHITI’S LEEWARD ISLANDS AND DISCOVERS A SERENE GARDEN ISLE WHERE OLD LEGENDS DIE HARD.

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ahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora: when most people think of French Polynesia these are the islands that come to mind. Tahitians themselves have their own favourites – the Fakarava or Rangiroa atolls in the Tuomutos, perhaps, or Nuku Hiva in the distant Marquesas. With 118 islands and atolls spread across an area the size of Europe, there are plenty to choose from. And with a total population of just 268,000, it’s not hard to find an island far from the madding crowd. Huahine, one of the Leeward Islands of the Society group, is one of these. Although it’s just 177km or 30 minutes by air from Papeete, you could say it’s among Tahiti’s best-kept secrets. I can’t say I know it well but it certainly made an impression during the short time we were there, or in the hours spent gazing at its forested hills, tiny palm-fringed beaches and pretty coastal villages from our yacht Terehau on the crystal-clear lagoon. “No one here buys papayas or bananas,” said Roman, guide and driver on our 4WD tour of the island, as he pointed out trees laden with tropical fruit. “Fish, taro, coconuts, breadfruit – there’s so much free food on the island you never have to go hungry here.” Unsurprisingly, it’s called the “Garden Island”, although it’s actually two islands – Huahine Iti (Little Huahine) in the south and Huahine Nui (Big Hauhine) to the north – linked by a bridge. The southern island is the less developed of the two, though “developed” is a relative term. Of Huahine’s 7,000-odd residents, almost half of them live in the capital, Fare. “Huahine is the same size as Moorea,” Roman said, “but Moorea has 19,000 people. Huahine is magnifique but for some reason it’s not so touristy.” And that’s the way the locals like it. Surfers come here for the world-class waves at Avamoa Pass and the Hawaiki

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Nui Va’a, the world’s largest outrigger canoe race, held in October. There are three comfortable resort hotels on the island’s west side and a bunch of family hotels and pensions. It’s one of those places, I guess, where it’s easy to get to know the locals: the smiling people we passed seemed happy to see us, anyway. Copra – the dried flesh of coconuts – is Huahine’s main industry and the coastal road runs through copra plantations and small settlements on its way north. A placid stretch of water overhung by palms and native bush runs beneath the French-built bridge between the islands. We stopped to look down on fishermen’s houses and centuries-old stone fish traps as a man in an outrigger canoe paddled serenely by. Vanilla, too, is grown here and we looked in on a roadside plantation and gift shop, La Maison de la Vanille. After saffron, vanilla is said to be the most expensive plant product in the world, but here, as on the nearby island of Taha’a, it grows in abundance. The tiny shop sold all kinds of vanilla products – and, weirdly, bottles of Huahine sand. Huahine has some significant archaeological sites, with more pre-European marae (241, in fact) than anywhere else in French Polynesia. Tahitian marae are distinctive – fields of flat stones where people once gathered and where human sacrifice was sometimes performed to assuage the pagan gods. Marae Manuna was such a place, though Roman assured us victims died swiftly (“by breaking the neck”). Today we can look but not walk on the marae – it’s tabou – as Tahitians traditionally believe the souls of the dead live on in the stones. Old legends die hard here. At Faie we stopped to meet sacred blue-eyed eels. These overfed monsters hang around in a shallow waterway beside the road. Though locals eat eels, Roman tells us, “no Tahitian will eat an eel from the river of Faie”. Without predators, the eels grow up to 1.8 metres long and can weigh 10kg. They lunge out of the water to grab morsels of food and eye us with those unsettling blue peepers. In Fare we discovered a bustling small town that’s the commercial and administrative centre of Huahine. By the waterfront a fisherman and friend chatted across a rack displaying a dozen shining mahi-mahi. A market was in full swing and people sat in roadside cafés or browsed through a small gift shop.


HUAHINE HAS SOME SIGNIFICANT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES, WITH MORE PRE-EUROPEAN MARAE THAN ANYWHERE ELSE IN FRENCH POLYNESIA

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CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE LEFT: Life aboard Terehau: Mihi’s fine fresh food; en suite cabin; most meals are eaten alfresco; sunset over another green atoll.

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We’d spent the previous night anchored in the lagoon off a quiet resort called Relais Mahana and after taking us ashore in Terehau’s Zodiac that morning, our captain, Henere, had motored around to Fare to wait for us. Now we were heading out to the yacht for lunch prepared by Henere’s wife, Mihi, who fed us delicious fresh food each day as we sailed around the Leeward Islands on our three-day cruise. Today’s lunch was red tuna sashimi with rice, bread and salad followed by a bowl heaped with pineapple, sweet grapefruit and papaya. Our 18-metre catamaran was part of Dream Yacht Charter’s French Polynesian fleet based at Raiatea, the second largest island in French Polynesia and an ancient hub for Polynesian navigators. I’d flown to the island from Tahiti after two very pleasant nights at Le Meridien, a French-flavoured hotel 15km from the centre of Papeete. This was a by-the-cabin charter and after boarding Terehau at Uturoa marina – “No shoes on board,” said Henere, pointing to the footwear basket – I was shown to mine. It was one of five cabins on the yacht, each with double bed, a small en suite bathroom and fitted wardrobe. The main saloon above contained a couple of couches, the “bridge” and a dining table, although we mostly ate at a table under an awning in the stern. Two large trampolines served as sun-lounging areas between the twin hulls. By-the-cabin is exactly what it sounds like: you pay for a single cabin rather than chartering the whole yacht. Meals are included and cabins are serviced daily. My fellow passengers were three couples, from Austria, Germany and Switzerland respectively. They proved good company apart from the fact that only two of them spoke good English. My German is of the “noch eine bier, bitte”

variety and my French is “rustic”, to say the least. Still, we rubbed along companionably enough, lazing in the sun, watching vivid green islands and tiny motus drift by and swimming, snorkelling or kayaking in the impossibly clear water. Our first day was spent sailing between Raiatea and Taha’a, two islands that share the same lagoon. We cruised along the east coast of Taha’a, known as the Vanilla Island for its many plantations of the precious orchid. The big annual event here is a traditional stone fishing tournament, when villagers wade into the lagoon pounding the water with stones tied to ropes, driving fish ashore to be gathered up for a feast. We dropped anchor in a channel between Taha’a and tiny Motu Mahaea, all white sand and coconut palms. We spent the afternoon snorkelling and drifting in the current pouring through the channel from the reef. On the motu, Henere challenged us to a coconut-shucking contest using a sharpened stick stuck in the sand. It looked easy when Henere peeled off the husk, but proved exhausting for the rest of us. We were rewarded, though, with fresh coconut milk and wedges of tender white flesh. Back aboard Terehau we drank tea and ate Mihi’s freshbaked cake as we watched a dark, ominous cloud front approach across the water. Soon the rain was pelting down and we hurried inside to read, snooze, listen to music or update diaries until dinner – oven-baked fish with plantains cooked in their skins, and pineapple tart. The next morning broke fine and clear. The islands sparkled and the sea was a limpid blue. Big rays glided around and under the boat and I dived in for a swim before breakfast; a shared, lazy affair under the awning. We spent the rest of the morning swimming, snorkelling and lazing until it was time for Henere to raise the anchor and set off for Huahine, a four-hour cruise away.

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ponds full of golden carp surround the main hotel and beyond those is a huge sand-bottomed swimming pool. Sunsets here can be fabulous, as I’d discovered when I’d first arrived here from Auckland. That night I’d eaten at the hotel’s excellent Le Carré restaurant above the beach and watched the tropical extravaganza play out over the sea. I spent my last night in Tahiti having dinner at what many regard as the island’s finest eatery, Le Coco’s Restaurant Gastronomique, housed in “La maison au bord de l’eau” (beside the water) at Punaauia. You can dine indoors or out on the lawn facing the sea. We chose the open-sided pavilion above the crashing surf, where we were treated to some of the finest food I’ve ever eaten: Pan-fried scallops with pearl barley, ceps and truffles; Crispy duck Magret with lemon basil; and “Black Pearl” – dark Manjari chocolate cake and fresh raspberries. The food, the setting, the gracious service: it seemed to capture some essence of French-flavoured Polynesia and made me wish I could delay my return to New Zealand next day. Next time, I thought, next time… The author travelled to French Polynesia with assistance from Tahiti Tourisme: www.tahitinow.co.nz

Henere had left a trawl line out during the cruise and when we stopped off Hauhine, Austrian Harry pulled in a gleaming mahi-mahi, all 70 centimetres of it. Henere laughed. “A baby mahi-mahi,” he scoffed. Baby or not, it tasted mighty fine that night, cooked in tinfoil on the small charcoal grill Henere fixed to a railing and accompanied simply by green and white beans, bread and a couple of glasses of Rosé. And so here we were, lying off Huahine as the lights came on at Relais Mahina and the stars presented themselves one by one in a cloudless sky. Next morning after breakfast we went ashore for our 4WD excursion and in the afternoon we set off for Raiatea. We spent the night back at the marina and went ashore for dinner and a Tahitian show at a local hotel. It was a fun, good-natured night with decent food and lots of cheering from local supporters of the enthusiastic performers. We said our goodbyes after breakfast next morning and I caught the Air Tahiti flight back to the main island of Tahiti, where I checked back in to Le Meridien. Among Tahiti’s best resort hotels, Le Meridien sits on the west coast of Tahiti Nui facing across the water to Moorea. Its 150 rooms, suites and bungalows include 12 overwater suites arcing out into the lagoon. Gardens and

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ABOVE: Le Coco’s Restaurant Gastronomique – superb cuisine (far left) in a romantic seaside setting. BELOW: Le Meridien Hotel, gardens and pool.

