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or as long as anyone can remember, the full moon has been steeped in mystery and legend. It even served Portuguese seafarers as an aid to navigation on the open sea. Its influence on coastal shipping was even more important at new and full moon when high tides are exceptionally high and low tides exceptionally low. Tidal currents have left many a proud traveller/sailor stranded in the shallows. Having a precise idea of the moon phases is still vital for nautical purposes. The moon exercises magical powers of attraction not only on the worldâ€™s oceans but also on us human beings. Many believe it to have an influence over them and numerous cultures hold celebrations during the nights of the full moon. Its fascinating character was the inspiration for the master watchmakers at IWC who developed the Portuguese Perpetual
Calendar. For it shows the course of the moon in a separate display, with mirror reflections for the northern and southern hemispheres. Even if the moon on this miniature stage measures a mere five
millimetres, or about 700 million times less than in reality, it deviates from the moonâ€™s actual progress by just twelve seconds in a given lunar period. With the
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help of the countdown display, it is an easy matter to read the exact number of days remaining before the next full moon. The 18-carat red gold case houses other sophisticated complications, such as the mechanically programmed perpetual calendar, which, apart from the date, day and month, also shows the year in four digits. The movement, which has a Pellaton automatic winding system, also features a seven-day power reserve. For IWC, time is more than a series of figures: it is a rhythm. Like the ebb and flow of the tides. Like the waxing and waning of the moon. Like the beating of our hearts. IWC watches transform the abstract notion of time into a sensory experience. And as complicated as our watches may be, the secret of their success is quite simple: they are among the best mechanical timepieces in the world. IWC. Engineered for men.
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I was away cruising and loved it. I’m talking about a recent trip aboard Crystal Symphony from Auckland to Wellington. The best way to describe the onboard experience is to imagine you’re a guest at a fabulous ﬁve-day wedding with luxury accommodation included. Apart from the ﬁne food and drink, you meet some really interesting people. About a year ago I was aboard the very same ship and met, amongst others, former astronaut Rusty Schweickart and golf legend Billy Casper. You don’t often get an opportunity to have a one-onone conversation with such interesting people, but cruising is one way to do it. Sailing out of Auckland this time was magical – a 6pm departure on a perfect summer evening. Driving around Auckland harbour is one thing, but the experience of looking back at the city from the top deck of a cruise ship is something else altogether. I wondered what my fellow international cruisers would think of their New Zealand experience, so I made a point of asking the question whenever possible. In every case their comments were positive; things we take for granted, they loved. I live 45 minutes
north of Auckland in Matakana Coast Wine Country. Some of the passengers I met had spent their only day in Auckland touring Matakana and having lunch at Brick Bay. And the way they talked about it made me think: maybe we do live in paradise! Napier was another port of call passengers fell in love with. A fleet of classic cars met the ship, their drivers dressed art decostyle. Golfers were whisked off to play Cape Kidnappers. Others went wine tasting at Black Barn Vineyards. One American couple were off on a gourmet food and wine experience. I left the ship in Wellington with my new-found friends, who were off to see what I consider the best New Zealand has to offer: South Island delights such as Picton, Akaroa, Milford Sound and Fiordland. Thanks to that cruise, I now see New Zealand in a completely new light. If I have tempted any readers to consider a cruise, turn to page 130 and our “Seascape” section, where we recommend a number of European cruise itineraries for later in the year. We also offer our top 20 tips for cruisers on page 138. Our next issue will be our 25th and we’ve got some great features planned. Enjoy.
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Creative Director ~ Mark Llewellyn Features Editor ~ Thomas Hyde Travel Editor ~ Patrick Smith Wine and Food Editor ~ John Hawkesby Timepiece Editor ~ Bani McSpedden Motoring Editor ~ David Linklater Boating Editor ~ Jeni Bone Proofreader ~ Frances Chan Prepress ~ Debbie Curle Production Manager ~ Sara Hirst
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 Magazines: General Manager – Lynley Belton, Circulation/Research – Liz Badenhorst. Subscriptions: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +64 9 926 9127. ISSN - 1176 9076 © 2013 Fairfax New Zealand Limited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. Website: www.worldmagazine.co.nz
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Her Majesty – Following last year’s Diamond Jubilee, a lavish book pays tribute to the life of Queen Elizabeth II.
Days of Dior – The themes, places, colours and eras that have inﬂuenced the growth of an iconic fashion brand.
Trend Spotters – Three leading experts offer their views on what’s new in the world of interior design and décor.
Monet’s Garden – Melbourne’s the place to catch a major exhibition of the great French Impressionist’s work this winter.
Tales on a Trunk – Eleven French writers embrace a single theme: Louis Vuitton’s famous travel trunk.
Colour My World –Brilliant jewellery to light up autumn. Or any other season.
Watch Words – Our quick guide to the terminology of time.
True Wristocrats – Bani McSpedden reports from the ﬁrst of the year’s watch fairs in Geneva on the latest temptations in time.
e v e i h c a n e h t , ﬁr believe Brent Marris’ vision was to create a vineyard property in Marlborough’s Waihopai Valley that would produce world-leading wines. In just a few years, Marisco Vineyards has grown from bare earth to achieving accolades - in spades. According to Brent, the dream has only just begun… 33 Gold Medals 7 Trophies Winery of the Year Distribution in 13 Countries Worldwide and all in just 5 short years
HOOKMVNPG0213LL PHOTOGRAPHY: CHRISTOPHER DAVID THOMPSON
Seduced By the Bay – John Hawkesby traces the birth of his career as a wine bon vivant to a Hawke’s Bay cellar door.
Ten @ the Top – A great cocktail with a scintillating view: World Magazine scouts the globe for the best sky-high bars.
Luke’s Gospel – It’s fun dining at celebrity chef Luke Mangan’s new Gold Coast restaurant, Salt grill.
Legends of Style and Speed – Ten fast, beautiful cars that have helped shape deﬁne what’s meant by the word ‘supercar’.
Fresh Wheels – Fast, stylish, economical, innovative: David Linklater reviews the latest crop of headturning autos.
Superyacht to Go –Luxury yacht charters offer the afﬂuent traveller a mega-rich holiday lifestyle.
Seascape – Our regular series on cruising, this time with European and Mediterranean itineraries for 2013 in mind.
Cruise Mode – Thinking of taking a ﬁrst cruise? We offer 20 tips for the perfect holiday aﬂoat.
New York Heartbeat – Legendary Australian photographer Peter Lik captures the soul of America’s most exciting city.
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Cold Comfort – Todd Pitock survives a night of chilly bliss at Quebec’s Hotel de Glace.
Barefoot Chic – Dedon furniture founder Bobby Dekeyser’s exclusive eco retreat in the Philippines.
Heaven on Earth – John Hawkesby is not the ﬁrst travel writer to fall in love with the Indian Ocean paradise of the Seychelles.
Mountain High – Is it the scenery or the pure Himalayan air that makes the people of remote West Sikkim so happy?
Past Perfect –Rangoon has become Yangon, but its colonial past still echoes through Myanmar’s fascinating capital city.
Return to Singapore – Don Hope notes how 20 years have changed the face of the place he once called home..
Concierge – A WORLD of exceptional accommodation – focusing this time on New Zealand lodges and lodgings.
My World – Martin Snedden, ex-Black Cap and Rugby World Cup supremo, now tourism industry CEO, on life’s detours.
MAJESTY Last yearâ€™s Diamond Jubilee inspired the publication of a lavish book paying tribute to the life of Queen Elizabeth II.
rowned 60 years ago, there is no other monarch like her and none that have led a life quite like hers. If there is any doubt about that, it’s put to rest by the publication of an impressive book that brings together the story of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, in photographs, many of them not seen until now. Entitled simply, Her Majesty, this beautifully presented 360-page work from German publishers Taschen is packed with photographs taken by the likes of Cecil Beaton, Dorothy Wilding, Lord Snowdon, Wolfgang Tillmans and Annie Leibovitz. The photos cover virtually every phase of the Queen’s reign, from meetings with heads of state and celebrities to her extensive travels throughout the world engaging with a remarkable variety of people and cultures. Perhaps the most fascinating images are not those taken during official engagements, however, but of the Queen and her family enjoying more private, unofficial moments. The photographs are sourced from multiple archives in the UK, Europe and the US and cover every aspect of her reign, from the early years to royal tours and weddings, through her Silver Jubilee in 1977 to her Diamond Jubilee last year: history, glamour and culture embodied in a life the
Opposite page: At the 16th/5th Royal Lancers’ Ball, Hyde Park Hotel, 1959. Photo: Reginald Davis. © Rex USA. Right: Cecil Beaton photograph of the Queen at Buckingham Palace, 1955. © Victoria & Albert Museum, London. World Magazine
likes of which we may never see again. The book – weighing in at 5kg – opens with a brief introduction by Christopher Warwick, an acknowledged authority on royal history. This is followed by a fourpage foldout of British royal genealogy from Queen Victoria to the current Queen’s grandson, Prince William, the Duke of Cornwall. Photos are captioned in English, German and French. A closing section of the book is a complete chronology of her official visits, with a touch of trivia included. On her ﬁrst visit the US, for instance, one Chicago newspaper described her as: “A living doll.” The book is distributed by New Holland Publishers in New Zealand and by Fuse Group in Australia. W
Deputising for her father, King George VI, Princess Elizabeth takes the salute for the ﬁrst time at the Trooping of the Colour in 1950. © Bettmann/Corbis.
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DAYS OF DIOR Following the opening of Christian Dior’s newest ﬂagship store in Sydney, World Magazine looks at the themes, places, colours and eras that have inﬂuenced the growth of this iconic fashion brand.
he garden that sheltered my childhood” was the description Christian Dior gave of the garden at his childhood home in Granville, on the Normandy coast. His mother was passionate about ﬂowers. Christian took after her, revelling in their forms, colours and poetry. He knew all the flowers and their Latin names by heart. When he became a couturier, he dreamed of a world inhabited by “ﬂower-women” with “soft shoulders, an ample bust, a tightly nipped waist and a skirt as wide as a corolla”. Calyxes, petals, pistils and stamens were reproduced in meticulous detail on evening gowns. From 1947 to 1957, more than 50 dresses or outfits were named after roses, his favourite ﬂower. He made lily of the valley, which was his lucky flower, the heart note of a perfume and the inspiration for a legendary dress named Muguet. Between collections, he liked to recharge his batteries in the gardens of his homes in Milly-la-Forêt, near Fontainebleau, and Montauroux, in the South of France. Dior was a couturier-perfumer and would only consider the highest-quality ﬂowers for his perfumes. From Yves Saint Laurent to Raf Simons, his successors have all stayed true to his floral language, each creating exquisite dresses for flower-women of their own. In tribute to Christian Dior, the perfume J’adore was composed as a “ﬂoral bouquet”.
Clockwise from top left: Mr Christian Dior. © 1989 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents; Miss Dior dress, Spring-Summer 1961 Haute Couture collection. Christian Dior by Marc Bohan; French poster for the ﬁlm Stage Fright (1950). Image © TCD
Photo: Patrick Demarchelier
Photo Patrick Demarchelier
Photo Patrick Demarchelier
Pink, Red, Gold Christian Dior grew up in a pink house, the Villa Les Rhumbs, in Granville. He associated its colour with the happiness of childhood, but it was also related to the property’s rose garden, ﬁlled with colours from pink to red. When Dior became a couturier these feminine colours became a constant source of inspiration: pink for tender youth, romanticism, blossoming beauty and delicate elegance; red for life, boldness, the fresh impertinence that Dior loved. Year after year, Christian Dior explored every shade and hue of pink and red with the passion of an artist. Raf Simons’ creation for the Autumn-Winter 2012-13 Haute Couture collection includes a pure pale-pink wool crepe day dress with a strikingly modern décolleté bustier. Dior also loved gold. It reminded him of the splendours of Versailles. Gold was present in the creations of the House of Dior from the start. It was the ultimate precious colour for Dior, gracing evening gowns, footwear, and amphora-shaped and ﬁnely gilded bottles. For the great couturier, gold was more than a precious colour, he felt it gave women a luminous aura and polished reﬁnement. The Aladdin outﬁt from the Autumn-Winter 1947-48 collection, in champagne-gold silk, the Pactole cocktail dress from Autumn-Winter 1949-50, the Pépite dress in the Autumn-Winter 1952-53 collection – all these outfits continued the House of Dior’s inspired work, as would the dress Charlize Theron wore in Dior’s 2011 J’adore perfume ad campaign. Gold is an integral part of Dior heritage and history. Year after year it has lit up the collections and the golden Hall of Mirrors in Versailles was the lavish setting for the ﬁlm of the Autumn-Winter 2012-13 collection.
Far left: “Dior Red” cashmere “Bar” coat, Autumn-Winter 2012 Haute Couture collection. Christian Dior by Raf Simons. Above left: Gourah ensemble, Autumn-Winter 1952 Haute Couture collection, Proﬁlée line. Below left: Classique suit, Autumn-Winter 1954 Haute Couture collection, H line.
Photo Patrick Demarchelier
Marie-Antoinette A character who returned time and again to the couturier’s imagination was the Queen of France, Marie-Antoinette, who had a passion for the decorative arts, an avant-garde spirit, a love of gardens and a truly regal poise. The Fontanges bow, a key emblem of the House of Dior, recalls the decorations on the furniture made by Riesener, Marie-Antoinette’s cabinetmaker. The famous Dior salons in which the collections were presented were also ﬁtted with 18th-century-style furniture. The couturier was impressed by the abundant ﬁnery of Marie-Antoinette’s century. Ball gowns, evening gowns, jewels and bodices, amphora-shaped bottles and precious perfumes: Dior’s creations seem inspired by the splendour of Versailles; a certain notion of French luxury that was born during this extravagant century. As a man who loved elegance, luxurious items and well-made, handcrafted pieces, Christian Dior was particularly taken by the 18th century. When he founded his couture House, he imagined an atmosphere of reﬁned, elegant splendour in clean lines infused with 18th-century chic. The Line For Christian Dior, a dress is a temporary architecture designed to exalt the proportions of the female body. The silhouettes in the Corolle or En 8 lines were “moulded” to the shape of the female body to better stylise its curves, skirts were lengthened and waists tightly nipped. For the Bar jacket, the couturier had the bright idea of “detaching” the hips from the body; Carmel Snow, editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar, exclaimed: “Your dresses have such a World Magazine
28 Photo: Patrick Demarchelier
new look!”, launching the expression that named this new style. Then came ZigZag, with the ﬂowing lines of a sketch, Envol, Ailée, Verticale, Oblique, Sinueuse, Proﬁlée, Tulipe, H, A, Y and more. In the space of 10 years, Christian Dior invented many of the lines that have written the history of fashion. Each of his successors has upheld his special vision and values with their own personality and talent. In the Autumn-Winter 2012-13 Haute Couture collection, Raf Simons returns to the very essence of Christian Dior’s vision: the line, pure and strong.