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HANDMADE

HEAVEN SITTING ON A TINY ISLET BETWEEN TAHA’A AND BORA BORA, LE TAHA’A ISLAND RESORT & SPA CALLS ITSELF “THE BESPOKE SANCTUARY OF YOUR DREAMS”. PATRICK SMITH LIVES THE DREAM.

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here are many “special places” among the 114 islands that make up French Polynesia, but Le Taha’a, on tiny Motu Tau Tau in the Society Islands, is the kind of exquisite spot most of us find only in dreams. “No one would build a property like this today,” manager Julien Bressolles tells me after my arrival from Raitatea, 35 minutes away by the resort’s launch. Maintaining this 57-suite “bespoke sanctuary”, he explains, is a huge ongoing cost. “But look at what we have,” he adds, gesturing around the beautiful lobby with its high thatched roof like an upturned boat and its back wall of living trees. Everything about Le Taha’a looks handmade in harmony with the pristine setting, as I discover when Maïré, the delightful guest relations manager, shows me around.


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We climb the rustic wooden staircase behind the lobby to the Tehutu Bar – which will open later for pre-dinner cocktails – and on into La Vanille, an indoor-outdoor restaurant with a dining terrace literally amongst the trees. From here, steps lead down to a path that takes us along the beach to an infinity swimming pool, poolside bar and La Plage, a lunchtime restaurant. Beyond the pool and a watersports cabin is Le Spa by Le Taha’a, housed in secluded thatched villas built out over a peaceful inland lagoon. We walk back through scattered trees and past a tennis court towards the jetty where I’d stepped off the launch. From here we can see both branches of the resort’s overwater suites – 45 of them – fanning out into the impossibly clear waters of the lagoon. The overwater suites are named for their predominant views – of Taha’a, Bora Bora or the sunset. Every suite has a hinged glass panel at the end of the bed for watching or feeding the tropical fish below. Finally we come to my Beachfront Villa, one of 12 (including

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two larger Royal Beach Villas) that open onto the white sand beach and lagoon. Exquisite inside and out, the villa has a bedroom and a separate living area leading on to a walled courtyard with private plunge pool, thatched-roof cabana and loungers. A tiny, immaculate garden off the bathroom houses an outside bathtub and shower. The whole place, I soon discover, opens up to the breeze off the lagoon. Again, all is finely handcrafted, from bedside lamps and wooden candleholders to bathroom vanities. After lunch at La Plage, I grab snorkel, mask and flippers and wade across a channel from the resort to a smaller motu, then hike along its shore to the head of the passage. From here you can float back on the warm current over a coral garden teeming with fish – a magical mystery trip. That afternoon I’m due for a Taurumi (massage) Maeva at the spa, using Tahiti’s ubiquitous monoi – coconut oil infused with fragrant essences. I’m asked to choose: tiare flower? Vanilla? Bamboo? Grapefruit? Since this is vanilla country I go for that. My masseuse, Davina, opens up the doors to the lagoon and as I lower myself onto the table the sun is sinking into the mirrorlike water. It’s serene – as is the massage, which leaves me feeling slightly off the planet as I stumble back to my suite. As luck would have it, I’ve arrived on Tahitian culture night and a fabulous buffet has been prepared in La Vanille, from where we can watch the show. I find an outdoor table amid the trees, order a bottle of wine and then check out the food islands, which are laden with everything from fresh tuna sashimi and fish curry to barbecued steak and lobster, countless salads and mountains of decadent desserts. The cultural show begins with drums and ukuleles, moves into Tahitian dance and ends down on the beach with a spectacular fire dance performed by a wild-looking Tahitian in full moku. After the noise and energy of the show, the silence of my suite by the sea seems palpable, broken only by the lapping of wavelets on the sand. Tonight I’ll sleep well – and maybe dream of life in a tropical paradise…


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SYDNEY BY SHIP PATRICK SMITH CROSSES THE DITCH THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY.

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hinking of taking a trip to Sydney? Obviously you can catch a plane and be there in a few hours. But have you ever thought of arriving the old-fashioned way: by ship? It may sound odd, but cruising to Sydney from Auckland is a very pleasant and surprisingly inexpensive way to spend a few relaxing days. And you’ll

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end up overnighting in one of the city’s premium locations: dockside at Circular Quay, with the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge outside your window, The Rocks at the end of the gangway and with a couple of days for shopping, sightseeing and other big-city pleasures before the ship moves on. We did just that when we joined P&O World Cruising’s newly refurbished liner Arcadia at Auckland’s Queens Wharf for a five-night trip to Oz. The ship was on a 92-night, 28-port circumnavigation of the globe from Southampton and around 200 people joined the ship in Auckland bound for Sydney, Singapore, LA and perhaps even the UK. A few of them were no doubt testing the water (so to speak) before committing themselves to a longer voyage. Let’s be honest, when we think “cruising”, we generally think of exotic ports of call. What’s the point, you might ask, of spending three or four days at sea and ending up in a place you could have arrived at by breakfast on day one? Well, consider this: if you’re looking for a short, relaxing break with food, all entertainment and most other resortstyle amenities included in the fare, it’s an option worth looking into. And, depending on the class of cabin or suite you go for, it can cost under $1,000 per person (twin share). You certainly wouldn’t stay in a decent resort on full board (and I mean full) for five days for that kind of outlay. Take away the cost of one-way transtasman airfares and the deal gets sweeter still. Cruising, we found, is easy. Boarding at Queens Wharf was a doddle and when we arrived at our roomy Balcony Cabin we found a bottle of bubbly chilling in an ice bucket alongside a plate of canapés. A few hours later we were enjoying sail-away drinks by the pool as the sun set over Auckland and Arcadia slipped quietly out into the harbour. That evening we had our first taste of shipboard cuisine in the Meridian, Arcadia’s main restaurant – a big, circular dining room with white-clothed tables sweeping around and up over two floors. I opted for Atlantic prawn cocktail and grilled barramundi from an impressive, ever-changing menu devised by executive chef Ian Summers – a member, like all P&O executive chefs, of the prestigious Chain des Rôtisseurs gastronomic society. Service was crisp and professional and the food excellent – two attributes that were confirmed next morning over a leisurely breakfast. The ship has two specialist restaurants you must book for: the Asian-themed East, by British Michelin-starred chef


RIGHT: Michelin-starred chef Marco Pierre White, whose Ocean Grill (below right) is one of two specialty restaurants on board.

LEFT: The 700-seat Palladium Theatre, scene of regular concerts, shows and theatrical extravaganzas.

LEFT & RIGHT: Arcadia has two swimming pools, the Neptune Pool (right), with its opening glass roof and the Aquarius Pool, with its popular poolside bar.

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Atul Kochhar and the Ocean Grill, by Marco Pierre White. We tried both of them – small, elegant eateries with good food and more personal service – and given longer at sea would certainly have returned to for more of White’s classic grilled fare and Kochhar’s Thai, Indonesian and Malay dishes. On most days we had lunch by the pool or grabbed a salad in the Belvedere 24-hour buffet. It doesn’t take long to get into the swing of life on board. Days drift into each other (was it only yesterday we left Auckland?), peppered with sun-lounger sessions by the pool, a bit of practice in the golf nets, a game of shuffleboard (surprisingly addictive), a relaxing session in the Oasis Spa, a little boutique browsing, drinks in the Spinnaker or Piano Bar, dinner, maybe a movie, or a show (Killer Queen!) in the 700-seat Palladium Theatre. Later, if energy levels allow, a few moves on the disco floor? Should you find yourself needing more distractions there are myriad classes and enrichment lectures, yoga, Pilates and other fitness sessions, competitions and pub quizzes, concerts… It’s tempting to rush here and there sampling all the ship has to offer, but we soon decided that any kind of rushing was definitely off the agenda. Arcadia is a handsome “mid-sized” ship of 83,700 tonnes carrying up to 2,016 passengers and 880 crew. She entered service in 2005 and went into dry dock in November last year for a multi-million-dollar refit that spruced up cabins and added 24 new ones, replaced the Orchid restaurant with Kochhar’s East,

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turned the Globe Lounge into a new enclosed late-night venue and transformed much of the rest of the ship. So we were seeing her at her sparkling best. She certainly looked the part as we sailed through the heads into Sydney Harbour early on the fourth morning of our brief cruise and berthed by the Overseas Terminal at West Circular Quay. At 285 metres long, Arcadia took up the whole berth and her 11 decks towered over the wharf like an enormous white birthday cake. It was a fabulous spot from which to enjoy the harbour’s famous sights – the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, The Rocks and the towers of the CBD – and to reconnect with terra firma. We strolled through The Rocks and caught a cab to Darlinghurst for lunch with a Kiwi friend. Afterwards we wandered back through Hyde Park and into the Botanic Gardens before returning to the best possie on the harbour. A quick swim, a brief snooze, a cocktail and a fine last-night feed in the Meridian: a perfect end to a memorable few days and nights. Not the fastest way to get to Sydney, perhaps, but certainly an interesting one. A number of ships will be visiting New Zealand next summer, including Arcadia’s sister ship, Aurora. The family-friendly liner sails from Auckland to Melbourne on February 26. A roundtrip cruise visits Burnie and Sydney before heading back across the Tasman for calls at Milford Sound and Dunedin, docking in Wellington on March 13. www.pocruises.com


;)0'31)838,);360(3*SEABOURN If you think you’re the sort of person who won’t enjoy a cruise, take a look at Seabourn and have second thoughts. This is a holiday not simply unlike any other cruise, this is a holiday unlike any other holiday.

HE]7X4IXIVWFYVK 7GERHMREZME .YP]°7IEFSYVR5YIWX 7XSGOLSPQXS'STIRLEKIR From

NZper person 'VYMWIERHPERHTEGOEKIMRGPYHIW 2 nights pre cruise accommodation in Stockholm 2 nights post cruise accommodation in Copenhagen All airport taxes and port transfers Spacious all suite accommodation onboard Gourmet dining that rivals the ½nest restaurants and dine where, when and with whom you wish Complimentary wine with lunch and dinner and open bars throughout the ship Complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences Tipping is neither required nor expected

-VYM\Y[OLYPUMVYTH[PVUJVU[HJ[*Y\PZL>VYSKVUPUMV'JY\PZL^VYSKJVUaVYYLMLYJY\PZL^VYSKJVUa

Conditions: *Cruise/Land fares quoted are “from� fares, NZD per person twin share/double based on (A) category Ocean view Suite. Other departures dates may be available. Package fare is subject to exchange rate variations at the time of booking and payment. Prices are based on special fares and subject to change or removal without notice, subject to individual availability at the time of booking and individual amendment/cancellation fees. Pre/Post accommodation is based on 4 star hotels. See Seabourn brochure for full conditions.


BEAUTIFUL BRETT ATKINSON CRUISES ALASKAN WATERS ABOARD A LUXURY YACHT THAT GOES WHERE LARGER SHIPS CANNOT, REVEALING A PRISTINE WILDERNESS OF STUNNING BEAUTY RICH IN EXOTIC WILDLIFE.

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THIS PAGE: The 70-metre Safari Endeavour goes where larger ships cannot; American bald eagle. OPPOSITE PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Captain Stateroom, Safari Endeavour; Zodiac expedition explores a blue world; dining room.

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ust metres away from our boat, anchored now in shallow water, an American bald eagle sits on an isolated fragment of ice, a juvenile harbour seal surfaces just off the bow and a humpback whale breaches right outside our cabin. Try experiencing that quintessential Alaskan wildlife trifecta on a big cruise ship. And if you’re a cocktail fan on a ship with thousands of passengers, don’t expect the bartender to remember your favourite tipple or to make other informed recommendations by the second night of the cruise. Other key differences between Un-Cruise’s 70-metre Safari Endeavour and larger ships cruising Alaskan waters

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are first revealed before departure in the state capital of Juneau. Big liners queue along the town’s waterfront, each disgorging up to 3,000 passengers to a bustle of souvenir shops and rushed day excursions. At a quieter dock at the opposite end of town, the Endeavour is being readied for a very different experience for fewer than 80 passengers. Sea kayaks and paddleboards are stored on deck, and there’ll be no stops at crowded ports or pioneer-themed pubs – just a week of luxury adventure and exploration in Alaskan isolation. And a regular infusion of excellent food, wine and beer. Departing in the evening via the Gastineau Channel, it’s soon obvious that Juneau’s man-made footprint is easily trumped by the wilderness we’re about to enter. The town can only be reached by sea or air, and any pretence at civilisation is soon replaced by a brave smattering of fishing boats, their lights bobbing randomly in a lateevening indigo dusk. Elemental shapeshifting clouds drift away to reveal spruce forests, while mountains surge upwards to dwarf Endeavour. The following morning, the irresistible rhythm of onboard life soon kicks in. Gourmet breakfasts set up passengers for days that can be as relaxed or active as they want. A morning excursion might involve buzzing about in Zodiacs spotting wildlife, or piloting sea kayaks through opal waters made silky with glacial moraine. It’s then back to the boat for lunch before setting out on another activity. A nightly cocktail hour provides the opportunity to meet guests and crew over Oregon wines or Alaskan craft beer before dinner of local salmon, crab or scallops. It’s a compelling routine, and totally validated when Endeavour’s pastry chef is given a standing ovation just two days into the cruise. We soon recognise the importance of signing up for slightly more strenuous activities to offset the impending calorific input. If Alaskan seafood is often a culinary highlight, other local species also steal the show on most days. In Security Bay’s compact inlet, accessible only on the more nimble Endeavour, a gutsy seagull escapes into sitka spruce trees to evade harassment by a much larger bald eagle. Almost simultaneously, a raft of sea otters cruises past the Zodiac, with hundreds of male otters gathered together for protection from the occasional visiting pod of orca. When we do spot orca, their visit comes just hours after a spectacular 8am breakfast interruption by humpback whales. The orca ride the boat’s bow wave in mid-morning sunlight, surfing from port to starboard in a row of dorsal fins. Later in the day the Endeavour’s ability to access more remote destinations is again tested at Red Bluff Bay on Baranhof Island. A scattering of islets conceals a narrow entrance to the bay. It’s the first time for the recently refurbished luxury craft to enter the


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ABOVE: Glacier Bay National Park gets more than 500,000 visitors a year, but only around 5,000 are ever able to hike or kayak around the park’s rugged coastline.

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cove, and even the most experienced and laconic of crew members are on deck to witness the moment. As the boat squeezes past a forested island, an expansive cove trimmed with quicksilver waterfalls is revealed. After the best kayaking of the trip – zipping above sparkling shoals of salmon – Zodiacs are dispatched to look for larger four-legged locals. A brown bear is sighted swimming through late-afternoon shadows, and after lumbering onto a coastal meadow, it patrols the bank for a few minutes before crashing through the grassy undergrowth and out of sight. En route to Glacier Bay National Park the following day, Marble Island showcases another huge mammal. A bolshie bull sea lion is surrounded by wannabe contenders, but a halo of respect and personal safety keeps challengers at bay. For now. Stout little tufted

Luckily, passengers on Safari Endeavour are able to negotiate a sea kayak to remote beaches or hike to rugged glacier lookouts. Our final destination at the northern terminus of the bay is the 2km-wide face of Margerie Glacier. Other multiple glaciers fed by the massive Brady Icefield punctuate the bay’s western edge, and alpine peaks approaching 2,000m frame both sides of the narrow inlet. Scores of small icebergs punctuate Endeavour’s path to the ice-clad border between Canada and the United States. The turquoise sheen of Margerie Glacier shimmers and sparkles in the intense Alaskan sunlight and the massive Grand Pacific Glacier sits northeast across narrow Tarr Inlet. Smudged with charcoal-coloured rocks and glacial moraine, it currently crosses the border for 40 kilometres into British Columbia. By 1925 the glacier had actually

puffins with peroxide comb-overs fly just above the water, and the default Alaskan weather setting of “cloud failure” – read “overcast or raining” – continues to be postponed for another blue-sky day. The next day we’re approaching the northern reaches of Glacier Bay National Park. The park gets more than 500,000 visitors a year, but only around 5,000 are ever able to hike or kayak around the park’s rugged coastline.

retreated north across the border into Canada, but it’s since advanced back into the United States. It’s a compelling reminder of the massive forces shaping Alaska’s huge swathes of wilderness, and in a new century there’s no telling where the forbidding ice now at the glacier’s face first fell as soft winter snow.

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World Journeys is an Un-Cruise Adventures representative for the Safari Endeavour in New Zealand. See www.worldjourneys.co.nz


“A MORNING EXCURSION MIGHT INVOLVE BUZZING ABOUT IN ZODIACS SPOTTING WILDLIFE, OR PILOTING SEA KAYAKS THROUGH OPAL WATERS MADE SILKY WITH GLACIAL MORAINE.”

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ALASKA

STYLE

A PAIR OF BACKCOUNTRY LODGES PROVIDE SERIOUSLY GOOD HOSPITALITY AND CUISINE AMID THE BEAUTY OF A RUGGED NORTHERN LANDSCAPE. BY BRETT ATKINSON

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H CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT:Trimble Glacier; black and brown bears are common sights; Winterlake’s rustic lakeside bungalows; float plane arrival from Anchorage. OPPOSITE PAGE: The main lodge.

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ow do you say “Thanks, it’s really great to be here” in Husky? As welcomes go, it’s hard to beat the soundtrack of excited hellos from the 19 robust and athletic sled dogs at Alaska’s Winterlake Lodge, especially after a stunning low-level floatplane ride from Anchorage revealing the huge state’s extreme scenery. For almost an hour, at an altitude of just 3,000 metres, glaciers, snowcapped mountains and meandering braided rivers all roll past cinematically like the South Island on steroids. Come back in winter and Frankie, Radford, Danger and their 16 canine buddies could be traversing Alaska’s famed Iditarod Trail – the course of the iconic sled dog race carves an exciting path right through Winterlake’s pristine

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hectares – or teaming with guests at the luxury wilderness lodge on a four-day dog mushing expedition. During Alaskan summers, bathed in northern sunshine, active and adventurous excursions include fly-fishing, river rafting and kayaking on Winterlake’s slim lake, while the lodge’s agile and compact Robinson R-44 helicopter is always on hand to transport guests to absolute wilderness locations. Luxury private overnight camping is also an option – complete with a personal fly-in/fly-out chef – and the lodge’s recently launched dog camp, high on the swirling ice field of the Trimble Glacier, even offers sleddog mushing thrills in the middle of an Alaskan summer. And despite the close proximity of ruggedly authentic wilderness (curious moose and black bears occasionally wander through the grounds), Winterlake is definitely an unforgettable luxury escape. Just five rustic but stylish bungalows dot the edges of Winterlake’s private lake and the main lodge is the focus for relaxation and socialising for a small number of guests. Excellent Pinot Noir from Washington State and elegant Chardonnays from California’s Russian River anchor a fine wine list and American craft beers are also served during pre-dinner drinks every evening. But despite the back-of-beyond location, Winterlake’s renowned culinary reputation is reinforced with smart and sophisticated canapés, while the best of Alaskan produce, including scallops, salmon, halibut and crab, often punctuates lunches and dinners. Cookery classes in the open kitchen are full of humour and the relaxed ambience of the lodge is testament to the warmth and friendliness of its longestablished owners, the close-knit Dixon family.