Photo: Patrick Demarchelier
Les Parisiennes Dior is Paris and Paris Dior. From 1947, the world saw Christian Dior’s collections as the ultimate symbol of the Parisian lady, with her inimitable chic and personality. Dior designed a complete wardrobe for every moment in the day. He invented the “little dress” for cocktail time. Not quite a day dress, nor a full-blown evening outﬁt, the cocktail dress had to be able to shift from one mode to the other, making it a favourite among modern women. The couturier recommended a bustier model or a deep décolleté worn with a bolero. It had to be a dark colour: black, if possible. “A little black dress is an essential item in any woman’s wardrobe,” he stated – words that still ring true. Today’s Parisienne still demands the elegance that allows her to move smoothly from one place or atmosphere to the next. Les Ateliers Located on the fourth and ﬁfth ﬂoors of the Avenue Montaigne mansion in Paris, which has been their home since the House was ﬁrst founded, the haute couture ateliers are the heart of the House of Dior. Every season, they take Christian Dior’s dream to new limits to achieve his dearest wish: to make women Clockwise from top left: Delphine dress, Autumn-Winter 1956 Haute Couture collection, Aimant line; Coquine dress, Autumn-Winter 1959 Haute Couture collection, Christian Dior by Yves Saint Laurent; Natalie Portman is among the stars to have appeared in Dior campaigns; this one for Miss Dior fragrance.
Photo: Tim Walker for Parfums Christian Dior
more beautiful than ever before. The creations produced in the ateliers, where traditional techniques meet state-of-the-art modernity, are genuine works of art that require up to 1,000 hours of labour. The Flou (dressmaking) and Tailleur (tailoring) ateliers are each headed by a “ﬁrst hand”, supported by two “seconds” and dress designers. As soon as the couturier – once Christian Dior, now Raf Simons – submits the ﬁrst sketches, a long process ensues that will lead to the perfect dress. First, a white toile, or sample garment, is prepared, fitted, commented on and then corrected by the couturier. Then a second is made and the fabrics are selected. Stars in Dior When Christian Dior presented his ﬁrst collection, he stunned the world of fashion. He saw himself as a magician, turning women’s lives into a world of fantasy. His one quest was to highlight women’s beauty and enhance their ﬁgures to make them lovelier than ever. The greatest actresses of Hollywood’s golden age identified with a vision that he shared with the world of film. Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner and Rita Hayworth put themselves in Dior’s hands. The House of Dior has always been close to these ambassadors of glamour, from Lauren Bacall to Brigitte Bardot, Grace Kelly to Lady Diana. Today, Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, Marion Cotillard and Ni Ni are among the stars in the Dior constellation. World Magazine
Dior in Sydney Christian Dior opened its ﬁrst Australian ﬂagship boutique on the corner of Castlereagh and King streets at the beginning of February. Until this year, Sydney shoppers have been able to buy Dior accessories only from concession stores in David Jones and DFS Galleria. Now there’s a standalone full-category, large-format Christian Dior store in the heart of Australia’s most vibrant city. The boutique’s façade reflects traditional Parisian architecture, while the interior borrows the design concept of Dior’s legendary boutique on 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris. A mix of modern elements and 18th-century detailing create a luxurious environment reminiscent of an elegant Parisian apartment. Through the entrance on Castlereagh Street, a walkway of chic mirrored French windows reveals a ground floor devoted to Dior’s complete range of bags and accessories. The classic limestone flooring bears the House’s trademark cannage pattern, complementing grey silk carpets and Louis XVI medallion chairs. A staircase with a wrought-iron balustrade sweeps past plasma screens – showing digital art by Oyoram – to the ﬁrst ﬂoor and the ready-to-wear salon. Also on this ﬂoor are a dedicated shoe salon and a ﬁne jewellery and timepieces salon featuring sleek, dark wall panelling and discreet LED lighting. A private salon on its own ﬂoor, accessible only by lift, offers an extra level of service and attention. With oak parquet ﬂooring and opulent seating, it’s an intimate space offering customers a highly exclusive experience. The Sydney boutique is currently showcasing two limitededition products designed especially to celebrate the store’s recent opening: the iconic Lady Dior bag and a silk duchess satin “roses” printed dress. Inspired from the Summer 2013 ready-to-wear fashion show in a new interpretation by Raf Simons, the two pieces are presented in a unique shade of light pink – a tribute to the Dior House history and values. Men, meanwhile, can now experience the Dior Homme universe in Australia with a dedicated Dior Homme boutique. The boutique, with its own entrance from King Street and spanning two levels, offers the complete men’s collections, including suits, sportswear, denim, leather goods, accessories, footwear and watches. W
Photos: Christian Dior.
Inside Dior’s ﬁrst Australian ﬂagship boutique in Sydney’s CBD. The interior borrows the design concept of Dior’s legendary boutique on 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris.
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TREND SPOTTERS What’s new in interior design and décor? To ﬁnd out, Thomas Hyde talks to three leading experts.
ur timing was good. When we turned up at her Auckland showroom, Debbie Cavit, of Cavit & Co., had just returned from her annual trip to the Maison&Object show in Paris. Cavit & Co have two showrooms in New Zealand, the second in Arrowtown. Ralph Lauren Home, Baker, McGuire, Frette, Baxter and Lalique are among her world-leading brands. Debbie attends the Paris show twice a year, as she has done for more than 20 years. She also attends the Highpoint Furniture Fair in North Carolina, the largest furniture fair in the world. So who better to ask about current trends in interior design and décor? “I’ve been in this business for 25 years,” she says, “and have always set out to ﬁnd the best of the best. I go to the furniture fairs and 99 per cent of it I don’t want. What I do want is only the best brands and then only the best from that brand, a small percentage of their total collection. So for our clients who are looking for the best of the best in furniture, bed linen, crystal, lighting, ﬂoor rugs and home accessories it all comes together and enables us to create beautiful homes for them.” For Debbie Cavit, finding the right piece is not about shopping in the conventional sense. Finding the best is hard work. It takes signiﬁcant time and effort (such as ﬂying halfway around the world
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and back several times a year). And, like a passionate student, she does considerable homework. “I do a lot of research on a product,” she explains. “I find out which company produces the best quality and if they have a reliable export division where English is spoken. Communication is important. It’s not just a matter of choosing a product. You have to look at the entire package. “One of the ranges I ﬁnalised in Europe this year was Promemoria. I first saw them in London two years ago and loved their refined yet hand-touched look. It’s a very sophisticated, contemporary collection. I believe they are the ﬁnest furniture manufacturers in the world, a belief reinforced for me when Hermès selected them as the manufacturer of their recently released furniture range. “I visited the factory near Lake Como and was incredibly impressed. Pure form, exquisite craftsmanship and intense attention to every detail. We have sold several pieces to discerning clients from their catalogue already and now I’ll have some Promemoria settings on the ﬂoor of our Parnell showroom later this year. The collection includes furniture, lighting and accessories.” She adds, “Our approach has always been to choose ranges that dovetail into each other and that are not in competition, so over
Opposite page: The Budapest Sofa made in Italy by Baxter. Top Left: Larchmont Dining Table and Carmel Dining Chairs by Barbara Barry for Baker. Top Right: Deborah Cavit, Managing Director, Cavit & Co. Left: The Athens Lounge Chair from the new collection by Thomas Pheasant for Baker. www.cavitco.com
Right: The Solange Sectional Sofa and Ottoman, the dramatic Mustique Sedan Chair and Zun Table Lamp designed by Bill Soﬁeld for McGuire. Below: The Champs-Elysees Vessel by Lalique. www.cavitco.com
the years we have developed a collection of ranges that I think work beautifully together. “I also concern myself with the lifespan of a range or design. It’s part of my thinking as to what’s good for the planet. There are limited amounts of key resources left today. A New Zealand supplier mentioned to me recently that veneers available here now are only half the thickness they used to be because exotic timbers are getting harder to ﬁnd. The commodities used in the making of highquality furniture and accessories are getting scarcer and scarcer.” Cavit & Co also supply McGuire furniture, marketed as fine furniture made of rattan. As Debbie notes, “You can’t get good quality rattan pole in the Philippines any more. You can only get it in Indonesia and there’s only a limited supply left there. Rattan pole takes 20 years to mature and nobody is planting it. So if you’re interested in buying rattan you have to buy pieces that are well designed and well made, pieces you will want to live with for many years to come.” What does this mean for current trends? “The world is such a large conglomeration of trends that to say there is a single trend is to oversimplify things,” she says. “Manufacturers that once produced for the high-end market in Europe and the US only are broadening their reach to include new emerging markets like Russia, Asia and South America. “The emerging markets are bringing new techniques into play, more lacquer with matt finishes or the mix of rustic and refined in the same piece, gilding, bronze detailing rather than nickel and textiles are offering bolder colour combinations, more texture and pattern for accent pieces. “Neutrals have been in fashion for a while now, because it is something that’s easy to live with and easy to add accent colours to change the look. Neutrals are an easy backdrop to pop in new colours to keep up with trends while not needing to replaced drapery or recover large upholstery items that are expensive.
Left: The Oolong Cabinet featuring gold brushed ancient oak top and doors from Promemoria. Bottom left: Promemoria from Italy epitomises exquisite design and attention to detail, culminating in superb craftsmanship. This page: The Blossom Mirror designed by Thomas Peasant for Baker. www.cavitco.com
“Woods are moving away from dark stain to mid-tones of walnut and oak. There’s quite a lot of bronze coming through, although we’ve been selling bronze for some years now. In Paris I saw quite a lot of pieces with bronze detailing – something other than nickel or chrome. Textiles and patterns are back this year in brighter colours; colours you associate with precious stones like aquamarine and turquoise.” James Caughman is the senior marketing executive for Kohler Interiors, a division of the company well known for its high-quality kitchen and bathroom products. “The possibilities of design continue to expand and, while there are still rules, they are not applied as rigidly as in the past,” he tells us. “What is interesting in furniture is that the period of respectability, formerly the 18th and early 19th centuries, continues to expand, so that chronology is almost irrelevant. Design has become very democratic and inclusive. We see designers today happily using Louis XVI next to inexpensive contemporary pieces. “Almost 15 years ago, early 20th-century modern became popular. Then vintage was chic. And today, designers are conceiving and having made in artisan workshops unique pieces that solve a particular problem or that speak aesthetically to a client’s speciﬁc point of view. Customisation is playing a signiﬁcant role in design. “In terms of fabrics, we are witnessing a return to rich colour and bold graphic patterns. Textures remain important, especially as the colour palette tends toward neutrals and subtle values. But it is the combination of components that creates magic and the possibilities become personal, particular and different for each client. There is no set formula.”
Left: Valeria Carbonaro-Laws. Main picture: Pianoalto sofa designed by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba is the latest addition to the Zanotta collection. With a third of their designs in museums around the world Zanotta is considered one of the leaders in the furniture industry today. The Karelia chair was designed by Liisi Beckmann in 1966 and is still in production today! www.studioitalia.co.nz
Valeria Carbonaro-Laws is this year celebrating the 10th anniversary of Studio Italia. Studio Italia specialises in Italian-made indoor and outdoor furnishings and fittings, including kitchens, wardrobes and home offices. When the showroom on Carlton Gore Road in Auckland opened 10 years ago, Poliform, makers of stylish walk-in wardrobes, was its only brand. Today, it sells six other leading brands, including Varenna kitchens, Kettal indoor/outdoor living, Flexform indoor furnishings, contemporary styles from Zanotta and modern and classical pieces from Living Divanti. Valeria returns annually to Milan, her original home, for the Milan Furniture Fair. “My approach is to go without expecting anything, because I liked to be surprised. If I don’t know what I’m looking for it’s more exciting. But it’s important to go every year to ﬁnd the next best thing or innovation. “I am driven by an obligation to bring to New Zealand the very latest Italian designs sold elsewhere in the world. One year I noticed a carpet at the Poliform stand and realised they had chosen it because it complemented their furniture nicely. We never thought of bringing in carpets but we started doing that and it’s proven to be good business for us. “But whatever we sell, it’s always as much about the designer as it is the product. And in every case the product must be very high quality, because our clients are typically willing to spend more knowing they are buying longevity.” So what trends is she seeing? “The next few years will see designs becoming more versatile; bigger pieces that can be set out in more than one conﬁguration,” she says. “That’s because people are more and more buying for longevity and in the course of a lifetime they may live in more than one place. So they want a piece that can adapt to different spaces.
“I’m also seeing sofas and chairs that are as comfortable as always but they’re not heavy. They are lighter in both materials and look. They are not as low-slung; they sit higher off the ﬂoor. “The biggest trend, though, is in material. There’s less glass and dark wood. When it comes to fabric, I’m seeing a trend towards lighter tones, patterns and more texture. That said, the one thing that’s never changed for us is comfort. I put a stop to bringing in anything that’s not comfortable. As I see it, a good design is about look and comfort. Debbie Cavit agrees. “I was lucky enough to come across Baker furniture in Paris about 15 years ago. It’s American and while most New Zealanders think of Europe as the epitome of great design, American design has a fabulous pedigree. With American furniture, comfort is invariably the number-one quality.” Of course, the trick to good design is the successful merger of comfort, quality materials and style. In that sense, some things never change. James Caughman notes: “I continue to see the popularity of ‘modern classicism’ where the furniture of the early 20th century offers examples of classically inspired designs that embrace a modern spirit through the use of modern materials and exotic ﬁnishes. “Art deco is a good example. Much contemporary design takes classical forms and simplifies them into alluring modern forms. That’s because classical forms honour proportion, scale and balance – the necessary components of good design. “Also, the array of materials opens a door to contemporary creativity. I’m talking about materials like parchment, shagreen, ﬁne leather, faux tortoise, gold and silver leaf and metals like nickel and bronze.
Opposite page, top to bottom: Poliform wardrobes are available in many ﬁnishes and are perfectly ﬁtted to any space; the Howard table and Ventura dining chairs are designed by Jean Marie Massaud. Available with wooden or glass top, the table comes in many sizes. Above: Evergreen sofa designed by Antonio Citterio for Flexform. Right: Groundpiece designed by Antonio Citterio for Flexform. www.studioitalia.co.nz
Above: Minimal kitchen from Varenna with elegantly recessed handles and exquisite timber veneers. Right: The Artex Kitchen is the latest from Varenna. Available in many conﬁgurations and a wide range of ﬁnishes that includes corian and vertical grooved timber doors. www.studioitalia.co.nz “Another trend is multiculturalism; that is, the combining of objects from different times, periods and cultures working serendipitously together. It’s not unusual to ﬁnd a wonderful room that includes a rough-hewn African bench, a modern painting, a piece of French 18th-century furniture and Japanese lacquer all complementing one another yet each serving as a foil to the other.” Materials and multiculturalism aside, attitudes towards the use of space are changing too, from furniture conﬁgurations to bath and bedrooms. Says Valerie Carbonaro-Laws: “About 90 per cent of our wardrobe business is now walk-in wardrobes. That’s because, for as luxurious as they sound, they are more convenient and they cost less. Doors are what cost money and without those a wardrobe costs less. That’s partly why they have become popular.” Perhaps it’s the preponderance of celebrity chefs and the Food Channel, but it seems people are thinking about the style and functionality of kitchens more than ever. Replacing an entire kitchen is more common today, which is why the quality standards we might expect in furniture now apply to kitchen design too. Valerie Carbonaro-Laws: “When it comes to kitchens, we are seeing the galley or a ‘kitchen behind the kitchen’ becoming more popular, because the main kitchen is used for socialising, so people don’t want a lot of exposed mess. So they prepare food in a galley where there’s a dishwasher and where dirty plates can be piled and they can close a door to all that.” Someone once told me women are more likely to be the trendsetters than men. That’s probably true when it come to fashion, but in home décor new styles seem to be as much masculine as feminine – or having no clear gender bias at all. Which begs the question: Is there a trend in who is buying? Are New Zealand men becoming more sensitive to design?