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THIS PAGE AND OPPOSITE: Winterlake Lodge and its five log bungalows provide a high level of comfort and amenities amid stunning Alaskan scenery.

We’re staying at the Trapper Cabin, a charming heritage house built on the site of the land’s original 19th-century homestead. Bald eagles wheel above soaring spruce trees, and occasionally there’s a maniacal laugh from black and white loons on the nearby lake. According to our hosts, the little bird’s call is the essential sound of an Alaskan summer. But our own Winterlake summer highights soon emerge as the rhythmic swoosh of kayak paddles through the lake’s glassy waters and the confident hum of the lodge’s helicopter. A twilight kayak trip reveals an imposing bull moose emerging from the forest, his huge rack barely squeezing between summer’s tangle of boughs and branches. An afternoon helicopter flight to hike to the face of the Trimble Glacier segues into a stunning fly-over of the massive ice field. Safely encased in the compact transparent bubble of the Robinson R-44, we hover and

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cruise above an otherworldly landscape of jagged blue ice shards studded with surging underground streams and daubed with brilliant turquoise lakes. For at least five minutes no one says a word and even the confidently gung-ho pilot is awed into silence. On the way back to the lodge, sightings of black and brown bears and a moose reinforce how special the wilderness surrounding Winterlake’s haven of Alaskan adventure and hospitality is. The following day a floatplane carries us south past Anchorage, stopping at Redoubt Bay Lodge for lunch, and for up-close-and-personal viewing of brown bears at nearby Wolverine Creek. Two 300kg-plus bears, both with three cubs, emerge from the undergrowth, and the experience of seeing the giant animals eagerly fish for the salmon at the base of a waterfall threatens to ambush our scheduled afternoon arrival at the Dixon family’s second Within the Wild property.


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Approaching Tutka Bay Lodge by floatplane is even more spectacular than our arrival at Winterlake Lodge two days earlier. Crossing Cook Inlet and flying over the arcing sandspit near the town of Homer, we bank above the broad cobalt expanse of Kachemak Bay at the southwestern end of the Kenai Peninsula. Tucked into a serrated and forested coastline of fiords and coves, Tutka Bay’s welcome mat is a huge wooden deck with a long jetty stretching into the bay. Despite the change in location, the ambience at Tutka Bay is equally relaxing, and we soon establish an indulgent routine of lazy breakfasts on the deck with the smattering of other guests, and wine and cheese-tasting sessions before dinner. Balance is provided by activities that include surprising seals and sea

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COOKING SCHOOL: Tutka Bay’s food is renowned. Its popular cooking school, held in an old wooden boat (below) emphasises ethnic dishes made with local produce.

otters while kayaking to the nearby Herring Islands, private massage sessions and soaking in a hot tub surrounded by the biggest and clearest night skies on the planet. Like Winterlake Lodge, Tutka Bay also celebrates a proud culinary reputation across the United States. The milder microclimate of Kachemak Bay allows produce to thrive in the lodge’s garden, and local and seasonal fare is showcased at Tutka Bay’s multi-course dinners. The lodge’s cooking school takes place in the unique surroundings of the Widgeon II, a rustic craft that’s also done time as a crabbing boat and as a troop carrier in World War II. Like the cosmopolitan and worldly flavours shining through Tutka Bay’s lunches and dinners, the emphasis at the cooking school is on ethnic dishes, with Indian and Japanese both featured. Personal cooking stations in the boat come complete with views of forested mountain peaks; the zingy aroma of pine forests mingles with cardamom, ginger and chilli during our Indian class; and freshly caught halibut is revealed as one of the world’s best fishes for a robust Goanese curry. It’s more compelling evidence that Alaska is a very special destination, even to a couple of Kiwis well-versed in the lakes and alpine wonders of our own South Island. Both Winterlake Lodge and Tutka Bay Lodge can be booked with World Journeys. See www.worldjourneys.co.nz

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SCENES FROM THE

SERENGETI TANZANIA’S SERENGETI PLAIN IS A VAST AND ANCIENT WILDERNESS THAT IS HOME TO SOME OF AFRICA’S MOST IMPOSING WILDLIFE. THOMAS HYDE JOINED AN EIGHT-DAY SAFARI DURING THE GREAT MIGRATION. World Magazine

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fter five hours rocking and rolling along rugged, dusty, red-dirt roads that frequently morphed into mere parallel tracks, our driver, Patita, a Maasai tribesman, called out: “Is anyone hungry?” All five of us – an American family of four and this reporter – were unanimous: yes! Searching for wildlife over Tanzania’s famed Serengeti Plain had worked up appetites, despite the fact that our capable chef back at Klein’s Camp had prepared a solid breakfast of fruit slices, yogurt, granola, pancakes (with real maple syrup!) and, as if that wasn’t enough, bacon, sausages, toast and eggs, all accompanied by a splendid brew of Kilimanjaro coffee and a selection of teas. But we had left camp shortly after sunrise to cross the northern corridor of the Serengeti to witness the Great Migration, the annual movement of millions of wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of hangers-on, namely, zebra, gazelle, impala, eland, waterbuck, warthogs and ever-present vultures circling ominously overhead. We also hoped for a sighting of the increasingly rare black rhinoceros. “OK,” Patita said, “I’ll find a place by the river.” The Mara River feeds into Lake Victoria. On this day it was flowing nicely. The border with Kenya was not too far away upstream, but anyone aiming to make their way up-river would have to deal with a crush of hippos bathing in a large pool below us. Crocodiles, including one large enough to swallow me whole, were sunning themselves close by. It was a compelling scene but the hippos and crocs were far enough away to be of no real concern. The real concern (or was it just me?) was that, to find the clearing for lunch, Patita had steered the 4WD Land Cruiser through knee-high buffalo grass and around acacia trees and sickle bush – the habitat of the black rhino. “What if a rhino suddenly turns up?” I asked him. Patita had set up a small table, covered it with a tablecloth and set out a lunch buffet of pasta, fresh salads and a roasted pork and capsicum dish accompanied by bread rolls baked at the camp that morning. Slices of mango, pineapple and papaya stood in for dessert, followed by a satisfying brew of

coffee or tea. David Livingstone never had it so good. But all of this would not be easy to pack up in a rush should a black rhino arrived in a bad mood. “What if one turns up during lunch?” I asked again, somewhat nervously. “You want a beer?” was Patita’s reply. The Land Cruiser carried a chilly bin stocked with beer, fruit juice, soft drinks and wine. We ate lunch standing up and watching the hippos watching us. The crocs, meanwhile, did not move a millimetre from their place in the sun and, yes, after a cold Serengeti (also a brand of beer) we packed up and rolled on without incident. If a rhino couldn’t find us, maybe we could find it.

THE BIG FIVE This was my eighth and final day exploring the Serengeti: long enough to appreciate that we were not only in rhino country but in migration country, too, so seeing any of the “Big Five” – elephants, lions, leopards, Cape buffalo and black rhino – was possible. By now I felt like an old hand when it came to spotting elephants, lions and other wildlife. Coming across a troop of baboons was so common it verged on the boring, although that’s not how it had seemed on my arrival seven days earlier. I had flown Emirates from Dubai to Dar Es Salaam, a relatively short flight of five hours. I spent a night in “Dar” at a serene urban oasis called the Oyster Bay Inn, a hotel commonly used by my travel company, World Journeys, to house guests on arrival in the country. Next morning I caught a short flight in a 12-seater, single-prop plane to Arusha, a hub for flights into and out of the Serengeti. The red-dirt airstrip at Lake Manyara, my first stop, was another 25-minute flight from Arusha. At Lake Manyara I was met by Steven Mayani, a young man with a welcoming smile, who had set up small table for

OPPOSITE PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Lions are used to vehicles but are always alert; around 600 elephants roam the Serengeti; millions of wildebeest make the Great Migration; Oyster Bay Inn, Dar Es Salaam.


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a light lunch next to his Land Cruiser. The flavourful chicken salad sandwich and tin cup of Kilimanjaro coffee was perfect before setting off on a three-hour drive through Lake Manyara National Park to the Lake Manyara Tree Lodge at the southern end of the park. The airstrip at Lake Manyara is on a plateau overlooking one of Africa’s iconic geological features: the Great Rift Valley. We descended down an escarpment to the valley floor 550 metres below, where, according to the discoveries of legendary anthropologist and archaeologist Louis Leakey, mankind was born. But we were only a few minutes into our descent when we were forced to stop. The road was blocked by a large male baboon sitting in the middle of the road. He looked unconcerned by our presence until the new kid in town, namely me, could not help himself from being a tourist. I had never seen a baboon in the wild before. I leapt from the vehicle with my pocket camera and that was enough for the indifferent primate to shuffle off the road, allowing us to roll on. Once inside the park, we came across entire baboon troops, hundreds of them – young ones clasping their mothers’ bellies, old ones sitting atop acacia trees nibbling on one thing or another; others simply sitting about calmly in trees or bush. “You like baboons?” Steven asked after I had taken a series of photos. “They’re amazing!” I exclaimed. And they were, more so than a former girlfriend thought when she called me one.