Inﬁnite combinations are available for this modular sofa Evergreen from the Flexfrom range of sofas. Designed by Antonio Citterio, this sofa is reﬁned and elegant yet incredibly comfortable. www.studioitalia.co.nz
“When we ﬁrst started in business,” says Debbie Cavit, “Men could understand the value of a really expensive car but they didn’t understand the value of expensive furniture or pieces for the home, even if they were lifelong investments. That has changed. We have more male clients now who are brand-aware and aware of the quality those brands represent.” Which is just as well, given that Ralph Lauren Home, a masculine brand if there ever was one, occupies a significant space at Cavit & Co. “Ralph Lauren,” she conﬁrms, “is one of the most recognised brands in the world and it’s not just fashion or fragrance but, in our case, furniture, lighting, ﬂoor rugs even picture frames. It’s been extremely successful for us.” “Kiwis, both men and women, are into designed pieces more,” Valeria agrees. “And it’s not just our top-end clients. We are seeing a bigger market today than we did 10 years ago. That’s why we have expanded our floor space in Auckland, opened a shop in Queenstown, and are looking to
open a third in Christchurch.” “Another trend I see,” James Caughman adds, “is the prevalence of artwork in our lives. Art has always been necessary, but, with the exception of collectors, maybe not the driving force or prime mover in homes. But now I see designers guiding and educating clients about art. “Art serves not only as inspiration in design but, in a growing number of cases, as a point of departure. Fine art is no longer featured only in principal reception rooms; it has migrated to dressing rooms and even to baths.” Trends are not fanciful. They happen for a reason. If you’re the manufacturer of high-end furnishings or kitchens or walk-in wardrobes you don’t have the time or the money to waste doing guesswork. That’s the function of prototypes, to test the market. But here’s the inherent irony retailers like Cavit & Co and Studio Italia must contend with: whatever the trends, their point of difference is ﬁnding products designed to last a lifetime. W
Newly designed by Antonio Citterio for the Flexform collection, the elegant Evergreen sofa features a floating look with a thin leather base, and is available in a multitude of sizes and configurations.
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Above: Claude MONET, French 1840–1926, Waterlilies (Nymphéas) (1903), oil on canvas, Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris. Gift of Michel Monet, 1966 (inv. 5163), © Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, © Bridgeman-Giraudon / Presse Below: Claude MONET, French 1840–1926, Waterlilies (Nymphéas) (1917–19), oil on canvas, Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris. Gift of Michel Monet, 1966 (inv. 5118), © Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, © Bridgeman-Giraudon / Presse
MONET’S C GARDEN
The great French Impressionist Claude Monet is the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria this winter. By Thomas Hyde.
laude Monet (1840–1929), the father of Impressionism and one of the greatest artists the world has known, was born in Paris. But it was after his family moved to the French coastal town of Le Havre that he began to paint. After some studies in Paris and the further development of his technique – that “unfinished” look conveying an impression of reality rather than reality itself – he returned to Normandy, to the village of Giverny, where he settled down and dedicated his life to his art and his garden. For Monet, painting and gardening were inseparable. One informed the other. Many of his greatest paintings, found today in every major gallery around the world, were inspired by his garden. Equally, as his garden ﬂourished it became the singular important landscape for his revolutionary vision. His famous Water Lilies panels are just one example. Today, the largest collection of his work can be found in Paris, at the Musée Marmottan Monet. But how often do we get to Paris? Not often enough perhaps, but this year the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is devoting its Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series to Monet masterpieces direct from the Musée Marmottan Monet. The NGV’s co-curator of the show, Sophie Matthiesson, told World Magazine: “This is a first for Australia. We are extremely fortunate to work with the Musée Marmottan Monet and its chief curator, Dr Marianne Mathieu. Galleries across the world vie with each other to secure Monet loans for their public. Loans take years and complex negotiations to secure, but our exclusive relationship with the Musée Marmottan Monet has enabled us to bring the largest single group of Monets to Australia ever to be exhibited here at one time. “A new generation of visitors will be able to experience through his exquisite paintings the world that Monet created around himself in the 40 years he lived in, and created, his horticultural paradise that is his private gardens at Giverny.” Monet’s Garden: The Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris traces the evolution of the artist’s garden motifs over a period of four decades. It includes a suite of his famous oversized water lily paintings and a collection of late paintings rarely seen outside the walls of the Musée Marmottan – paintings among his last, as he almost lost, and then regained, his sight. The exhibition also serves as a biographical review, highlighted by portraits of Monet and his wife, Camille, painted in 1872 by Renoir. Monet settled in Giverny in 1883 almost on a whim, seeing it as he passed by on a train. He rented a house and, as his fame and wealth grew, he was soon in a position to buy it and begin creating his stately garden. In the 1890s, by now an international success, Monet bought a
UNKNOWN Claude Monet (1840–1926) gelatin silver photograph Private collection Roger-Viollet, Paris © Roger-Viollet, Paris/Bridgeman Art
Claude MONET, French 1840– 1926 Taking a walk near Argenteuil (En promenade près d’Argenteuil) (1875) oil on canvas, Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris. Gift of Mrs Nelly Sergeant-Duhem, 1985 (inv. 5332), © Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, © BridgemanGiraudon / Presse
further piece of land and extended the bottom of his garden to create a self-contained exotic water lily garden, with ponds, willows and a stream he diverted through his grounds to feed his now famous botanical masterpiece. Monet’s Garden has three sections. The ﬁrst focuses on the private world of the artist and his family though a selection of family portraits. These include intimate portraits by Monet of his two young sons, Jean and Michel, and a pair of portraits of Monet and Camille by Renoir, one of Monet’s closest friends. “Monet was a larger-than-life personality,” says Sophie Matthiesson. “He drew a circle of lifelong friends around him. All who knew him felt privileged to be part of his close sphere. Monet was a tireless worker who lived by his painting routines while everybody else fitted around that. Giverny was his retreat and living studio and only his closest friends were ever invited there, for meals and walks in the garden. But they were shown the door when it was time for him to resume work. He was a constant source of inspiration to a generation of avantgarde painters, including Pissarro, Cézanne, Sisley and Renoir.” The second section consists of paintings by Monet of his colourful garden, including the now-famous Japanese footbridge, water lilies and flower beds. Here are irises, agapanthus, wisteria and his alley of roses. “The water lily paintings are the culmination of Monet’s life work and vision”, says Matthiesson. “As we watch this motif evolve in over 20 canvases, we see the gradual disappearance of land and even the disappearance of the beautiful arching bridge. Eventually all that we are left with is water lilies and the reflection of willow fronds and ﬂoating clouds on the water’s surface.” The third section of the show is devoted to Monet the
traveller. Here, paintings express his lifelong love of the French coast, which he experienced in winter (while his garden slept) and his fascination with London, which he visited three times. One series of paintings was inspired by a family related visit to Norway in 1895. “A beautiful added surprise in this section is a painting of the Rouen Cathedral, one of the series of Cathedral paintings that made Monet a national celebrity,” says Matthiesson. “This iconic painting really captures the poetry of Monet’s vision, his deep love for Normandy and its monuments.” The show includes a film installation, The Last Day at Giverny, revealing the beauty of the artist’s garden today as the light changes from sunrise to sunset. Viewers will experience the garden in an engrossing display that for many may prove to be the next best thing to being there. When he died at the age of 86, Monet left his property to his son, Michel, who, in 1966, handed over management rights to the Académie des Beaux-Arts. The property was restored and opened to the public in 1980 and is today one of France’s most popular tourist attractions outside of Paris. The Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series was launched 10 years ago. Its themes have included a retrospective on Salvador Dalí, art deco and French art in the age of Napoleon. The series has attracted more than 3.5 million visitors to the NGV and other Melbourne cultural institutions. Located on St. Kilda Road, just across from Federation Square, the NGV itself is an architectural gem, designed by Sir Roy Grounds in 1968 and renovated in 2003 by Mario Bellini. Monet’s Garden: The Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris runs W from 10 May through 8 September.
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ON A TRUNK A book of short stories by 11 French writers embraces a single theme: Louis Vuittonâ€™s famous travel trunk. By Thomas Hyde.
ccentric Englishwoman Lady Antonia Addison was known for wearing one colour: purple. Did she practise black magic? Was she a spy? Who was she really? No one seemed to know. What they did know was that she loved Louis Vuitton ﬂaconniers (fragrance bottles in a box) and that she bought six of them between 1926 and 1939 – and that the boxes had to be purple. She was in Cannes when Gaston-Louis Vuitton, the grandson of Louis, last saw her before she vanished. Her disappearance remains a mystery to this day. In May 1927, after his epic 33-hour flight across the Atlantic, Charles Lindberg touched down in France to ﬁnd that same GastonLouis Vuitton waiting for him. As you might imagine, Lindberg was inundated with gifts, which he stored in two Louis Vuitton trunks for his return journey to the US by ship. Over lunch at the Hotel Ritz in Paris in 1956, Charley Ritz, son of the hotel’s founder, informed Ernest Hemingway that one of the writer’s Louis Vuitton trunks had been lying in the hotel’s basement since 1929. Hemingway had the trunk brought up and when he opened it he found his synopsis of A Moveable Feast, a set of memoirs that became his ﬁnal work and, according to many critics, a posthumous masterpiece. Three moments in the lives of three famous people whose extraordinary stories intersected in one way or another with the brand Louis Vuitton. They are three of 11 such moments that form the basis of a collection of short stories written by 11 French novelists who were given free rein to expand and entertain us with what might have been. Entitled The Trunk, the collection is published by Louis Vuitton at the same time as the company honours the 125th anniversary of the introduction of the brand’s signature chequerboard brown and beige Damier (chequerboard) pattern. First shown at the 1889 Paris Exposition, the pattern has since inspired an entire Damier line of accessories from travel trunks to handbags.
Photos from the book launch © David Atlan/Louis Vuitton World Magazine
While the stories in The Trunk are born from the creative imagination of each author, the story of the trunk needs no ﬁctional reworking. It’s been recorded in some detail, beginning with Louis Vuitton arriving in Paris from the village of Anchay and, in 1854, applying his woodworking skills to making travel trunks that soon became favourites of an emerging travelling class, foremost French royalty. Louis Vuitton trunks are known for being stylish and durable. Each is ﬁtted with metal corners and handles and riveted slats. Louis Vuitton was the ﬁrst artisan to cover his trunks with canvas to make them waterproof, perfect for a new generation of travellers exploring the world by sea. Unlike trunks of the day that lay on the ﬂoor and were opened from above, his were designed to stand on end and open into portable wardrobes. Over the years, Louis Vuitton trunks have shown remarkable innovation and adaptation to changes in transportation. For example, when Henry Ford rolled his Model T off the assembly line, Louis Vuitton weighed in with a “driver bag” tailored to the design of the car. An “aero trunk” was created in response to the early days of aviation. And so it has gone. At any given period over the last 159 years, the Louis Vuitton brand has intersected with great moments in history and the personalities involved. It might have been those noted in The Trunk; perhaps movie stars such as Douglas Fairbanks, Cary Grant and Lauren Becall, or industrial barons like the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts. Come to think of it, The Trunk might just inspire other literary interpretations on the subject. Imagine, for instance, a story from the viewpoint of a Louis Vuitton trunk belonging to Marlene Dietrich. That would be fun to read, yes? The book was due in store during March. For enquiries, call 0800 586 966. W
Above: A Library Trunk in Monogram. Below: a complete wardrobe trunk with the initials of famous French actor and director Sacha Guitry.
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MY WORLD “Mere colour ... can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.” So said Oscar Wilde, a man credited with many wise and pithy sobriquets. Wilde knew something, too, about jewels: he covered his statue of the Happy Prince with them and allowed the Little Swallow to take them, one at a time, to make others happy. Beautiful gems and jewellery remain a source of lasting happiness to this day...
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WATCH WORDS World Magazine timepiece editor Bani McSpedden offers a quick guide to the terminology of time.
he more you know about watches, the more it can seem you don’t know, such is the language aficionados revert to when talking timepieces. Take for example the difference between a chronograph and a chronometer, or why a quartz movement is not described by the knowledgeable as automatic even though it automatically maintains rather accurate time. With this in mind we offer our quick guide to helping you sound like an expert. Annual calendar A watch that shows the day, date and month and selfadjusts for short and long months – usually with a single manual correction at the end of February.
Piaget Limelight Gala Just look at those be-jewelled curves. They make this one of those rare watches that have a shape all their own, the unusual lug arrangement dramatically framing the time. Even the neat placement of Piaget’s branding on the dial contributes to the purity of a piece that supposedly takes its inspiration from a 1973 model. The Limelight Gala is 32mm and comes in pink or white gold versions, with either 62 diamonds (1.8 carats) dotting its silhouette, or several hundred diamonds scattered all over and adding up to 19.3 carats. Gala indeed.
Automatic movement Refers to a mechanical watch – one with springs and cogs – that “self-winds”. The movement is powered by a rotor that’s activated by the to-ing and fro-ing of your wrist. Leave the watch off and it will run down. Balance A wheel-like device in every mechanical watch that does the job of a pendulum – that is, it rotates back and forth to keep things ticking. It was invented in the 14th century. Barrel The circular receptacle that holds a mechanical movement’s mainspring. Some watches have two barrels to provide a longer power reserve.
Bezel The external ring on the face of the watch around the crystal, either ﬁxed and decorative or rotatable – meaning it can be turned to indicate time intervals, as found on dive watches. Bridge A metal plate or support that secures a bearing or rotating part of the watch’s movement. Calibre Refers to the “machinery” driving a watch – in other words, the movement, with its bridges and various internal components. Case The watch’s exterior housing. It determines the look and feel (not to mention appeal) of a timepiece and protects everything that makes your watch tick. Caseback The rear of the case that snaps – or more commonly screws – on and off, providing access to the mechanicals or battery. Also common today: seethrough-style casebacks that let you view the internals. Co-axial escapement The improvement/invention by English watchmaker George Daniels in 1970s and commercialised by Omega in the late 90s, it describes a rare advance in movement design to reduce friction and thus lubrication needs. As such, it promises enhanced accuracy and longevity.