VIEW FROM THE TREES Lake Manyara Tree Lodge sits in the heart of a mahogany forest at the southern end of the park. Staff greeted us with a welcoming song, as they do, and I was escorted inside a boma – or a

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traditional Maasai enclosure – to the centrepiece of the camp: an open-sided lounge and restaurant in the trees. This jungle ecolodge includes 10 stilted suites with comfortable king-sized beds, free-standing baths, outdoor showers and viewing decks designed to have minimal impact on the surroundings – a philosophy common to all AndBeyond camps throughout Africa. The company has won a host of awards for its environmental policies. Guest quarters are spaced well apart for maximum privacy, though there is no guarantee about one kind of wildlife or another turning up on your doorstep any time of day or night. That might be an elephant, but more likely it will be a nocturnal African possum or what’s known here as a bush baby. Cute and harmless, they can also be unnervingly screechy at times. After a fine dinner of fresh salads and roasted pork and a restful night in a comfortable bed (interrupted only once by the screeching of a bush baby in a nearby tree), Steven and I set out early next morning for a drive along the shore of Lake Manyara. We passed a lone waterbuck and a small herd of Cape buffalo grazing peacefully, but it’s the signature character of Cape buffalo that even when eating grass they appear powerful and nononsense. They typically look up, stare you down and, as long as you’re not foolish enough to challenge them, they leave you alone. A very shy family of warthogs, comical by nature, scampered away with their pointy tails sticking up. We drove close enough to the water’s edge to photograph the thousands of flamingos that stretched in a bright-pink haze to the far side of the lake. Off in the distance, giraffes were feeding from the tops of Acacia trees. Storks, including the giant marabou, scavengers that commonly hang out with vultures, were out too, along with a flock of great white pelicans. The Serengeti is a bird-watcher’s paradise: storks,


pelicans, ostriches, herons, egrets, flamingos, spoonbills, eagles and the kori bustard are among the bigger birds; warblers, larks, kingfishers, hornbills, starlings and weavers among the smaller. We came upon a tree of weavers’ nests hanging like bulbous Christmas tree decorations. “The male builds the nest,” Steven explained, “and if the female doesn’t like it she tears it down, forcing him to build another.” Birds can be compelling, but for my part I finally had to ask: where are the elephants? Steven had said there were an estimated 600 of them in the park, so where were they? “We should see some soon,” he said, and no sooner had we returned to the road than we came across broken tree limbs and piles of fresh dung. Minutes later there they were by the side of the road, a family of four adults and two young ones. We stopped, of course. Our sudden presence drew the attention of the biggest male of the herd, which stepped into the road and faced us down. He lifted his head, flashing his mighty tusks in a display that clearly said: “Don’t mess with me or my kin!” “If he drops his trunk, we back up in a hurry,” Steven said. The bull stood his ground while his family, including two calves, shuffled across the road behind him, only to disappear into the bush. Like the great guardian he was, once the others were safely out of sight the old boy swung his head and trunk around in defiance and disappeared himself. So big, yet so easily there and gone. Magic.

UNDER CANVAS Each of the four AndBeyond Serengeti camps I experienced were different in character. Lake Manyara was a permanent lodge but from there I travelled to another, Serengeti Under Canvas, a portable setup of nine guest tents and accompanying tents for

dining, food preparation and staff that moved about Serengeti National Park depending on the location of the migration. Each guest tent featured a patio with table and chairs for morning coffee, a comfy double bed with en suite and flush toilet and an outdoor bucket shower – the bucket made of canvas – that was filled with warm water by my personal “butler” for a shower at the end of each day’s game drive. Serengeti Under Canvas is popular because it’s more like we greenhorns imagine the safari experience ought to be. The food and drink and overall service here was just as exceptional as at the other camps, but in the evenings we ate alfresco around an oversized campfire. After dinner your butler escorts you by flashlight back to your tent and along the way it’s hard to ignore the night sky, ablaze with millions of stars. From the Serengeti it is possible to see the northern hemisphere’s Big Dipper and the Southern Cross in the same night sky. More magic. That said, the heavens here turned out to be less noteworthy than the cheetahs. Our driver and guide, Melau Laltalia, met me and a young Canadian couple at the airstrip at Lobo, the nearest runway to Serengeti Under Canvas’ present location. “There are reports of cheetahs not far from here,” he told us, “so let’s have a look before we go to the camp.” We were only minutes from the airstrip when he spotted the cheetahs, a mother and son, he said. They were lying in the shade of an acacia tree but their small heads were up and clearly visible. Melau steered the vehicle slowly closer – until we were too close. The beautiful spotted cats, the fastest animals on the planet, got up and moved away in a graceful jog. We followed close behind, at one point losing them among savannah grass and sickle bush.

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They soon reappeared, but something was up. The youngster stopped suddenly and stared at something – not us – and then in a nanosecond he was off. He sprinted in front of us at full speed – from zero to 40km/h in two seconds – and moments later we saw the athletic cat leap in the air, twisting and stirring up a great cloud of dust. He had chased down a kill that turned out to be, according to Melau (and later my guide book) a bush duiker, a kind of miniature deer. The cheetah retreated with his kill to the shade of a tree and wasted no time getting stuck in. Slowly, quietly, we drew close; close enough to hear bones being crunched. Guides talk to one another over shortwave radio, so Melau’s report of the kill had other vehicles turning up in no time. We were the first and only vehicle to witness the entire scene, but soon others were there, their guests snapping off photographs while the cheetah, oblivious, carried on eating its fill. “How often do you see that?” I asked Melau. “Only four or five times a year,” he replied. “You got lucky.”

AFRICAN ODDBALL Ngorongoro Crater was eventful, too. The crater lies more than 2,000 metres above sea level on the eastern edge of the Great Rift Valley. Getting there was a quick transition from a hot, dry climate to a wet, cool one. The crater is 20km across and 250km around. It was once a volcano higher than Mt Kilimanjaro (5,895m) before it collapsed in on itself, which is to say Ngorongoro is not a crater but a caldera. Today, the floor of the caldera, reached by a short drive from Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, is a zoological wonderland. The Big Five are here, but the two less likely to be seen, I was told, were the black rhino and leopard. I was half lucky. Ngorongoro Crater Lodge may be the most eccentric safari lodge in all of Africa. Here French chateau meets contemporary African art gallery and Hobbiton. Grand furnishings combine with contemporary African sculpture, while aspects of the interiors appear to be modelled on the home of Bilbo Baggins: heavy wooden doors, small peepholes, oval windows, curved wood poles, mosaics and a small porthole that can be unlatched and opened for viewing the crater while sitting on the bot. I loved it! A whisky by an open fire and a dinner of grilled prawn and avocado salad, honey and saffron roasted chicken and vegetables set me up for a solid night’s sleep before the game drive the following morning. Next day I joined an American family of three from San Francisco and our driver, Joseph Kayombo. Like all drivers and guides for AndBeyond, Joseph had passed a rigorous training regime unique to that company, which requires its guides to be fluent in English and well informed on the wildlife and ecology of the crater. Whenever I asked a guest why they chose AndBeyond, as I did that morning while we descending into the crater, the answer was the same: the guides were the best.

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We did not see a black rhino but there were more flamingos on Lake Magadi, in the middle of the crater. We saw wildebeest, zebra, impala and gazelle roaming freely and then, about mid-morning, Joseph announced that he knew where a pride of lions might be found. He steered us towards a tree-lined riverbank, thinking they would be sleeping in the shade under a grove of fever trees. But no. We began to move off. And suddenly, there they were: four fully grown males sleeping in tall grass. Joseph pulled up metres away, asking us to stay quiet and still. They can sleep all day, he explained, and while they are not disturbed by the vehicle, any movement from us could easily have them up on their massive paws in a split second. These lions, though, appeared not to care, until one of them finally looked up to see what was going on, yawned and went back to sleep. Still, for the four of us in the Land Cruiser it was our first sighting of lions and although the king of the jungle was not at all interested in putting on a show, they were compelling nonetheless. And, besides, another big cat show was about to happen elsewhere, in the crater’s Lerai Forest of yellowbarked fever trees where we stopped for lunch. No one had seen a leopard at Ngorongoro Crater in two years. So it was big news among guides and guests alike when, at a designated lunch site, a guide from another vehicle came running over, pointing to a tree about 50m away. A leopard had emerged from knee-high grass and leapt into the tree, as they do, with a kill that Joseph determined was a dik-dik, a tiny antelope-like creature that was now dead and hanging from a tree limb, presided over by a male leopard that, unlike the cheetah, didn’t appreciate our vehicle moving in for a closer look. We kept our distance. Elephants are regarded as the most dangerous animals. Yet among the big cats, leopards are feared most, for they are supreme predators and don’t care if their prey is a dik-dik or a fellow named Dick, who, if he acts like one, is certain to find trouble. Joseph told a story of one “Dick” too gruesome to repeat here. Word of the leopard sighting spread fast and soon more game drives turned up, at which point the spotted cat left its prey hanging in the tree, leapt to the ground and disappeared into grass. We returned to the lodge satisfied we had seen something special. It was a day for big cats. By then we had sighted four of the Big Five, leaving only the black rhino to check off the list. Which is what we were up to after lunch that day out from Klein’s Camp with Patita beside the Mara River.

SAD DECLINE No luck. We spent most of the afternoon weaving in and out of bush hoping we’d come across a black rhino around the next bend. It didn’t happen. We returned to Klein’s Camp disappointed, but on the way back we came upon more lions


CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Zebra and wildebeest appear in huge numbers during migration; evening camp ďŹ re, Serengeti Under Canvas; curious antelope; amingos on Lake Magadi; the eccentric Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.

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and giraffes, along with hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and their supporting cast continuing their migration. The mindless slaughter of elephants and rhinoceros by poachers is well known, but even if you know it happens the numbers are still staggering. In 2013 more than 20,000 elephants were killed for their tusks. And while in 1900 some 500,000 rhinoceros roamed the Earth, by 1970 the number had fallen to 70,000 and today stands at just 29,000, of which only 5,000 are black rhinos of the Serengeti. Rhinoceros horn is sold mainly to markets in Asia for its

supposed medicinal and aphrodisiac qualities, for which there is absolutely no scientific basis. That, combined with the loss of habitat, corruption and war, perhaps means our best chance of seeing a black rhinoceros will soon be in a zoo. Which is sad, because game drives, like our Serengeti safari, are extraordinary and a true once-in-a-lifetime experience – one I’d have again at the drop of a hat. Thomas Hyde travelled in the Serengeti courtesy of World Journeys. Visit www.worldjourneys.co.nz or phone 0800 117311.

CAMPS & LODGES SERENGETI UNDER CANVAS

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LAKE MANYARA TREE LODGE

Accommodation for 18 guests in nine tents. Children over six years of age are welcome; under sixes only if the entire camp is booked for exclusive use. Each tent has twin beds convertible to a double, a separate WC and outdoor shower and internet access. Cellphone coverage is intermittent. Wheelchair access with assistance. Visa and Mastercard only. Go any time, as the camp is open all year. Its location depends on the animal migration.

Ten tree houses accommodate a maximum of 20 guests. Like all travel to Tanzania, it is recommended only for children six years and older. Child minding is an additional cost. Each tree house has twin beds convertible to a double, with mosquito net, cooling by overhead fans, freestanding bath and outdoor shower. Telephone and internet. Best game viewing is in August and September and again from December to February.

KLEIN’S CAMP

NGORONGORO CRATER LODGE

Accommodation is in 10 thatched, circular cottages, all with panoramic views of the Serengeti and Grumeti River Valley. Amenities include a swimming pool, bar and lounge/ library, dining room and safari shop. Twice-daily game drives, bush walks and local Maasai village visits. Internet access in the safari shop. Cellphone access is limited but there’s a telephone in the manager’s office. Acknowledged by National Geographic as among the best 50 eco-lodges in the world.

Three camps in one; two camps with 12 suites, the third with six suites, accommodating 60 guests all up. Each suite has a private butler service and stunning views of the crater and surrounding mountains, as the camp sits right on the crater rim. Apart from the wealth of wildlife – and predators – Maasai graze their cattle there. Game viewing is excellent all year round, there’s telephone and internet access in all rooms. Guests are cautioned to take necessary precautions against malaria, but this didn’t stop the the camp being named Tanzania’s Leading Safari Lodge at the World Travel Awards.

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MALAYSIA

HOT& COOL YVONNE VAN DONGEN SWEATS IT OUT IN KUALA LUMPUR, ESCAPES TO THE HILLS AND DISCOVERS THE SHINY NEW CITY OF PUTRAJAYA.

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ost people know the Malaysian city where the urban pulse beats strongest is Kuala Lumpur, or KL, as it is affectionately known. In 150 years, KL has transformed itself from a few mining sheds straggling along a muddy river into a mushrooming metropolis with an ever-expanding vista of skyscrapers, apartments, malls and industrial areas linked by a tangle of roads and rail. This is the city we know. Chaotic, occasionally whimsical, noisy and above all, thriving. But few people know that virtually next door to KL is its antithesis. This alter ego is new, shiny, hushed and, most unlikely of all, planned. “Tourists don’t go there,” says my guide, Sherry Sharifah Richardson. “But I will take you.” She fair quivers with excitement at the prospect but then reins herself in. “We will go on your last day.” In the meantime I’m left to explore KL on foot. Stupid idea, of course. We all know only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. Well, any time of day in KL is barmy since Malaysia’s capital is always hot, but my hotel is so well located I can’t resist. I suppose I could stay in, since the Hotel Majestic is a destination in itself. Built in the 1930s, the hotel was refurbished in glamorous art deco style in 2012 trading heavily on its colonial heritage. The Majestic features a spa with lavender, rosemary and other English herbal treatments, a private butler for those in the older wing, free dry cleaning and – wonder of wonders – access to a chauffeur-driven car. The hotel even provides a phone to hail the car for the return journey. But its most popular claim to local fame is its high tea, which requires booking weeks in advance. The high tea is so generous it counts as dinner. While scoffing spring rolls or scones and jam, you also get the benefit of the tinkling keys of a grand piano played by an older jowly chap called Ooi Eow Jin, who is, in fact, a wellknown composer. For a little extra you could take tea in the dark, leathery library.

Morning tai chi at Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat

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But easily the most romantic spot in all Malaysia has to be the Majestic’s Orchid Conservatory. As the name suggests, the entire room is dedicated to these blooms and because Malaysia is so hot, it is cooled to accommodate them. Brrrr, shiver the locals. A miserable 22°C. I could have stayed in there all day. But after over-eating and being pummelled to perfection in the spa, I thought it time to take my plumped-up self on an adventure. And since the Hotel Majestic sits handily in the historical precinct opposite the gorgeous Mughal-inspired railway station, near Merdeka (Freedom) Square, I know I’m in the hood for some architectural treasures. The first treasure is relatively new. The National Mosque, built in 1965, is free to enter, barefoot, for those prepared to don a purple gown. Inside, air circulates through the lacy fretwork of the outside walls and visitors pad about on cool marble floors. The mosque features a 73-metre-high minaret and roof designed like an open umbrella, while cool pools and fountains beg to be jumped in. Reader, I do no such thing, but I would have liked to. Then it’s on to Merdeka Square – where Malaysia declared independence on 31 August 1957 – overlooked by the mock-Tudor Royal Selangor Club, built for high-ranking 19th-century Brits and now popular with the city’s lawyers. After popping in to the National History Museum for a quick run-down on the nation’s past, I am drawn across the road to the 100-year-old heritage building housing the National Textile Museum. Dimly lit rooms display ethnic costumes and fabrics, but best of all there’s a batik workshop on the deck and I’m invited to join. Of course, I do, because this is why I travel. The lure of the unexpected keeps me moving on. I make a helluva mess. Later that night drinks at the Trader’s Hotel provide another unexpected surprise – a full-length swimming pool in the Skybar on the 33rd floor. Yes, people have fallen in and, yes, there is a lifesaver on duty. It’s pretty damn cool, though, with a comfy seating area by the window offering a great view of the Petronas Towers. Built in 1996, they’re still the tallest twin towers in the world and surely the most beautiful. At night, the lit towers look like glittering icicles. Possibly a better place to see them is at Thirty8, the restaurant at the Grand Hyatt hotel. The windows are larger and have fewer panels. Also their lobster thermidor makes a juicy accompaniment. Just in case I’m missing something, a local Time Out has an issue practically tailor-made for a Kiwi on tour, since the theme is coffee. In fact, 15 whole pages are devoted to KL’s new love of the bean. Although KL already had kopitiams (coffee houses), they were eating-places as much as coffee haunts. Now coffee culture has taken hold with cool cafés such as Coffee 5 Cups and Three Little Birds Coffee. I imagine that within a few years Malaysians will be outgunning us for the best flat whites and ristrettos. They’re nothing if not early adaptors, or should I say, speedy adaptors. Just look at KL. Perhaps it’s the lure of air con in a hot climate, but Malaysians have taken to urban life with astonishing enthusiasm. Just about everyone in KL is a mall rat. It’s what you do in the weekends, as much for the meet-

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ups in cafés as shopping, since malls are not cheap. For bargains, people head to Chinatown or Little India, where knock-offs and knockdown prices are the norm. Malaysians also cherish a work-life balance. Luckily, two hours’ drive from Kuala Lumpur is a favourite luxury getaway. The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat has it all – tropical rainforest; geothermal hot springs; a hot springs lake, for goodness sakes; natural caves, waterfalls and 260 million-year-old limestone hills. As if that wasn’t magical enough, Banjaran also has a thermal steam cave, an ice bath and a Garra Rufa Doctor fish pool (the fish that nibble the dead cells from your feet). Plus, there’s a cave encrusted with amethyst and quartz crystals to facilitate healing, where you might have a reiki massage, and another kitted out for meditation with cushions and private corners. But all this looks decidedly ho-hum upon entering Jeff’s Cellar. At first sight, the bar and wine cellar is a shock. Once the eyes adjust to the dim lighting, the poor brain struggles to process

what is revealed, because the bar and wine cellar is actually inside a massive cave. Yes, a proper cave with stalactites and stalagmites but also a wooden floor, sparkly lights, seating, air conditioning, a bar, extensive wine selection and an observation deck where couples have exchanged vows in what must be an unforgettable otherworldly wedding. Everything about the Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat is lavish (like the vast bed and lush plunge pool inside each villa), but it’s also a health retreat so it offers wellness programmes, yoga, an extensive


LEFT: The Skybar on the 33rd floor of the Trader’s Hotel features a full-length swimming pool. BELOW: The art deco Majestic, built in 1932, was once KL’s grandest hotel.

ABOVE: The Majestic Spa’s signature herbal treatment, ‘Afternoon Tea’. RIGHT: The romantic Orchid Conservatory – a refreshingly cool spot for non-locals. BELOW: Jeff’s Cellar, a wine bar in a vast cave at Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat.

RIGHT & BELOW: The Majestic is famed for its generous high tea, taken to the accompaniment of a tinkling piano.

LEFT: The Petronas Towers – still the world’s tallest twin towers – look like glittering icicles at night from Thirty8 restaurant at the Grand Hyatt hotel.

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Eight bridges link Putrajaya’s lake island to the mainland.