Chronograph A watch that adds a stopwatch function to the usual hours and minutes via an additional module running independently of the time-telling feature. The visual clue: buttons at the side of the case to activate the start and stop, and sub-dials to show elapsed seconds, minutes and hours. Chronometer A term used to describe watches that meet the Swiss Official Chronometer Control (COSC) standard for accuracy, namely minus four or plus six seconds a day. Clasp Either a pronged buckle or what’s called a deployant-style hinged or butterﬂy-like attachment used to secure the two ends of the watch strap. Column-wheel chronograph “Column-wheel” is the name given to expensive-to-produce chronograph mechanisms that are enjoying a resurgence, thanks to being considered by many to be superior to later (1970s) movements using a simpler lever and cam system. Crystal Term for the watch glass, even though it can be made of various transparent materials, from synthetic sapphire to plastics or plexi-glass. Highly scratch-resistant sapphire crystal is usual in high-end watches. Complications Describes functions additional to the basic hours, minutes and seconds displays – for example the aforementioned chronographs, watches that chime the time, those that indicate day, date and month, and moon-phase and other astronomical indications.
Dual Time Zone A watch that displays both local time (the time where you happen to be) and home time (the time in your original location). Ebauche The term given to an incomplete movement before assembly, comprising the basics – the main or base plate, bridges, the winding and setting mechanism and the regulator. Equation of time A function that can display the difference between solar (sundial) time and the standardised time we all operate by. Escapement Name given to the part that “releases” energy generated by the mainspring to maintain the oscillations of the balance wheel. Fly-back chronograph Name given to a chronograph with a function that lets you stop and restart the stopwatch with just one press of a button. GMT The initials refer to Greenwich Mean Time, and when used in regards to timepieces means a watch that can indicate the time in multiple time zones. Guilloche The name given to the decorative engraving of dials or parts with tiny interlaced lines, either by hand or so-called “engine-turned”. Horology The science, technology and art of measuring time – not to be confused with horoscopes and astrology.
Côtes de Genève Describes a popular decoration or ﬁnishing that gives the effect of parallel striping on various polished surfaces of a watch movement.
Jewels Synthetic jewels act as low-friction bearings for the many wheels of a mechanical movement.
Crown The watch’s winder – the grooved knob located mostly on the right side of the watch case and used to manually wind a watch (when needed) and to adjust the time in all other cases.
Jumping hours Refers to a watch that displays hours in digital form in a little cut-out window, usually in the 12 o’clock position. A “new” number jumps into the window on the hour, while minutes are displayed with the traditional hand.
Dial The face of the watch – can be painted, enamelled, silvered, patterned or decorated, made of metal or exotic materials like mother-of-pearl or carbon fibre. Carries the timepiece’s branding and time indicators. Diver’s watch A watch usually distinguished by a rotating bezel to mark dive times, and with enhanced water resistance to 200 metres-plus, aided by a screw-down crown and caseback. Usually mounted on a rubber strap or adjustable bracelet – for slipping over a wet-suit sleeve.
Lugs The prongs – also sometimes called horns – that extend from a wristwatch case to frame and secure the strap. Manual movement A mechanical movement you have to wind via the crown. Manufacture Watch industry terminology for the factory in which watches are made and assembled. World Magazine
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Some might say AP has been relying a bit too heavily on the Royal Oak line, but longevity – and popularity – aren’t necessarily a bad thing: just ask Rolex. And who wouldn’t want this handsome diver on their wrist? A not-too-hefty 42mm, with ceramic case and bezel with orange accents, good for 300 metres, with a see-through caseback so you can admire the motor. If that doesn’t have “Dive Poor Knights” written all over it, what does?
Moon-phase Indicates the presence of a crescent-shaped cut-away on the dial revealing a miniature moon face that changes position to indicate current position of the moon. Movement The watch’s motor: can be mechanical – automatic or hand-wound, quartz, hybrid or solar driven. Perpetual calendar A watch that indicates the day of the week, the date, the month and the phases of the moon for an up to 400-year cycle. Power reserve The time a watch will continue running between manual winding – usually 48-plus hours – or activation of the self-winding movement. Quartz movement A movement powered by a quartz crystal module that runs on a battery. Generally very accurate and less expensive to produce than a mechanical movement. Rotor Often visible through a see-through caseback, the rotor is a semicircular metal balance that swings freely, thus winding the mainspring. Left: The perfect movement of the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar is just as reﬁned as the dial.
Skeleton Refers to a watch where parts of the movement and dial have been stripped back to the bones to reveal usually out-of-sight elements. Split-seconds chronograph A chronograph mechanism with two superimposed seconds hands that can be used independently for, say, lap timing. Tourbillon A crucible of cogs designed by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1801 to counter the effects of gravity on pocketwatch mechanisms. They were susceptible thanks to spending most of their time upright in waistcoat pockets. Train No-nonsense name given to the wheels and pinions in a watch movement. Vibration/Hertz Refers to the frequency at which the balance of a mechanical watch vibrates or swings to and fro. The usual is six or eight vibrations per second (expressed as 3 and 4 hertz) translating to 21,600 or 28,800 vibrations an hour. The higher the hertz, the greater the accuracy. This compares to 32,768 hertz for the average quartz watch, hence their generally greater accuracy. Water resistance Describes the depths a watch case is theoretically designed to withstand before water forces itself in. Note: brands like to avoid the term “waterproof”. A rare case of not wanting to over-promise. W
TRUE T WRISTOCRATS Bani McSpedden reports from the ﬁrst of the year’s watch fairs in Geneva on the latest temptations in time.
he annual pilgrimage to Geneva for a glimpse of the year’s first watch releases at the SIHH fair (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) always gets the pulse racing. “Haute” is the right word for the toney SIHH, which is unashamedly billed as “an exclusive event for professionals” who have been individually invited by the exhibiting brands. “Exclusive” in this case means 13,000 industry participants and 1,200 members of the world’s press – all anxious to see what the 19 exhibitors – primarily the Richemont group’s fabulous brands – hope to lure customers with in the coming months. The presentations and meetings take place in dedicated “booths” that have more in common with lavish boutiques than the portable kiosks they in fact are. Here, cheek by jowl, are the great names: Cartier, Vacheron Constantin, A. Lange & Söhne, Jaeger LeCoultre, IWC, Panerai, Baume & Mercier, Piaget, Montblanc, Roger Dubuis and Van Cleef and Arpels; bolstered by independents Parmigiani, Audemars Piguet, Richard Mille, and Greubel Forsey. Oh, and Ralph Lauren, a recent and to many somewhat curious addition to the Richemont roster. But were things a bit quieter than usual this year – the watches a bit smaller, as most observers seemed to think? In fact, attendance was up a tad – three per cent – and there were star pieces aplenty (some favourites on the following pages). That said, possibly no maker shone brighter than Cartier, which produced an extraordinary spread of timepieces, including two so-called “mystery” watches. Mystery clocks ﬁrst appeared in the early 1900s, their hands “carried” on crystal discs driven via serrated edges, the mechanism hidden at the sides. To the eye, it was mystery how it all worked. For 2013 Cartier brought this technique to the wrist with a time-teller and a double tourbillon: quite a feat. The challenges – friction, durability, power transfer, miniaturisation – took five years and the development of new techniques to resolve. The result is an ornament of truly transparent beauty. Even better, you’ll be able to order one, as they’ll be production pieces. The tourbillon is expected to cost from $200,000; the time-teller a third of that. If your wrist budget doesn’t quite extend to these heights, we’d suggest turning the page – in the watch world there really is something for everyone.
The Rotonde de Cartier Double Tourbillon Mystery Watch is a manual-wind marvel with a tourbillon mechanism that appears to ﬂoat free on the dial – an horological ﬁrst.
True Wristocrats Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Unique Travel Time
“Unique” sums up this 42mm Jaeger with its so-called Dual-Wing system comprising two distinct mechanisms. One shows the local time on a dedicated dial to the right, the other displays away-time (with a jumping hour) on a dial to the left. Both movements are wound by the single crown, with home time set by turning it counter-clockwise, away-time by turning it clockwise. Adding to the intrigue, that’s a day/night indicator in the form of globe you can see at the six o’clock position. Just 100 will be available at Jaeger’s Paris boutique.
IWC Ingenieur Automatic AMG Black series
Is this IWC’s alternative to the AP or Hublot you’ve had your eye on? It’s big, it’s black and, like the performance car from which it derives its name, it’s beautiful in a distinctly bullish way. The 46mm AMG piece is one of a ﬂeet of 11 new Ingenieur models and stands out thanks to its ceramic case, in-house self-winding movement and nononsense clarity. Your partner probably won’t want to borrow it – but that’s just another bonus in a shared world.
True Wristocrats Panerai PAM 526 Regatta Flyback Chrono Titanio
If youâ€™ve always wanted a Panerai, this is one of the most useful to date, with not only instant chronograph functions but a regatta timing countdown function built in. Itâ€™s activated by an orange-coded push button just below the crown. That orange, along with a bright blue, is repeated in touches on the dial and hands, giving this Panerai a distinctive and sportier look than most. The 47mm case is happily cast in titanium, so not too weighty.
A.Lange & Sohne Grande Complication
Lange & Sohne is shaping up as the new Patek and this creation was one of the stars at the Geneva fair. No wonder – it embraces a “grande” and “petite” sonnerie, minute repeater, split-seconds monopusher chronograph with ﬂyback seconds, and a perpetual calendar (accurate to the year 2100) with moon-phase indicator. No surprise that accommodating such complications requires a 50mm case, and that only six will be made. Such exclusivity, of course, comes at a price – around 1.9 million euros, or some $3 million!
True Wristocrats Baume & Mercier Clifton 1830 This is the headline model of a new collection from Baume that continues the brand’s recent march into more reﬁned territory. The designers have referenced the past with the kind of detail that deﬁnes a truly handsome piece. The rose-gold case is a ﬁtting 42mm, the hour markers gorgeously shaped, the sapphire crystal nicely domed, the mechanical movement one you have to wind and the band is a supple leather.
Calibre de Cartier Chronograph
Following the launch of the masculine Calibre de Cartier range comes this chronograph model boasting the ﬁrst self-winding stop-watch movement to come from Cartier’s in-house workshops. It’s a high-end one, too, a so-called “column-wheel” mechanism with “vertical clutch” – a design much favoured by aﬁcionados. The chronograph is probably the best looking piece in the Calibre range, the sub-dials lending it a pleasing symmetry. Choose from steel, gold or gem-set versions, all 42mm.
SEDUCED BY THE BAY Former broadcaster John Hawkesby traces the birth of his career as a wine bon vivant to a life-changing glass of red at a Hawke’s Bay cellar door.
his epiphany can be laid at the feet of revered Havelock North Winery Te Mata Estate and their premier Bordeaux-style red, Te Mata Coleraine. It was the mid-80s and I was travelling in Hawke’s Bay with a large team ﬁlming the television series It’s In The Bag. During some downtime, a group of us popped into the winery cellar door for a tasting. I had never tasted such a gorgeous drop as the Coleraine. For the ﬁrst time in my life I bought a case of wine – it was the genesis of my becoming an avid collector, wannabe connoisseur and wine writer. Being a late bloomer can have its own rewards; it means I was spared a lot of average tipples from the 60s and 70s when our New Zealand wines were largely underwhelming. Hawke’s Bay is arguably the most prestigious – often referred to as the aristocrat – of New Zealand’s wine regions. Its long sunshine hours and extreme diversity of soil types lend themselves to producing red and white wines of superb quality. History is also on its side. A proud winemaking tradition dates back to 1851 and the region has consistently garnered major awards at local and international wine competitions. Hawke’s Bay’s special strengths lie in Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux-style blends. The most notable producers include Church Road, Pask, Craggy Range, Esk Valley, Mission, Sacred Hill, Te Mata, Trinity Hill, Te Awa and Sileni. Other, sometimes smaller, producers are capable of offering up stunning
Vines at Craggy Range
Above: Squawking Magpie is one of several smaller Hawke’s Bay wineries producing top-class wines. Below: Vidal’s was New Zealand’s ﬁrst winery restaurant and is still among the best. Bottom: Hawke’s Bay Wine Country.
wines and you overlook them at your peril. They include Alpha Domus, Bilancia, Black Barn, Bridge Pa, Brookﬁelds, Clearview Estate, Crossroads, Elephant Hill, Ngatarawa, Newton Forrest, Paritua, Squawking Magpie, Stonecroft, Unison, Vidal Estate, Hatton Estate and Lime Rock. The area known as Gimblett Gravels is currently the only wine-growing zone in the New World defined by soil type. It’s characterised by gravelly, free-draining, low-fertility soil where once the Ngaruroro River flowed through the Heretaunga Plains between Napier and Hastings. In 1876 the river changed course and the remaining warm, stony layers of silt, clay and sand provide ideal growing conditions for grapes. The Gimblett Gravels logo denotes wines that contain at least 95 per cent of grapes grown in the district. With lots of shelter and consistent warmth, the around 800-hectare area is excellent for varietals that require consistent ripening conditions, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Malbec, Tempranillo, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot do well too and when it comes to whites, Viognier, Pinot Gris and Verdelho are having some success. But Chardonnay remains the undisputed king. According to the executive ofﬁcer of Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers, Lyn Bevin, “Hawke’s Bay is positioned to lead the next level of global interest in New Zealand wine – we’re ﬁne producers and growers.” Apart from the lovely array of wines, Hawke’s Bay has another major string to its bow: it’s visually appealing and a wonderful, relaxed place to visit, with gently rolling hills and a rugged coastline. Before it became known as a serious wine destination, Hawke’s Bay was one of the country’s most productive farming regions. Even today some of New Zealand’s finest fruit and vegetables can be found at their weekly farmers’ markets. Napier, reborn after a devastating earthquake of 1931, boasts some of the most authentic art deco buildings in the world and the café and restaurant options are plentiful.
Left Black Dog Cottage, one of several accommodation options on the Black Barn, which also boasts the Black Barn Bistro (below) and a weekly Growers’ Market (bottom).
Hawke’s Bay also offers some of the country’s longest-standing and finest vineyard restaurants. The first in New Zealand, Vidals (now under the Villa Maria umbrella), opened in 1979 and is still one of the best. Says Villa Maria founder Sir George Fistonich: “Vineyard restaurants do a lot for tourism. Not everyone wants to go bungyjumping or do extreme sports.” Winery restaurants have become an intrinsic part of the wine industry because they offer a valuable addition to the usual tourist haunts. They provide a relaxed, pleasant opportunity for travellers to try local fresh cuisine. And food with wine always enhances the wine experience. Many vineyard restaurants provide children’s play areas so everyone can relax. While not all wineries are big enough to provide such amenities, almost all have cellar doors where you can try and buy the wines where they’re made. Any wine tastes better when, glass in hand, you can stroll among the vines from which the grapes came, often accompanied by the friendly vineyard dog. Currently, four of the best vineyard eateries would have to include Black Barn Bistro, Clearview Estate Vineyard Restaurant, Elephant Hill Restaurant (conveniently on the same stretch of Clifton Road, Te Awanga, as Clearview) and Terroir, at Craggy Range. I’ve eaten at all of them over the years and never once been disappointed. Black Barn Bistro is just along from the picturesque village of Havelock North on Black Barn Road. It’s your laid-back long-lunchwith-panoramic-views sort of place. Large windows allow you to check on the state of the vines, the high ceilings offer a feeling of space and works by local artists such as Dick Frizzell adorn the walls. Dishes are generous and the presentation delightful and Black Barn wines the perfect accompaniment. Black Barn also has a range of accommodation options, from cute cottages to large character homes, all beautifully presented and in great locations. World Magazine
Clearview is your classic indoor-outdoor eatery right among the vines; rustic, ready and reasonable, with an emphasis on fresh produce and gorgeous salads. If you love gutsy, well-made Chardonnay, this is the place – and, in fact, all its wines are lovely, a personal favourite being the Clearview Sea Red. A wine you don’t see often is a fortified red dessert wine made from Merlot grapes bursting with ﬂavours of cassis and plums and with a mouthwatering, spicy complexity. It’s the perfect ﬁnish to a perfect meal. Try it with a rich chocolate dessert or blue cheese. After drinking, avoid use of heavy machinery, make sure you have a designated driver or take a taxi. Within a bull’s roar of Clearview sits the relative newbie, Elephant Hill. Modern and with a degree of European flair, whether you’re sitting inside or on the terrace you’ll get a view of Cape Kidnappers. An inﬁnity pool takes the eye to the vines and beyond that to the sea. The house-baked breads are a treat in themselves and some dishes are “grapevine-smoked”. Expect really interesting twists on traditional favourites and some exquisite exotic dishes. Elephant Hill wines are fast gaining traction and their Syrah is a standout. Allow lots of time; you’ll want to completely chill out and soak up the ambience. To get to Terroir at Craggy Range you travel through wonderful rolling landscape before you suddenly stumble across this striking Moorish-style architectural masterpiece complete with gracious lawns, manicured vines and a large, tranquil lake. Sitting on
Sitting at the foot of the spectacular scarp of Te Mata Peak, Craggy Range, with its rustic Terroir restaurant, is the kind of large winery you’d expect to ﬁnd in California’s Napa Valley.
Waimarama Road at the foot of the spectacular scarp of Te Mata Peak, this is the kind of large winery you’d expect to ﬁnd in the Napa Valley. Terroir is very funky. A roaring fire belts out great heat on cold days and nights, and it has that rustic charm that goes with terracotta-tiled floors and lots of wood. The restaurant is in the round and can accommodate a large crowd, but is designed for intimacy, especially at the snug bar area. While not strictly fine dining (the Terroir team would shudder at the thought), it does have that touch of ﬁnesse, but in a very relaxed atmosphere. The wine list is extensive and apart from their own excellent Craggy Range portfolio, wine aﬁcionados will ﬁnd an international selection to gladden the heart of any wine obsessive with a serious palate and deep pockets. The food will, of course, match the wines; both will be excellent. Vineyard restaurant hours vary according to season and it pays to phone ahead. A new and most welcome addition to dining “in town” is the outstanding Mister D, a modern, light and airy destination at 47 Tennyson St in Napier. Described as a little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, it’s the current baby of David Grifﬁths and Prue Barton, who bring impeccable credentials, creativity and focus to whatever they turn their hands to. Vinnies, the legendary Herne Bay, Auckland, restaurant, was theirs for many years; they helped kick off and establish a glowing reputation at Terroir; and it wasn’t that long ago that David was executive chef at world-class Huka Lodge. Napier has never had it so good. I did lunch at Mister D the first week they opened and had to queue to get in. Tigers for punishment, they do breakfast, lunch and dinner. An eclectic menu with great ﬂavours and artistic presentation make Mister D a must-do. The local information centre and even some shops will provide you with an easy-to-follow winery guide and map. Many of them are practically on top of each other and it’s surprising how many you can visit over a few days. Two historic wineries worth visiting are Mission and Church Road. Mission has been making wine since the 1850s and was for many years a seminary for priests. There is a beautifully restored seminary building and wonderful grounds that have played host to hugely successful summer concerts with international stars such as Eric Clapton, Ray Charles and Shirley Bassey. Church Road winery, at the foot of the Taradale Hills, has a popular restaurant, hosts numerous events and is home to a fascinating underground wine museum and the Tom McDonald Cellar. Legendary local Tom McDonald, who died in 1986, is regarded as one of New Zealand’s most illustrious pioneer winemakers and character who plied his trade here with great success for many years. He is credited with creating this country’s reputation for excellent Bordeaux-style reds and remains a father figure for any young winemakers with a passion for making great claret. An excellent Church Road Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot called Tom is produced as a tribute to McDonald and is only made in exceptional years. Recently a Chardonnay has also been named after him. Hawke’s Bay is not a once-over-lightly kind of place. It’s a place that attracts those who marvel at beautiful landscapes and friendly folk; who want to be somewhere small enough to be homely yet large enough to be exciting. It’s for those who want to marry sophistication and sunshine with sea breezes and tranquillity. W Hawke’s Bay. Wine Country. Enough said. World Magazine
Three Top Hawke’s Bay Wines Sacred Hill Helmsman 2010 One of New Zealand’s ﬁnest reds from grapes grown on Gimblett Gravels. A perfect blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (45 per cent) Merlot (44 per cent) and Cabernet Franc (11 per cent). This is a stunning example of a Hawke’s Bay Bordeaux-style red wine, rich and seductive with ﬂavours of cassis, violets and sweet black fruits. Save to savour at a ﬂash barbecue with really lovely cuts of meat – this wine deserves something better than burnt sausages. Craggy Range Les Beaux Cailloux 2010 Living proof that Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay is often as good as it gets, this Les Beaux Cailloux means “the beautiful gravels”, so, yes, once again a Gimblett Gravels vineyard. A small production but worth seeking out it has lovely balance with subtle ﬂavours of white peach and gun ﬂint with a ﬁne mineral ﬁnish. Lively acidity and a chalky texture this is a wine to have in one hand with seafood in the other and a glorious sunset on the distant hills… perfect. Squawking Magpie SQM Platinum Syrah 2007 Syrah is the newish red darling of the region and Squawking Magpie celebrates 30 years in the Gimblett Gravels with 10 years of premium Syrah production. With only 400 bottles produced and just released after ﬁve years of careful cellaring, this is a multipleaward-winner with lovely velvet tannins, hints of black pepper and spice with blackcurrant. Majestically moreish. Try with lamb chops or a roast.
From the heart of Marlborough comes a truly exceptional wine
@ THE TOP Nothing adds zest to a great cocktail like a scintillating view. World scouts the globe for the best sky-high bars.
Vertigo & Moon Bar, Banyan Tree Bangkok This alfresco grill and bar 61 ﬂoors above the madness of the city’s streets is the perfect spot to sip a Vertigo Sunset (Malibu, pineapple juice, cranberry juice and lime juice) or tuck into the signature grilled sea bass or a good steak in the sultry heat of a Bangkok night. The Moon Bar is a romantic setting from which to contemplate the heavens (or heavenly one) or gaze down on the cityscape and Chao Phraya River, disappearing into the distance. For a special thrill, arrive in time to watch the tropical sun set in a riot of red and gold directly ahead. It’s billed as the highest alfresco bar in Asia-Pacific, but the word “alfresco” sounds a warning: best give it a miss when it’s raining… www.banyantree.com
The sun goes down and Bangkok lights up, creating a sparkling backdrop for cocktails at the Moon Bar.
The Lounge at At.mosphere, Dubai At.mosphere is billed as the world’s highest restaurant, and who are we to argue? Sitting 442 metres above downtown Dubai on Level 122 of the cloud-piercing Burj Khalifa – at 828m the world’s tallest structure – this plush lounge and grill must rank as a top spot in anyone’s vocabulary. Day or night, the views are, of course, stunning: Dubai’s space-age skyline disappears into the distance on all sides and, looking straight down, the world’s tallest performing fountains put on a spectacular show – particularly illuminated after dark. A high-speed lift whisks guests up to the tower’s 123rd ﬂoor, where they’re greeted by a two-storeyed glass atrium. Cantilevered stairs lead down to the arrival lobby, where you can choose between lounge or grill. Rich, comfortable surroundings, killer views and tempting concoctions like the signature Black Forest (Tanqueray 10, Crème de Mure, muddled raspberries, and blackberries): relax and enjoy till late. www.atmosphereburjkhalifa.com
OZONE, Hong Kong This lavishly decorated bar on the 118th floor of the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong claims to be the highest in Asia, counting up from street level. The views across Hong Kong and Victoria Harbour – when it’s clear – are stunning, but equally striking is the futuristic marble, gold and blue interior that’s at once ultra cool and surprisingly cosy. Grab a corner table for a panoramic view or pop out onto the terrace where you’ll find binoculars for a more detailed squiz. Light, Asian-inspired tapas make good companions to an impressive cocktail menu or a glass of champagne from a vast range of bubbles. The bar can get pretty crowded after 10pm, so arrive early to secure a table – and to take in the nightly Symphony of Lights, a multimedia show involving coloured lights, laser beams and searchlights on both sides of the harbour that begins at 8pm. Signature cocktail: Aria 118 (orange vodka, sake, coconut rum, passionfruit and lychee). www.ritzcarlton.com
Bar La Vue, Paris From your perch beside La Vue’s ﬂoor-to-ceiling windows on the 34th ﬂoor of Hotel Concorde La Fayette, you’ll have Paris at your feet – with the illuminated Eiffel Tower at centre-stage. The scene inside this striking new cocktail bar is not so dusty, either. Italian designer Pier Luigi Copat has created a colourful atmospheric gallery stretching away beneath a vast chandelier created from 11,000 glass rods that reﬂect an array of changing colours. Eclectic music sets designed for general appeal are provided by top DJs from the Tête d’Afﬁche Collective. The bar features a long menu of old and new concoctions from head barman Stephen Martin (voted 2009 Best Mixologist in France), who claims to have four key themes in his shaking and stirring repertoire: dandies, women, history and creativity. The result is some highly original cocktails, deﬁned not by their ingredients “but rather by the emotions you will experience when they pass your lips”. Try this one: Macho 2.0, a heady mix of cognac, spiced liqueur and candied saffron. www.concorde-lafayette.com
Blu Bar on 36, Sydney A few years ago the Shangri-La Hotel in Cumberland St, just up from The Rocks, revamped its 36th ﬂoor, capitalising on the jaw-dropping view of Sydney’s wonderful harbour, the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, etc. and called in New York-based BBGM to design a restaurant, Altitude, and adjacent Blu Bar. A dedicated express lift serves the restaurant and bar, where 5m-high windows take in the extraordinary vista. Day or night it’s a fabulous backdrop to a ﬁne meal or a special cocktail by Blu’s champion mixologists. The bar offers a long menu of signature, “borrowed” and classic cocktails and other beverages, plus a couple of very special-occasion creations. For mere A$10,000, for example, you can impress your significant other with a Martini On The Rock – made with ultra-premium vodka or gin and poured over a diamond sitting in the bottom of the glass. Twenty-four hours’ notice is required for this little number, but it does comes with a hotel room. www.36levelsabove.com.au/blubar
Felix, Hong Kong The ubiquitous Philippe Starck designed this uber-trendy bar and eatery up on the 28th ﬂoor of the Peninsula Hong Kong, with its sweeping views of Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong island and Kowloon. At night the city skyline bursts into multi-coloured life as the acres of neon are switched on – something to behold from the perspective of this glitzy aerie. This is the place where the in-crowd congregates and if you want to eat (innovative Pacific Rim cuisine), bookings are essential. Apart from the restaurant, there’s a balcony, a wine bar, an American bar and, at the centre of the whole Jetsons-meet-James Bond trip, a mini-disco Perspex cube known as The Crazy Box. Starck created something quite extraordinary here, but the real star of the show is the view. The men’s loo in particular is – how shall we put it? – distracting, with a glass urinal affording knee-trembling views of Kowloon. Put on your glad-rags and take the elevator from the arcade entrance next to Hankow Rd. www. hongkong.peninsula.com
Aer, Mumbai Leave the heat, noise and clamour of Mumbai’s crowded streets far below and ride up 34 floors to this open-air lounge bar on the roof of the Four Seasons Hotel, from where the sprawling Indian city takes on a more benign hue. Sip a chilled Afterglow (gin, cucumber, coriander, grapes) from a choice selection of themed cocktails and graze on pizza, sushi and a selection of hot and cold Asian and Mediterranean platters as the sun goes down over the Arabian Sea. From 5.30pm to 8pm, during Sunset Happy Hour, cocktails are half-price. A cover charge (around $44) applies after 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The décor and ambience are cool and relaxed, although the tempo rises with DJ Shaan’s nightly upbeat sets. www.fourseasons.com/mumbai
Press Lounge, New York Some of the most dramatic views of Manhattan and the Hudson River are yours from this elegant rooftop bar that sits atop Ink48 boutique hotel in Hell’s Kitchen (653 11th Avenue). The sister venue to Adam Block’s PRINT Restaurant next door to Ink, Press Lounge is a year-round bar with glass-walled interior and open-air seating for those balmy NY summer nights. Described by one New York Times reviewer as “without question, one of the city’s most attractive rooftop bars”, it has an imaginative cocktail menu and a clever wine list. Cocktails are named after famous newspapers such as Italy’s La Repubblica (grapefruit-infused Bulldog gin, agave nectar lime juice, splash of ginger ale). A bar menu of seasonally inspired small plates completes the picture. www.thepresslounge.com
SkyBar at KU DÉ TA, Singapore SkyBar is part of the chic KU DÉ TA dining, drinking and entertainment complex on the 57th floor of Singapore’s futuristic Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino. From way up here – above the SkyPark observation deck – the Singapore Strait and the ever-changing skyline of this dynamic city is laid our for your inspection, although there’s also plenty to distract you within the KU DÉ TA setting. Open noon till late, a dress code is enforced after 6pm. Signature tipple: Lady Be Mine (vodka, lychees, rose water and lychee juice). www.kudeta.com.sg
Cloud 9, Shanghai Shanghai’s luxurious Grand Hyatt hotel in the soaring Jin Mao Tower contains some of the city’s smartest bars. There’s the intimate Piano Bar on the 53rd ﬂoor and the spectacular Patio Bar, three ﬂoors higher. But the jewel in the cocktail glass must be the appropriately named Cloud 9 up on the 87th floor, which vies with OZONE and At.mosphere for the “highest bar” cup. From here, Shanghai’s astonishing skyline stretches away in multi-coloured splendour. You can even take your drink up to the Sky Lounge, one floor above, where you can sit on the deck and contemplate the curve of the earth. The décor features a maze of vertical columns and polished chrome set against a dark mahogany background. Cocktails are named after the stars and there’s a menu of heavenly desserts. Take the lift from the hotel lobby on level 54 to level 85, from where a dedicated lift will whisk you up to Cloud 9. Cover charge applies. www.shanghai.grand.hyatt.com
“The Menzies is a wine that speaks volumes about Coonawarra and its affinity for Cabernet Sauvignon.” — Peter Gambetta the menzies estate winemaker GOLD MEDAL WINNER Royal Melbourne Wine Show 2011 Limestone Coast Wine Show 2011
ACCORDING TO LUKE Internationally-acclaimed chef Luke Mangan takes an inclusive approach to dining at his latest restaurant, Salt grill in the Hilton Surfers Paradise. By Jeni Bone.
fter more than two decades in the industry, so beloved is chef Luke Mangan he is referred to simply as “Luke” and now by a logo that adorns the plates in his restaurants. He has won more than his share of international accolades and is revered and respected by colleagues, food critics and rivals. From Sydney’s Glass Brasserie and Salt Tokyo to South Food + Wine Bar in San Francisco, Luke’s face, ﬂamboyant style and fare are familiar to TV audiences, celebrities, royalty and the rest of us. He is mates with Sir Richard Branson – for whom he provides private and corporate catering, as well as holding the role of First Class chef for Branson’s Virgin America airlines. Princess Mary of Denmark and Bill Clinton are fans. Aboard P&O cruise ships Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl, the Luke Mangan menu is available to passengers via the salubrious Salt grill. Now, Gold Coast visitors and locals alike are joining the armada of devotees of Luke Mangan signature dishes such as Crab omelette, Enoki mushroom salad and Miso broth at the Hilton Surfers Paradise Salt grill, which opened in September last year. Mangan started his career in Melbourne in the mid-80s as an apprentice under Herman Schneider, of Two Faces fame. After completing his training, he headed to Europe and convinced Michel Roux, of London’s three Michelinstarred Waterside Inn, to take him on. Luke credits his success to these great chefs, who were both inﬂuential and instrumental in teaching him the craft. Today, all Mangan’s establishments share the hallmarks of his cooking philosophy: to source the ﬁnest and freshest local ingredients and showcase them with a clean and contemporary twist. His cooking aims to enhance and accentuate, rather than mask, the natural taste of the ingredients. Mangan is renowned for his unexpected creations, a tribute to his French classical training and Asian influences, combined with a passion for simple, fresh flavours and
Opposite page: Hilton Surfers Paradise, home to Salt grill. Right: Luke Mangan.