The lakeside Perbadanan Putrajaya government complex in Putrajaya.

spa and, of course, elegant organic meals. This is five-star wellness. This is me. Once upon a time, folk took themselves off to the Cameron Highlands for a cool-weather cure. They still do, it seems and the Cameron Highlands Resort does a grand colonial job. But, alas, the once jungly hills are alive with the sound of logging, farming and quarrying. On the plus side, those devilishly cool temperatures do promote the flowering of lots of native orchids everywhere. So now it is my last day, which means – ta da – I’m finally allowed to visit KL’s secret city. It too is abbreviated. Putrajaya, which means “prince’s success”, is colloquially known as PJ is just 25 minutes’ drive on the way to the airport. The guide is probably more excited than I am. She’s inordinately proud of this new city where the nation’s government business is conducted. Building on the former oil palm plantations started in 1993 and is still underway. All the same, it’s clear PJ is everything KL is not, for PJ is planned to perfection. Designed to be an intelligent garden city, almost half of PJ is natural. Greenery and botanical gardens crisscross the city, as do wetlands and large bodies of water, the largest of which is Putrajaya Lake. Thanks to this lake, the temperature here is cooler than in KL. In the middle of the lake is an island where government ministry offices are situated. Visitors can cruise the lake on one of the many boat tours available. Eight bridges link the island to the mainland and each bridge is modelled on a famous bridge overseas. Lamp-posts, too, are designer-style, as are many of

Greenery and botanical gardens crisscross Putrajaya city.

the city’s buildings. Putrajaya’s mosques are specially beautiful, while the main street is more European boulevard than your typical Asian thoroughfare. But the most noticeable feature of PJ is how quiet it is compared to KL. It is even quieter at night since the only bars are in the hotels. Nightlife is not a strong point but great-value hotels are. PJ even has a similarly modern sister city nearby called Cyberjaya, built solely for the IT industry. Funnily enough, KL’s Time Out readers have been debating which is better – KL or PJ. PJ fans say their city doesn’t have the congestion of KL; detractors complain about the lack of air-conditioned pedestrian bridges linking folk to their favourite malls. Some like PJ’s old-fashioned charm. KL fans extol their city’s convenience. PJ folk rarely go to KL; KL folk rarely make it to PJ. Which is better? Hard to say. But both are definitely worth seeing. Go and make up your own mind. Yvonne van Dongen travelled to Kuala Lumpur courtesy of Malaysia Airlines and Tourism Malaysia.

Putra Mosque, completed in 1999, sits beside Putrajaya Lake.

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CONCIERGE

SPOTLIGHT ON

AMANRESORTS A COLLECTION OF 26 EXCEPTIONAL PROPERTIES AROUND THE GLOBE. BY THOMAS HYDE. PHOTOS AMANRESORTS.

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manresorts has captured our attention for its properties’ refined style, sophistication and grace, not to mention their exotic locations. Each of the group’s 26 resorts offers a unique experience – so much so we were moved to devote this edition of Concierge to a choice selection of the group’s properties. Their story in brief is this: Adrian Zecha, the son of Indonesian and Czech parents, was a magazine publisher and co-founder of Regent International Hotels when, while walking along a beach in Thailand one day, he came across a neglected coconut plantation he thought he could put to better use. Amanpuri, the first Amanresort, was conceived and opened on that site in 1988. It is fair to say Mr Zecha and his associates have not looked back since, so we thought you might be keen to learn more about Amanresorts, too. After all, this is a collection of properties widely recognised for their exceptional service; service founded on limiting the number of rooms, each of which reflects it setting while ensuring exclusivity. For Amanresorts, the notion that “small is beautiful” is taken seriously. Learn more at www.amanresorts.com

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AMANPURI THAILAND The original property built by founder Adrain Zecha, it opened in 1988, but it remains one of the most intimate resorts in the group and continues to provide its very high level of service. It was recently named by the Hurun Report (China’s Rich List) as one of the best hotels in the world with fewer than 50 rooms. Amanpuri (“peaceful place”) has 40 rooms (called “pavilions” here) with private outdoor terraces overlooking the Andaman Sea. A personalised chef and butler are assigned to every room and while dining options include The Restaurant, specialising in Italian cuisine, or The Terrace (classic Thai and European dishes), in-room private dining is most popular. All rooms have spacious living quarters and bedrooms, with outdoor sun deck and dining balcony attached, which, given the private chef and the view, may be why guests commonly choose to eat in. But don’t lock yourself away. Various water sports are available from the Beach Club; the floodlit tennis courts are fun after dark, and apart from a fitness centre with a 20-metre lap pool, if you cannot ignore email, there’s Wi-Fi throughout the resort. We would be amiss if we did not note that Amanpuri also has a range of villas interspersed throughout the resort’s coconut plantation, each from two to six bedrooms and most with sea views. The resort is a 30-minute drive from Phuket.

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AMANKORA BHUTAN Opened in 2004, Amankora is actually a guided tour of lodges in the Kingdom of Bhutan. Guests move among different sites experiencing the extraordinary beauty of the country’s mountain peaks and valleys. Journeys are tailored to suit each guest but are generally organised to include stops at five different locations that together form a circular pilgrimage. Treks are commonly four days long but for the extremely ambitious there’s a 42-day Snowman’s Trek that is sometimes referred to as the “most difficult trek in the world”. The Aman lodge at Punakha, Bhutan’s capital for 300 years until Thimphu took over the role in 1955, has more than 20 Buddhist temples, the largest being the monks’ Great Assembly Hall. Other stops include Thimphu, site of the National Textile Museum, Folk Heritage Museum and a bustling market. Visitors commonly take time there to pick up Himalayan jewellery. The journey concludes at Paro, in the Paro Valley (elevation: 2,250m), known for its heritage monasteries including the 8th-century Taktsang (“Tiger’s Nest”), built on a cliff 2,950m above the valley floor. The trek up is made with the help of horses, mules and donkeys.

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AMANSARA CAMBODIA Close to the Angkor Wat World Heritage Site, Amansara is a former royal guest house. This multi-award-winning 24-suite hotel, set amid tropical gardens, is perfect for learning first-hand the story of Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world. The hotel was once the retreat of former ruler King Sihanouk. It was built by the French in 1962 to accommodate visitors to the royal residence, among them French President Charles de Gaulle, Jacqueline Kennedy and actor Peter O’Toole, who stayed here while filming Lord Jim. The place was closed in the 1970s thanks to the emergence of the brutal, repressive Khmer Rouge, but 20 years later it was

converted to a 12-suite compound and finally taken over by Amanresorts in 2002. The company set about rebuilding and restoring the property from original photos. Twelve new pool suites and a spa were added in 2006. Today, each suite comes with all the bells and whistles: a combined sleeping and living area, sofa and dining table, kingsize bed, twin vanities, a deep, stand-alone bathtub and separate shower in the bathroom and floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open into a private garden where guests commonly enjoy a drink at the end of the day. The guided tour of Angkor Wat is commonly followed the next day by a tour of Siem Reap, the “cultural capital” of Cambodia.

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AMANOI VIETNAM Vietnam, we confess, has become one of our favourite Southeast Asian destinations. We love the food and the beaches, but mostly we love the people, who, remarkably, regained their equilibrium after decades of war. Speaking of those beaches, Amanoi is a tranquil retreat with a lovely white-sand beach on its doorstep at Vinh Hy Bay, about 55km south of Cam Ranh Bay. The region is popular for is spectacular coastline and mountain ranges and, near the sea, its dramatic sand dunes. Amanoi is found inside Nui Chua National Park on a promontory overlooking the beautiful bay. Vinh Hy Bay is a marine reserve that adjoins the national park. Its coral reefs make for unique snorkelling adventures. Accommodation includes 31 rooms, (or pavilions) of different types depending on the view (e.g. mountains or ocean). Most rooms have private pools. Five villas with sea views on one hillside are a blend of the modern and traditional Vietnamese architecture. Each villa consists of four or five bedrooms, a living and dining area and a large private swimming pool. A live-in housekeeper and cook meet all guests’ needs; they will even prepare traditional Vietnamese food in your villa’s kitchen, as you watch and learn.

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AMANGALLA SRI LANKA We do not hear or read a lot about Sri Lanka, but Amangalla, 30km north of Colombo, is without question the best place to stay in a country recovering from a bitter war in the far north and a tragic tsunami that devastated its east coast. The resort sits within the 17th-century Galle Fort. Together with its 200-year-old garden, it offers 36 hectares of peace and quiet. Outside the walls are the bustling, narrow streets of the old town, which recall Sri Lanka’s Dutch and British colonial legacy. The streets invariably lead to a park where locals fly kites and play cricket and a sea wall and shoreline that express the town’s maritime story. Amangalla is a tranquil retreat from which guests can explore the history of Galle Fort and Galle, the capital city of Sri Lanka’s southern province, known for its production of lace, ebony and polished gems.

Each of the hotel’s 30 rooms (four categories) evoke the region’s colonial past with antiques, mahogany trimmings and rattan furnishings, four-poster beds and polished Burmese teak floors. The bathrooms have twin vanities, free-standing tubs and shower rooms. There are nine rooms on the ground level with garden views, 10 face the fort ramparts and four Garden Wing Chambers (three with balconies and one with a twin porch) overlook the treetops of the resort garden. Seven suites look out onto rubber trees and the harbour. All Aman resorts take pride in their award-winning spas, but the spa here may be the best. The hotel’s holistic spa, The Baths, tailors treatments to the specific needs and requests of each guest. Hydrotherapy pools, saunas and steam rooms provide a haven for personal rejuvenation. Earlier this year, one major international travel magazine declared The Baths the best spa in Asia for creating a sense of calm.