Left to right: Beetroot carpaccio, witlof, blue cheese and rocket salad; Dark chocolate fondant, pistachio and white choc parfait, choc mousse cone; Seared scallops, cauliﬂower puree, citrus salad, basil oil.
only the best-quality ingredients. As if directing restaurants around the globe and on the high seas were not enough, Mangan is author of four cookbooks: BLD – Breakfast/ Lunch/Dinner (in 2000), Luke Mangan Food (2002), Luke Mangan Classics (2005) and, most recently, Luke Mangan At Home and in the Mood. He’s also a multimedia entity these days, with regular spots on the Today show in Australia and several appearances on the US version. His zeal, creativity and charisma won him the role of lead chef for the G’Day USA 2009 campaign, promoting all things Australian to the US market. Add hosting his own series to that CV. Appetizing Adventures With Luke Mangan screened in the US and Asia in 2008 and featured the cuisines and cultures of Bangkok, Seoul, Tokyo, Manila, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Mumbai and Sydney. You can always take Luke home with you, too, courtesy of his eponymous range of delicacies – a selection of spices, oils, vinegars, condiments, wines, tea, coffee and desserts. The distinctive product range is unique in that it involves close working partnerships between Mangan and leading artisan producers whose quality produce he wishes to champion. The range is constantly evolving and stocked by leading boutique food outlets around Australia. It’s also available via his website, lukemangan.com and, soon, within the deli beneath the Hilton Surfers Paradise, alongside other handmade, home-cooked and tantalising goods. A committed philanthropist, Mangan offers his culinary skills to community and industry organisations internationally to raise funds for charity. He is a supporter of the Starlight Foundation in Australia, The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and the James Beard Foundation in New York, and is also involved in several other charities. He co-founded the Appetite for Excellence awards programme in 2009, promoting the development of young chefs, waiters and restaurateurs around the country.
Concerning his latest venture at the spanking-new Hilton Surfers Paradise, Mangan says he feels “ecstatic” about its location – hovering as it does above the palms and pavements of this colourful quarter of Surfers – and its concept of making superlative dining accessible to all. “There’s something for everybody, whether you’re looking for caviar and champagne or the humble ﬁsh and chips. All the family will be catered for and feel comfortable at Salt grill,” he says. Asked whether the broader Gold Coast is quite ready for “ﬁsh and chips à la Mangan” from the lofty heights of the newest ﬁve-star establishment in Surfers Paradise, Mangan is quick to point out that Gold Coasters have always been quick on the uptake. “They are very sophisticated, well-travelled. From my experience, there is a culture of great restaurants on the Gold Coast and wonderful local produce. People will be surprised and proud of Salt grill joining the local scene, and the difference will be my approach to food and the beautifully designed, modern restaurant. Salt grill is a fun approach to dining.” But the true indication of the clout his cuisine commands is in the clientele at his restaurants – the palates of the people, so to speak. The day I dine at Salt grill, the lunch crowd is as diverse as the holiday crowd on the boulevards and in the mall beneath the venue’s oversized porthole windows. There’s a table of professional gals, iPhones at the ready and oversize handbags on chairs like lolly-coloured life vests. A couple dines oblivious to us all and deep in debate (or is it a rendezvous à deux far from prying eyes?). Then there’s a clutch of Gold Coast matrons, impeccably coiffed, who seem comfortably ensconced at their regular table. Two realtor types do deals closest to the kitchen, gesticulating wildly enough to shoo away wait staff. Then there are the mandatory Korean guests, all navy-suited elegance, hushed tones and primed to dine. Salt grill’s ambience and menu cater to eclectic tastes. The man behind
the brand describes his Salt grill repertoire as his own “rendition of contemporary Australian food”. “Salt grill is an ambient space where locals, foodies and visitors can feel relaxed and comfortable, yet indulgent at the same time,” says Mangan. “There are already some really great restaurants on the Gold Coast, and it has been terrific to be able to be able to give locals another option serving simple and uncomplicated food that is full of ﬂavour.” The wait staff – themselves foodies who can tell you precisely the amount of crunch on the brulée compared to the consistency of the soufﬂé (more substance than some, but still “mallowy”, as is today’s trend) – are eager to advise. It’s evident they have sampled the menu here and elsewhere and are vocal cheerleaders for Salt grill’s variety, which they tell me changes seasonally, with a few staples. And that’s what I am here to enjoy: Luke’s signature dishes, such as the Kingﬁsh sashimi with ginger, eschallot and Persian feta; Glass Sydney crab omelette with miso mustard broth; and the slightly erotic Chocolate three ways. The à la carte selection is tantalising. From caviar, oysters and seared rare tuna to tapas, a fulsome variety of entrées and mains, including freerange farmed meats and ﬁsh from the grill and sides that extend beyond fries – mixed leaf salad, carrots with Luke’s dukkah, mashed potatoes and, yes, French fries, gentriﬁed with Parmesan. For the gourmand and those who just cannot settle on one dish, there’s the degustation menu: Tempura flower and scallop mousse; Kingfish sashimi; Crab omelette; Chargrilled quail, pancetta shallot purée and ﬁg; Steamed Petuna ocean trout, prawn cutlet, cauliflower cream, zucchini ﬂower; Rangers Valley striploin (hindquarter cut, prized for its marbling), sautéed spinach, pickled shimeji, cherry tomato and trufﬂed red wine jus; a selection of cheeses; and, ﬁnally, Chocolate cherry pavé, cocoa sorbet and cherry couli.
Championing the return of the long, long lunch (with more schmooze than booze these days), there’s the added incentive of Friday lunches at Salt grill – a set menu priced from $20, which gets you Luke’s famous Wagyu burger, a gourmet pie, minute steak or market fish and truffle fries and a glass of selected wine or local beer. For those who can spare the time to savour an extended list of Mangan’s specialties, there’s the $40 two-course menu or $50 three-course selection that will absolutely impress your colleagues or guests. The long lunch might not be PC or stack up in the cost-beneﬁt analysis, but lingering longer is a cinch at Salt grill. Subtly lit, the restaurant boasts a large open-plan kitchen etched brightly in stainless steel and all ablaze, allowing guests to interact with the chefs and view their tantalising labours in process. Three separate dining zones have their own unique styles and distinguishing features and the wine room is a marvel. Salt grill is cavernous yet cosy, sophisticated yet so very “GC” – humming and efﬁcient. Four months into trading, Salt grill was ofﬁcially acknowledged with a Chef Hat (think Michelin star) in the 2012 Australian Good Food and Travel Guide awards. According to this esteemed digest of the national restaurant scene, Salt grill is a welcome addition to the Gold Coast landscape. “It is very rare for a restaurant that has only been trading for a few short months to achieve success in these awards. It really goes to show the calibre of restaurant that Salt grill is.” Salt was once considered the most precious of nature’s gifts, substituting gold and silver as payment to soldiers of the Roman legions (“salary” is derived from the custom of receiving a ration of salt). Now, unanimously, Salt grill has become the Gold Coast’s most prized W natural asset. All hail the epicurean emperor: Luke Mangan. www.hiltonsurfersparadise.com.au World Magazine
Kingﬁsh sashimi, Persian feta, ginger and shallot Created by Luke Mangan
You can use any good-quality ﬁsh for this canapé. Ingredients 200g good-quality kingﬁsh sea salt freshly ground black pepper 50g Persian feta Dressing 50g ginger 100ml sugar syrup (see below) 50ml vinegar 1 shallot, peeled and ﬁnely diced 1 tablespoon soy sauce splash extra-virgin olive oil Sugar syrup 500g white sugar 500ml (2 cups) cold water
Preparation For the sugar syrup, put sugar and water in a saucepan and boil until sugar dissolves. Makes about 1 litre. Sugar syrup lasts for a long time and is handy to have made up. Store in a sterilised jar in the refrigerator. For the dressing, peel and slice ginger very thinly with a sharp knife (or mandolin if you have one). Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes and refresh in cold water three times. Heat sugar syrup and vinegar together and pour over blanched ginger. Let cool, place in fridge for at least a couple of hours for ﬂavours to develop. To serve, dice ginger as fine as you can (retaining pickling liquor), mix with shallot and soy sauce, olive oil and a splash of pickling liquor. Slice kingﬁsh thinly with a sharp filleting knife, season and drizzle with ginger and shallot dressing. Twist the fish into the shape of a rose and serve on Chinese spoons, lavosh bread or another type of biscuit. Finish with crumbled Persian feta.
Surfers Paradise, Australia
THE NEW LEXUS LS
THINK Differently CREATE Differently
LS460 F Sport. Overseas model shown
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hat is a supercar? There’s no true deﬁnition, but let’s think of it as meaning cars designed ﬁrst and foremost to push the boundaries of performance, handling and technology. There have been many amazing supercars over the decades. But it’s the nature of the genre that, just occasionally, new models come along that represent a truly great leap forwards. Here are 10 that helped redeﬁne the supercar genre. LEXUS LFA (2010–12) The LFA is not a supercar in the classic sense: it’s a front-engined, rear-drive coupé. But everything about the Lexus places it in the top echelon of performance cars: power, high-tech construction, exclusivity and critical acclaim. Especially critical acclaim: like the Honda NSX before it, the LFA is regarded as a staggering achievement from a company that has not made a supercar before. The LFA was a long time in development, with the first prototype produced as early as 2003. The production version is powered by a V10 that revs so fast its maker claims a digital tachometer is required to accurate display engine speed. The frame is constructed from carbon ﬁbre-reinforced polymer, which constitutes the majority of the car’s construction. The rest is lightweight aluminium. Just 500 LFAs were built over two years. No successor is planned.
LEGENDS OF STYLE AND SPEED David Linklater picks 10 fast, beautiful, groundbreaking models that have helped shape our understanding of what’s meant by the word ‘supercar’.
Ultra-exclusive Lexus LFA certainly does not ﬁt the supercar mould - but it has earned a place as one of the most highly regarded highperformance cars ever made.
Ferrari F40 (above) of the 1980s still inspires awe today: it’s one supercar with a true racing heritage, and a focus on light weight and aerodynamics. McLaren F1 (right) was its natural successor as the top supercar of the 1990s – but do either offer as much usable performance as the modern Ferrari 458 Italia (opposite page,top)?
FERRARI F40 (1987–92) At the time of its launch, the F40 was the fastest, most powerful and most expensive car ever built by Ferrari. It grew out of a racing model called the 288 GTO: when the Group B series it competed in was discontinued, Ferrari did not want to waste all its work and decided to create the ultimate roadgoing supercar. The F40’s speed came as much from aerodynamics and light weight as sheer power (it had a twin-turbo V8). The body shape was completely new and featured panels made from lightweight materials such as carbon fibre and aluminium. There were few luxuries; in fact, some of the glass was replaced with plastic to further reduce weight. The F40 was the first road-registered car to break the 320km/h (200mph) barrier. It is still regarded as one of the most exciting supercars ever made. FERRARI 458 ITALIA (2009–) The 458 Italia is not the fastest, most expensive or most exclusive contemporary supercar. But it is regarded as the most complete by many, returning Ferrari to styling form and incorporating many elements from Ferrari’s F1 programme. The 458 is regarded as a mainstream model by Ferrari, yet its capabilities show just how far supercars have come: it’s faster than the legendary, ultra-exclusive F40 both in a straight line
and around Ferrari’s own Fiorano test track (1min 25sec versus 1min 29.60sec). F1-derived aids that help the 458 to such fast times include E-Diff and F1-Trac technologies. McLAREN F1 (1992–98) The McLaren F1 was intended to be the ultimate in high power and light weight – as well as demanding the absolute best from its driver. The company insisted on a naturally aspirated engine (a 6.0-litre V12 from BMW), exotic materials and an absence of electronic driver aids such as anti-lock braking or stability control. One of the unique features of the F1 was its central driving position: it was a three-seater, with the driver positioned ahead of two passengers (who sat on either side). This was partly to give the experience of driving a racing car on the road, but also a practical way of packaging an extra seat into the cabin. The F1 was designed with painstaking attention to aerodynamic detail – so much so that there are hardly any spoilers or wings on the car. One exception is a small adjustable ﬂap that automatically deploys and adjusts under braking to help balance the car. In 1998, the McLaren F1 was timed at 390.99km/h, making it the fastest road car ever at that time. Many thought it could never be beaten. They were wrong.
It might have looked like a pumped-up 911, but the Porsche 959 (above, left and right) was the most technologically advanced supercar of its time and the ﬁrst to employ fourwheel drive. Bugatti Veyron (opposite page, middle) a genuine 400km/h-plus machine, while the Honda NSX (bottom) showed Japan could match Europe in supercar excitement.
PORSCHE 959 (1986–89) The 959 was the fastest production car available in 1986, with a top speed of 317km/h. It was also the most technologically sophisticated, with an advanced all-wheeldrive system that could shift torque around under a wide variety of driving conditions, and aerodynamics with adjustable ride height that virtually eliminated lift at high speeds. The 959 was born out of Porsche’s desire to see just how far it could push the boundaries of the existing 911 coupé. It was ostensibly a homologation model to allow a racing programme for the 959, although advancing road car technology was the real reason for the project. The all-wheel-drive system – one of the first to be used on a supercar – was so successful that Porsche made the technology standard on the 911 Turbo from 1993 onwards. BUGATTI VEYRON (2005–) The Veyron rejects much of the perceived wisdom about supercar design: it is heavy and complex, with the original 8.0-litre quad-turbo W16 engine making 736kW (or just over 1,000bhp). Yet the Veyron also keeps the supercar spirit alive by taking everything to extremes: it was created without regard to cost, to be the most astonishingly fast car the world has ever seen. Virtually every element of the car is bespoke: even the tyres have been speciﬁcally designed for the car and can only be mounted on the rims at the Bugatti factory in France. Veyron is most famous for its straight-line speed. The most powerful version of the car, the Super Sport, boasts
880kW/1100Nm. In 2010, it achieved an average speed of 431.072km/h, to become the world’s fastest production car. However, top speed of the production models is limited to a mere 415km/h to protect the integrity of the tyres. The ﬁrst ﬁve Super Sport models produced were ﬁnished in the same black-and-orange colour scheme as the recordbreaking car. HONDA NSX (1990–2005) It’s fair to say that until the NSX came along, supercar owners were prepared to accept that a great deal of reliability and practicality had to be sacrificed in the pursuit of superlative speed and style. With the NSX, Honda used Ferrari as its benchmark and set out to prove Japan could build a supercar that combined the ultimate in excitement with everyday ease-of use. The NSX was mid-engined and low-slung, but visibility was excellent for the driver because the company had studied the canopy design of jet ﬁghters. The V6 engine was modest by contemporary supercar standards, but cutting-edge componentry such as titanium connecting rods allowed very high revs (over 8,000rpm). All-aluminium construction throughout the car ensured light weight and rapid performance. The car drew heavily on Honda’s Formula 1 expertise and the chassis was developed with the help of F1 drivers such as Satoru Nakajima and Ayrton Senna. A new NSX will go on sale in 2015 – still a supercar, but a 21st-century interpretation, with a V6 engine and hybrid powertrain featuring three electric motors.
Above: Behind the wheel of what was arguably the ﬁrst supercar, the MercedesBenz 300SL. But say ‘supercar’ these days and most will think of Lamborghini. Its Miura (top right) and Countach (bottom) are undoubtedly two icons of the genre.
MERCEDES-BENZ 300SL GULLWING (1954–63) The Mercedes-Benz SL line celebrated its 60th birthday last year. These days we know it as a luxurious roadster, but look back to its beginnings and the SL stakes a claim as one of the ﬁrst supercars of the modern era. The SL was a roadgoing development of the 1952 300SL racing car. High technology included a direct-injection six-cylinder engine, advanced aerodynamics, aluminium components (it could also be ordered with all-alloy body panels) and racing car-like tubular chassis. A proper supercar must also have outrageous styling. Again, the 300SL led the way with its “gullwing” doors – actually a functional feature, as the super-strong chassis structure required extra height along the side of the car. At the time of its launch in 1954, the 300SL was the world’s fastest production car, with a top speed of 260km/h. LAMBORGHINI MIURA (1966–72) Two things most enthusiasts will agree on: the Lamborghini Miura is one of the most beautiful cars ever made. And it’s the car that established the template for what we understand a supercar to be. Formerly a maker of grand touring cars, Lamborghini
created the Miura as a racing-style machine for the road. Central to the concept was a chassis that packed the V12 engine and transmission tightly together in the middle of car, allowing excellent weight distribution and a sleek body shape. In fact, the car was ﬁrst shown as a chassis only at the 1965 Turin Motor Show. The dramatic body shape was revealed at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show and created a sensational genre we now know as the supercar. LAMBORGHINI COUNTACH (1974–90) The Lamborghini Countach was the car that ultimately replaced the Miura. It also became the ultimate poster car – arguably of all time. The Countach was designed for speed and style above all else; practicality was never a consideration. The tubular construction was clothed in aluminium. The underbody, combined with the extreme width of the car, necessitated an unusual door design. The Countach’s “scissor” doors were among many features that made it a supercar icon – they were there for a practical reason, because conventional doors would not fit on the high sills and they would have opened far too wide. But extreme supercar style was, of course, also a major consideration. W
For more information on the new 911 Carrera 4S contact Continental Cars or visit www.porsche.co.nz
Light-years ahead since 1963. 50 years Porsche 911. There are more than 500,000 words in the German language. But only 3 digits can describe the legendary feeling: 911. What began 50 years ago is today sports car history. Now in the 7th generation, itâ€™s livelier than ever. With design that makes it a style icon, and technology that was trendsetting from the very ďŹ rst second. Still is today. And will be tomorrow.
40 Great South Road, Newmarket Phone 09 526 8991 Email email@example.com www.ccs.co.nz
FRESH WHEELS Fast, luxurious, economical, practical, versatile, stylish, innovative… David Linklater reviews the latest crop of head-turning autos.
ROLLS-ROYCE WRAITH Ostensibly, the new Wraith is a coupé version of Rolls-Royce’s new Ghost. But it’s much more than that: it’s also the fastest and most powerful car the marque has ever built, designed to have a character all its own. The cabin incorporates a “horseshoe sweep” shape and is upholstered in Phantom-grade leather. There is also a wealth of significant details: consider the bright orange applied to the needle tips of the clock, which is a reference to Rolls-Royce’s aviation heritage and also intended to be a hint of the car’s extreme performance potential.
Rolls-Royce goes fastback: new Wraith is the quickest, most powerful and most driver-focused model ever from the marque.
ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM The second generation of Rolls-Royce’s super-luxury Phantom features an improved V12 engine, a new eightspeed automatic transmission and the very latest in driver-assistance and multi media systems, including a new colour screen in the cabin with enhanced satellite navigation and surround-view parking cameras. But the fundamentals of Phantom have not changed: like every Rolls-Royce, it’s still built entirely by hand and heavily personalised by clients through the Rolls-Royce Bespoke programme. BMW 3-SERIES TOURING Sleek looks are only half the story behind the new 3-series Touring. With an extra 50mm in the wheelbase and an overall increase in length of 97mm, BMW has put a great deal of work into making its new wagon practical and versatile. The Munich carmaker claims the 495-litre cargo bay leads its class for space. The tailgate has a separate opening window for easy loading of smaller items in tight spaces and the rear seat is split in an unusual 40/20/40 configuration to provide the best possible blend of passenger and cargo space, as required. The petrol and diesel powertrains, chassis and equipment levels of the Touring closely follow those of the award-winning 3-series sedan. BMW X6 M50d There’s a new line of BMW vehicles called M Performance: vehicles aimed at the enthusiast and tuned by the legendary BMW M division. The updated X6 has brought another M Performance model into the ranks: the X6 M50d, which boasts a triple-turbocharged diesel engine making 280kW and an incredible 740Nm of torque. The M50d is capable of V8-rivalling performance, but the diesel engine and high-tech injection system mean it’s still capable of 7.7 litres per 100km. However, the X6 M50d is not merely about power and torque. Its eight-speed transmission, suspension and aerodynamics have been specially tuned by BMW M with enthusiast drivers in mind. MINI PACEMAN Mini is no longer merely a car: it’s a brand all its own. The seventh Mini variant to be developed by BMW is the Paceman, a coupé version of the Countryman crossover the maker calls a Sports Activity Coupé (SAC). The Paceman is a two-door machine with a large tailgate, a raised seating position and two individual chairs in the back for a coupé-like ambience. Although Mini has traditionally meant small, many aspects of the Paceman’s design are actually intended to accentuate its size. It’s the ﬁrst Mini to have a horizontal tail-light shape, which emphasises the car’s width and increases its on-road presence.
BMW seems to have the knack of combining sporting credentials with amazing practicality: from the X6 M50d (left and below), to the 3-series Touring (above and top) to the idiosyncratic new Mini Paceman (bottom). New Rolls-Royce Phantom (opposite page) boasts a high-tech powertrain and even more luxury equipment.
There is no stopping the Peugeot-Citroen group when it comes to stylish crossover vehicles. Newcomers this season include the Citroen C4 Aircross (above) and the Peugeot 2008 (above right). The new Lexus LS (far right) gains dramatic “spindle grille” styling and some world-ﬁrst cabin features.
CITROEN C4 AIRCROSS The C4 Aircross is Citroen’s take on the fast-growing compact-crossover segment. Like the sister Peugeot 4008, the Aircross is based on the Mitsubishi ASX but with a heavy injection of French design ﬂair. Aside from the dramatic styling, the Aircross reflects contemporary customer tastes by offering both front-drive and four-wheel-drive powertrains. The front-drive model eliminates unnecessary weight and complexity for those who intend to use their vehicle only on-road. But even the four-wheel-drive model operates in front drive (98 per cent of power) most of the time to save fuel, distributing torque to the rear only when needed. For more demanding conditions, the system can be locked into a 50/50 torque split with a simple selector. PEUGEOT 2008 Following on from the larger 4008, the 2008 is a bespoke Peugeot design that takes the crossover concept into the small-car segment. The 2008 is the first model from the French maker to be designed across several geographical markets simultaneously. The styling picks up many design details from the RCZ
sports car. At under 4.2m in length, the car is designed to combine the advantages of the high seating position of a crossover with the compact parking-friendly dimensions of a small hatchback. LEXUS LS The flagship Lexus LS sedan lineup has been redesigned around the Japanese brand’s aggressive new styling philosophy. The bold exterior now showcases the distinctive “spindle grille” already seen on the smaller GS and RX crossover models. As with the previous model, all LS incarnations are V8 powered, including the top hybrid models. A shift towards more sportiness for LS has also brought the option of an F Sport package for both the rear-drive and short wheelbase, all-wheel-drive hybrid models. The LS carries some world-ﬁrst technologies. The Climate Concierge on the Luxury Pack and long-wheelbase hybrid models automatically manages the climate air conditioning, heated steering wheel and heated/cooled seats. The Advanced Illumination System matches different lighting accents to different driving scenarios.
PORSCHE CARRERA 4 The next evolution of the seventh-generation Porsche has arrived, with the launch of the Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S models. The 3.4-litre and 3.8-litre engines are carried over from the Carrera 2, but the Carrera 4 boasts rear wheel arches that are 44mm wider, ﬁlled by rear wheels that extend 10mm more than the standard car. Porsche has maintained a rear-drive feel for the Carrera 4 with a sophisticated four-wheel-drive system that only sends power to the front axle when needed. Drivers can keep tabs on where the torque is going via a graphic on the dashboard, which shows how power is being distributed in real-time. The Carrera 4 is available in both coupé and cabriolet body styles. AUDI S6 The heart and soul of any Audi S car is the engine. The new S6 is powered by a 4.0-litre V8 with two turbochargers: less capacity and fewer cylinders than the V10 model it replaces, but still the fastest S6 the German maker has ever produced. The 309kW/550Nm doesn’t compromise on performance, but it also boasts a number of high-tech features that ensure optimum efficiency. Low-friction metals are used in its construction, stopstart shuts it down when the car is stationary and an advanced cylinder-on-demand system turns the V8 into a V4 when driving conditions allow. The S6 features Audi’s latest quattro drivetrain, including a sports differential that can direct power to the rear wheel that needs it most during enthusiastic driving. MAZDA6 Mazda’s familiar mid-size sedan and wagon are moving dramatically upmarket in their latest Mazda6 guise. The all-new model incorporates not only Mazda’s new look, which it calls “soul of motion”, but also the complete package of the maker’s SkyActiv technologies. SkyActiv represents a complete redesign of conventional engine, transmission and platform construction, with the emphasis on low friction and light weight. The Mazda6 is available in both petrol and diesel models, each with six-speed transmissions. HYUNDAI i40 Korean maker Hyundai has emerged with a range of sharp-looking, dynamically impressive models in recent years. Of particular interest are those designed for the European market, such as the i40. Not to be confused with the familiar i45, the i40 is slightly smaller, has different styling inside and out and is tuned more for fast driving than comfort. Key to the model’s appeal is a 1.7-litre turbo diesel whose performance belies its modest capacity.
Left: You can easily identify the four-wheel-drive version of the new Porsche 911 Carrera by its bulging rear wheel arches. This page, from top: Audi S6 boasts thunderous twin-turbo V8 power; Mazda6 and Hyundai i40 are two mainstream models with sights set on premium quality.
The Volkswagen Golf (above and right) is one of the most popular cars in the world and one of the longest-running. New seventh-generation model is one of VW’s most important launches for many years. Mercedes is also renewing its focus on the premium small-car segment, with the sleek new A-class (bottom). VOLKSWAGEN GOLF The new Golf is the seventh generation of what is arguably the world’s most respected small car. But there’s more to it than that: it’s based on a new platform called MQB, which will underpin every new front-drive model from Volkswagen and Audi, in a variety of sizes, for many years to come. Consolidating construction in this way has led to major cost savings and lighter weight compared with the previous model. All Golf models now feature BlueMotion Technology (BMT), including stop/start and brake energy regeneration, contributing to fuel economy that’s 18 per cent better than the previous model. Safety features include a multi-collision braking system, which stops the car automatic following an impact, and an optional proactive occupant protection system that senses when an accident may be imminent and prepares the vehicle accordingly. MERCEDES-BENZ A-CLASS It’s all change for the compact Mercedes-Benz A-class. The brand-new model has moved away completely from the tall styling and double-ﬂoor construction of the previous model, and embraced a sporty new ethos. All models feature sleek styling and advanced powertrains. But a new range of performance-oriented models is also giving the A-class the aura of a hero model. The socalled Sport models beneﬁt from tuning and chassis development by the marque’s AMG, and there’s a fully ﬂedged performance model still to come: the A45 AMG with all-wheel drive. The A-class is also the base for a forthcoming sleek four-door coupé, in the style of the W larger CLS. It will be called the CLA.
The new Golf, from $32,250*. Incredible, but true. The new Golf was designed to meet standards most would ďŹ nd hard to believe. It had to be roomier and safer, yet more agile. Quicker, and still more fuel efďŹ cient. More progressive, while being even more affordable. Incredible as it may sound, the new Golf has surpassed expectations. If you still have trouble believing, take it for a test drive. Call us to arrange yours today.