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AMANFAYUA CHINA You can fly from Hong Kong, Singapore or Bangkok to Hangzhou, the nearest international airport to this resort. Better still, spend two or three nights in bustling Shanghai and then take the high-speed bullet train that covers the 150km to Hangzhou in just 45 minutes. Whichever way you go, Amanfayua, a boutique hotel with 47 traditional but refurbished dwellings – each with private courtyard – is unique. Yes, it can be a bit tedious getting there, but from our experience, travelling in China is compelling no matter where one happens to be or how one got there. A central walkway connects all guest rooms to the three restaurants, Tea House and spa. Bordering the property is a stream that was once the focal point of village life, where the villagers would gather in the late afternoon to bathe and exchange gossip after a day in the tea fields. Natural flora surrounding the resort is a combination of tea bushes, bamboo and indigenous trees like magnolia, horse chestnut and ash. And once here it’s like drifting back in time, albeit with all the modern trimmings of a five-star resort. Some of the guest dwellings are more than 100 years old although the Hangzhou Bureau of Landscape and Cultural Relics set about restoring them before they were handed over to Amanresorts in 2008. West Lake, a signature landmark, is surrounded by verdant hills and lotus blossom trees. The lake walkway reveals a history of association with Chinese scholars, writers and artists, which is probably why the lake was recently added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

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AMANGANI USA Located near the high-end resort town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Amangani is flanked by the Snake River and the Teton mountains (a northern extension of the Rockies) that together form one of America’s most spectacular landscapes. For eye-popping scenery, the region rates alongside the Grand Canyon. Jackson Hole is a gateway to Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, two of America’s finest wildlife refuges. The region is equally popular in summer and winter. Summer activities – from wildlife safaris and hiking to mountain biking and fishing on the Snake River – extend well into autumn, when fall colours attract visitors from all over the world.

A Condé Nast Traveler reader’s survey voted Amangani the top ski hotel in North America, a considerable bouquet, given the number of top-notch ski resorts there. But aside from downhill and cross-country skiing, you can go snowmobiling, snowshoeing (to track winter wildlife such as moose, elk and coyote) and dogsledding. Amangani also arranges horse-drawn sleigh rides through the National Elk Refuge. Apart from the compelling outdoor activities on its doorstep, Amagani has one of the best restaurants in the region, whatever the season. The Grill is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Its redwood-panelled walls, wood-burning fireplace and mountain views provide a unique ambience for classic American cuisine.

The Fullerton Bay hotel’s signature Lobster laksa dish.

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AMANZOE GREECE The Peloponnese is the large peninsula of southern Greece, with the Gulf of Corinth to the north. Named for the founder of the Olympic Games, King Pelops, the peninsula’s rocky, beach-fringed fingers reach into the azure waters of the Aegean Sea. The peninsula has long been a favoured weekend and holiday destination for Athenians due to its proximity to Greece’s capital, its mild climate and peaceful scenery. This is where you’ll find Amanzoe, on a hilltop close to the town of Porto Heli, a centre known for its archaeological sites. If you appreciate ancient things you’ll enjoy visiting the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus, the legendary citadel of Mycenae and the Mycenaean cemetery of Dendra, the citadel of Tirynth and its dam (constructed around the 12th century BC!) and the early Bronze Age settlement of Lerna at Mili. Amanzoe has 38 suites, each with a private pool, an award-winning spa, views of the Peloponnese countryside and coastline, and a private beach club for shopping and more sightseeing. Each suite is entered through a door built into a walled courtyard. Beds are positioned in a marble-walled alcove that, with a living area and bathroom, opens onto a terrace shaded by a pergola. Each suite has views of the Aegean Sea and countryside. Earlier this year Amanzoe was named a Grand Award winner by Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report.

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AMANRUYA TURKEY Two years ago, Amanruya was declared Best European Resort by the authoritative Gallivanter’s Guide. Little has changed since. Sitting on the Aegean coast about 20 minutes north of Bodrum, Amanruya is nestled among pine forest and olive groves that overlook a jewel of a bay and the Aegean Sea. Amanruya has 36 Pool Terrace Cottages of Mediterranean and Ottoman design, each with a private garden and pool. In all manner of ways, the cottages are designed to be a home away from home. Each covers 75 square metres and includes a four-poster bed, a stylish living and dining area and a traditional Turkish charcoal fireplace. Handmade rugs from Istanbul provide a sense of Turkish opulence. Outside,

the gardens have pergolas with large cushioned daybeds and wooden chaise longues with shade umbrellas. But don’t take it from us. One guest reports to TripAdvisor: “My wife and I have never in our wildest dreams ever hoped to enjoy such an experience of absolute peace and joy. From the moment you are welcomed by the incredible staff, to the unfolding of the remarkable property, to the experience of your private stone cottage oasis, you fall under the trance of this place.” Milas-Bodrum International Airport is about 40km from the resort but, knowing you’re coming, a complimentary car will be waiting for you.

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AMAN CANAL GRANDE ITALY A grand trompe-l’oeil staircase, a rococo ballroom with gilt mirrors, terrazzo floors and windows overlooking the Grand Canal – the Venice palazzo housing Aman Canal Grande was built in 1550 and retains much of its original style, though with modern touches. Originally built by the wealthy Coccina family, the palace was sold in 1718 after the death of Francesco Coccina, the family’s last descendant. The new owners employed a leading Italian painter of the time to decorate rooms with ceiling frescoes that remain today. The hotel was later bought by the Brandolini family, who set about an ambitious renovation,

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handing over all internal decoration to the designer Michelangelo Guggenheim, a leading exponent of the neo-renaissance and rococo styles. He turned it into one of the most significant examples of those movements in Venice, which guests of Aman Canal Grande can still enjoy today. The hotel is located close to the Rialto Bridge (where the souvenirs are as cheap as ever). It has just 24 guest rooms that reflect past periods of Venetian art and architecture, while more contemporary furnishings decorate living and bedroom spaces. Four categories of rooms are differentiated by design and floor area. The hotel’s recent refurbishment has included restoration of the original frescoes, murals and sculptures. It reopened a year ago under the Amanresorts banner.

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Photo: Michael Bradley

COOKING FOR A CAUSE BY MICHAL MCKAY.

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here’s no doubt cooking has magical qualities – often instant! The sense of ritual, of celebrating our everyday good fortune by sitting down to nourish the body provides balance and a basis for being. Not forgetting the chance for great conversation and good company. What better way then to foster a good cause than over a tasty dish or two? With this in mind, the gathering together of 10 high-profile chefs would have to bear all the hallmarks of success. It’s the inspired rationale behind Festive Entertaining, a concept developed by the World Child Cancer Charitable Trust (WCCCT) when funds were needed to help Pacific Islands children with cancer. Almost 200,000 children around the world are diagnosed with cancer every year. Here in New Zealand, those children have an 80 per cent chance of survival. But in Pacific islands like Tonga, Fiji and Samoa, fewer than one in five survive. Cancer is the greatest cause of children’s deaths in the Pacific. Under the auspices of the WCCCT, funds raised by the charity go towards providing the best possible treatment and care to help reverse these statistics by making training in the latest treatments available for specialists from the islands. Festive Entertaining is a house tour with a difference. On Friday 7 November this year 10 Aucklanders will open the doors of their beautiful houses. Inside, entertaining areas will have been decorated in sumptuous style by talented stylists whose inspiration is the festive season. And in the kitchens – the hub of all family life and the heartbeat of this event – 10 of Auckland’s top

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chefs and cooks will create delicious dishes designed specifically for a holiday season gathering of friends and family. These food celebrities will chat about their favourite recipes and offer a taste (for a gold coin) while disclosing their best-kept culinary secrets, with a recipe at hand as a guide. Along with global award winning chef Robert Oliver as WCCCT Ambassador, look for the likes of Michael Meredith, from Meredith’s (as a Samoan he is a complete convert to the cause), whose cooking has won him many awards and scholarships (including Metro’s Supreme Winner and the Lewisham Award for Outstanding Chef); Nic Watt, of Masu, whose superb Japanese cuisine (pictured above) has won the Restaurant of the Year Supreme Award after six short months of operation; Sarah Conway, of Ponsonby Road Bistro, another multi-award-winner (including Runner-up to Cuisine Restaurant of the Year); Simon Hope, of Cool Food, whose delectable café fare has people flocking; Javier Carmona, head chef from the brilliant Mexico chain; Rebecca Smidt and Dariush Lolaiy, the husband-and-wife team from highly acclaimed game restaurant Cazador; sommelier Sven Nielsen, from Molten, also a multiaward-winner; Scott Brown, from FishSmith, whose reputation at Lava was the prelude to opening his own place; Felicity O’Driscoll, from Cook the Books cookbook shop; and Luca Villari, co-owner of the late Eden Cloakroom and well-known food writer. This gathering of celebrity chefs and cooks will offer not only their pearls of gastronomic wisdom and glorious food but the opportunity for the WCCCT to ensure their success rate for curing Pacific children with cancer (in Samoa alone it has been 50 per cent) will continue. Your Home & Garden Festive Home Tour, Friday 7 November, 10am-4pm. Tickets $65 from ticketek.co.nz. Supported by Your Home & Garden magazine in association with Resene. All proceeds go to the WCCCT cause.


WRAITH And the world stood still

Introducing Wraith – the most dynamic Rolls-Royce in history. Experience the power, style and drama for yourself.

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World Magazine - issue 30  

Issue 30 of World Magazine. World is about presenting high-quality local and international content, along with premium advertising to high-e...

World Magazine - issue 30  

Issue 30 of World Magazine. World is about presenting high-quality local and international content, along with premium advertising to high-e...

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