38 Great South Road, Newmarket Phone 09 526 6968 Email firstname.lastname@example.org www.ccs.co.nz * Price excludes on-road costs. Optional extras shown on image.
t’s the ideal arrangement. Arrive at your fabulous superyacht, met by skipper and crew, a well-stocked galley and cellar, with a meticulously organised itinerary, tailored to your whims, ahead of you. Explore an inlet, or the seven seas, then return your vessel to the marina, step off without a care and savour the memories of your sojourn – no refuelling, no cleaning, no ongoing invoices for maintenance. Luxury charters are enjoying a surge in popularity, driven by savvy operators using the internet to capture the imaginations of the afﬂuent traveller and position chartering as the no-strings-attached way of enjoying your own yacht. Bob Saxon, president of International Yacht Collection (IYC), reports that chartering has actually maintained a much better pace than sales over the recent few years, weathering the GFC. “I think this is due in part to the fact that while many affluent consumers are not ready to build or buy, they still want to realise the yachting experience. What better way to do it than to charter?” One phenomenon that affects the charter market and has buoyed it somewhat, according to Saxon, is the desire to charter both the largest and the newest models. “Those who have the ﬁnancial wherewithal to charter the biggest and newest are more financially resilient and their decision to charter yachts in that rareﬁed atmosphere is less affected.” Chartering boasts many beneﬁts over buying. Says Saxon: “Charter clients enjoy the variety of yachts and destinations they can choose from. It’s sort of like going to a different vacation destination each season or year on a different mode of transportation. The variety broadens the vacation experience. Not to forget, the charter customer is the ‘owner’ of the yacht during the vacation and enjoys being able to walk away at the end of the charter, leaving what might be described as ‘issues of ownership’ behind.” Reia Stannard, charter director at CharterWorld, which, as the name suggests, manages luxury charters the world over, says increasing awareness is in turn raising the proﬁle of luxury charters through word-of-mouth referral. “The yachting industry is still relatively small and the idea of chartering a yacht is new to many. With the rise of the internet, information about chartering is now readily available and this is a new discovery for a lot of high-end clients who may not necessarily be from yachting-based communities such as Fort Lauderdale or Monaco.” She says chartering a superyacht or megayacht is the viable option for people who would possibly never consider buying a yacht. “Cost, flexibility and responsibility are key. Owning a yacht is a big investment and requires a lot of financial input and time management. Most charter clients recognise this and realise they can charter a much larger and better boat than they could afford to buy; they can charter when and wherever they want in the world and they have none of the stress involved with maintenance, logistics and crew management.” As the charter market matures, its demands, too, have become more exacting. Stannard admits a sophisticated clientele makes for longer and longer lists of requirements. “The lists are becoming longer and longer, but fortunately so are
SUPERYACHT TO GO
Luxury yacht charters offer a mega-rich holiday lifestyle without the huge ongoing costs and responsibilities of actually owning a superyacht. Itâ€™s a growing phenomenon, catering to all tastes and predilections united by a yearning for blue horizons. By Jeni Bone.
Power or sail, your luxury yacht awaits, ready to explore wherever your dreams direct (depending on the conditions and season, of course).
The broad spectrum of amenities of each charter yacht – from styling, accommodation, water toys, to chef, crew, masseuse and more – all allow the client to pick the vessel best suited to the vacation they desire.
the amenities and toys now available. Basics such as highspeed internet, Jacuzzis and jetskis are almost commonplace now. Some will request helicopters and yachts with landing pads and swimming pools.” Then there are the innumerable toys, gadgets and gear, provisions for fun and security – high-powered tenders, sonic cannons, lasers, satellites, waterslides, ﬂoating theatre screens – catering to the concerns and palates of the mega-rich, megayacht fraternity. “Charter vacations are customised to the whims, desires, and palates of the charter consumer and that’s the charm, when compared to booking first class on the QE II for example,” says Bob Saxon. “The broad spectrum of amenities that each charter yacht offers – the interior styling, the accommodation plan, the water toys, the talents of the chef, the experience of the crew and the skills they bring – all allow the customer to pick the yacht and crew best suited to fulﬁl the particular desires they have in mind.” Expat New Zealander Jeni Tidmarsh – who now lives on Queensland’s Gold Coast – has been operating in the global charter market for 23 years. As charter director of the Luxury Charter Group, she has seen the sector grow with the advent of the internet. But while the net has helped people research their dream destinations, the glut of information can prove somewhat confusing. “My role is to advise and customise the charter experience to suit my clients,” she explains. “As a highly specialised charter broker, I make a point of being well informed about all types of yachts worldwide that are available on the charter market. “I attend the charter and trade shows in Genoa, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Monaco and Antigua every year, where I meet the captains, crews and owners, so that I know their points of difference, their movements and itineraries. My team and I personally inspect over 400 yachts a year at international charter shows worldwide.” A passionate sailor and seasoned traveller herself, Tidmarsh refers to superyacht charters as “ﬂoating boutique hotels”. “My clients are discerning travellers. Many have stayed in the best hotels all over the world and they’re looking for the same exclusive quality onboard a yacht. My clients are seeking a different type of private retreat compared to staying on land in a hotel for a week. On a private yacht charter the wallpaper changes every day without having to repack your bags. The hotel goes with you!” Despite being high-net-worth individuals, those seeking solace or excitement in the rareﬁed realm of luxury charters are not interested in adding a boat to their retinue of assets/ liabilities. “They don’t want to own a boat or know what a winch is or what to do with it,” says Tidmarsh. “They’re just looking for a unique holiday experience in places they would otherwise be unable to reach. They choose to charter in different destinations to enjoy different holiday experiences that different cultures and destinations offer.” Far from suffering during the economic downturn, Tidmarsh has seen her own business expand alongside growing demand, now consulting to clients in Australia, New Zealand, the US and Europe. “I have clients that I have worked with for several years and they refer me to their friends and colleagues. We have just
expanded with an office in Florida and a specialist charter broker there to take care of our US clients and charters in Caribbean destinations.” It’s this expert advice that charter clients rely on, she says. “We personalise every charter to the client’s requirements. Our professional objective is matching the right yacht for the client in the right destination that they desire. “Every client is different. Some require specific accommodation, others speed; some want a slower pace; some want to dine ashore, others want to be far from anywhere; families enjoy a variety of water toys; some require a helicopter deck, others a nurse, a dive guide, a masseuse on board; some a gym to keep fit, others special dietary requirements.” Tidmarsh ensures she knows the product inside out – one of the perks of the job, no doubt! “The eastern Med is my specialty and we always have lots of clients wanting to visit, and revisit, Croatia, Greece and Turkey. I visit twice a year to inspect boats for our clients so we are always best informed for our clients. “I also cruise and charter myself to explore destinations so we are well informed to advise clients on itineraries and places of interest to visit, at the right times of the year and considering factors such as seasonal winds, seasons, festivals and events.” Around the world, superyacht owners are getting in on a thriving industry, chartering their yachts to generate a return on investment – partially paying for their upkeep – and keeping crews motivated, as well as adding an important selling feature with significant added value if they should choose to sell. The beneﬁt to the chartering public, those who can afford between US$100,000 and US$700,000-plus per week, is the astonishing range of yachts available in new and exotic destinations. Stannard explains: “It used to be very difficult to find anything high quality ‘off the beaten track’ but now it’s possible. In the Med, destinations such as St Tropez, Monaco, Sardinia and Amalfi are timeless in their popularity, but Croatia is definitely one of the hottest new Mediterranean destinations at the moment. In other parts of the world, there is a growing number of high-quality boats now available in French Polynesia and Asian destinations such as Myanmar and Indonesia.” According to Tidmarsh, while the rewards of her labours are no doubt lucrative, the incentive for her is “the joy of providing a real holiday to people”. “Every single person says the experience exceeded their expectations. Sharing my love of destinations and the yachting lifestyle – that’s the reward.” The ﬁnal word belongs to one client who Tidmarsh reports was “overwhelmed” by his recent charter experience. “He said he couldn’t believe how much there was to do, yet how tranquil it was. It was like living on an island, with a one-to-one ratio of crew to guests. There was plenty to occupy their time, yet there were no distractions. He was travelling with his family and the charter allowed them to spend genuine quality time together, and enough space for time apart. He said they really got to know each other and themselves on the yacht. “It grants you total relaxation, time to immerse yourself in W nature, let your thoughts ﬂoat off to the horizon.”
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No matter how familiar we may be with certain regions or cities of the world, there’s always a new perspective to be gained from a return visit – especially if you arrive by ship. With that in mind, we continue our regular series on cruising, this time with European and Mediterranean itineraries for 2013 in mind. By Thomas Hyde.
venture to guess there’s hardly a port anywhere in the world today that isn’t served by a cruise ship. Cruising is more diversiﬁed and adaptable than it’s ever been, defying the notion that seeing even the most remote places in the world is only for young people with a pack on their back. If I can speak for a generation, we did that too many years ago and it satisﬁed our quest for adventure. Today, we seek a certain level of comfort with our adventures, which is why cruising is a perfect match. Cruising brings new possibilities to a generation that otherwise might ponder the rigours of travel by other means and decide it’s easier just to stay home. For an increasing number of travellers – particularly the so-called “boomer generation” – cruising is proving to be a revelation. After a day touring one of the great cities of the world, for example, there’s nothing quite like returning to the comfort of your private stateroom or suite to catch your breath and freshen up before pre-dinner cocktails and a meal designed by some of the world’s leading chefs. Cruising is such a contrast to travel by other means, it’s not surprising so many firsttime cruisers ﬁnd they can hardly wait to do it again. Uniquely, cruising can take you back to places you’ve visited by land and, arriving by sea, show them to you as though for the ﬁrst time.
Under sail: the sumptuous 88m yacht Le Ponant carries just 64 passengers on its voyage along the French Riviera.
Compagnie Du Ponant Itinerary: French Riviera, Nice to Nice Ship: Le Ponant Nights: 8 Departs: 13 October 2013 If you’re looking for something completely different and at the same time wondering how it feels to live like the rich and famous sailing around the French Riviera, then this is the cruise for you. Le Ponant is one of four ships in the Compagnie Du Ponant ﬂeet, but the only yacht: a glorious 88-metre yacht, beautifully appointed and sprinkled with touches of glamour. This three-masted yacht accommodates just 64 passengers, serviced by a crew of 32. Under full sail she can slice through the water at up to 14 knots. But who cares about speed, with so many seductive ports of call lying beachby-beach along the coast. The cruise begins and ends in Nice and stopovers include Cannes, St. Raphael and St. Tropez. The yacht has two restaurants with menus drawn from the best of French and Mediterranean traditions. Unlike bigger ships, Le Ponant does not offer a vast menu of onboard activities. Fascinating onshore explorations, lying back on the sun deck with feet up and a good book is what Le Ponant is all about. Its theme could be: keep it simple. That said, golfers take note: Le Ponant offers an attractive golf package that includes ﬁve rounds at ﬁve of the best courses in southern France. Among them, Mougins Country Club, near Cannes, Garlenda Golf Club, near Imperia and the scenic Dolce Fregate Provence Golf Club, with its panoramic sea views, near Sanary-Sur-Mer. www.ponant.com World Magazine
Regent Seven Seas Itinerary: London to Barcelona Ship: Seven Seas Voyager Nights: 14 Departs: 12 September 2013 Regent Seven Seas is the world’s most inclusive six-star cruise line. All accommodation, award-winning cuisine, ﬁne wines and spirits and as many as 58 complimentary shore excursions are included, and if staying in a Concierge Suite or higher, you also get to enjoy a one-night pre-cruise hotel stay, with transfer to the ship the next day. No wonder Regent Seven Seas was named “Best for Luxury” in 2012 by the editors of Cruise Critic magazine. Seven Seas Voyager is an all-suite, all-balcony ship that carries a maximum of 700 passengers and 447 crew. One of the first things passengers notice after arriving in their beautiful suite (11 price points to choose from) is a complimentary bottle of champagne. Suites are typically configured with either a king or twin bed arrangement, a walk-in closet, ﬂat-screen HD television featuring complimentary on-demand movies and a luxurious marble-clad bathroom stocked with L’Occitane amenities. Slide the doors open and step onto your private balcony for a ﬁnal look – glass of bubbly in hand – at the departing skyline of London before as the ship sets sail. Voyager has six restaurants and 24-hour complimentary room service. Its Canyon Ranch Spa runs wellness programmes tailored to suit each person’s needs and, after a day onshore or taking part in any one of the many onboard activities, passengers cap off the night with an evening show of Broadway-style revues and performances. This cruise makes its first stop at Saint-Malo, on the Normandy coast, where the signature onshore attraction is a visit to Mont Saint-Michel, that extraordinary island monastery and village – a World Heritage site – that rises up from a tidal ﬂat. The cruise continues the next day down the French coast to Bordeaux for vineyard visits and wine tastings before sailing on to Bilbao, Oporto and Lisbon. Voyager then sails through the Strait of Gibraltar, with day visits to Mallorca and Marseille, before docking at Barcelona. Be sure to spend at least two extra nights here, one of Europe’s most engaging cities. www.rssc.com Seven Seas Voyager takes in a host of iconic sights and experiences on its way from London to Barcelona.
The many delights of the western Mediterranean, along with superb onboard amenities, are yours on this Crystal Cruises itinerary.
Crystal Cruises Itinerary: Barcelona to Istanbul/Istanbul to Venice Ship: Crystal Serenity Nights: 12 and 9 Departs: 5 and 17 October 2013 When Crystal Cruises was founded in 1988 the aim was to set a new standard of travel by ship that embraced quality before quantity, style as much as substance and new itineraries that delivered passengers to destinations they had never experienced before. Since then, that mission statement has been fulﬁlled on every count and expanded in a way that has generated considerable international praise. Crystal Cruises, now well known in the industry for its top-class service and onboard innovations, is owned by Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), one of the world’s largest shipping companies. NYK has more than 800 ships worldwide but Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity are its twin statements on the very best in cruising. This back-to-back itinerary has three options. The ﬁrst is sailing from Barcelona to Istanbul, with stops in Valencia, Mallorca, Sardinia, Palermo, Santorini, Mykonos and Kusadasi. The second is the voyage back from Istanbul to Rome with stops at Athens, Navplion, Katakolon, Kotor and Trieste. The third option is to take in both legs of the journey for a total of 21 days on board. Can there be a better way to experience the ﬁnest of the western Mediterranean from what will feel like the comfort of your own home? Those intriguing destinations aside, Crystal Cruises has an unprecedented menu of onboard activities. Highlights include a Wine & Food Festival at Sea, the Creative Learning Institute, Computer University@Sea and special-interest themes from the music of the big band sound and ballroom dancing to jazz, golf, and even its own ﬁlm festival. Celebrity chefs such as Nobu Matsuhuisa and Piero Selvaggio bring their unique styles and ﬂavours to onboard cuisine. www.crystalcruises.com
Romantic stopovers, historic sites and ﬁne onboard service and cuisine distinguish a Silversea cruise.
Silversea Cruises Itinerary: Athens to Venice/Venice to Rome Ship: Silver Spirit Nights: 9 and 9 Departs: 15 and 24 October 2013 Siversea covers 470 ports worldwide, so the options for onshore excursions are incredibly diverse. From the lush jungles of Borneo to watching polar bears scamper across Arctic ice, guests have every opportunity to visit destinations they may have only dreamed about. But remarkable sights are just half of the story – the other half is Silversea’s superior onboard service and style. Staff-to-guest ratio is close to 1:1 and sophisticated art deco interiors evoke a true sense of romance on the high seas. Silver Spirit is one of five ships in the Silversea fleet. It has seven categories of suites, the largest of them the one- or two-bedroom Owner’s Suites with 150sqm of living and a spacious teak veranda. The smallest, Vista Suites, are 29sqm and come with a queen bed and separate sitting area. But no matter which category you chose, all have butler service and all guests can freely decide when and where they wish to eat. There are no time restrictions. The six restaurants specialise in a range of regional and international cuisine. One of them, Le Champagne, is the only Relais & Châteaux restaurant at sea. Because all staff are trained by Leading Hotels of the World, the service, including 24-hour room service, is impeccable. This itinerary is a total of 18 days, but if that’s too long it can be split into one of two nine-day journeys. Silver Spirit sails from Athens and nine days later arrives in Venice. For passengers remaining on board, the ship continues on and nine days later docks in Rome’s port of Civitavecchia. The ﬁrst leg includes the best of coastal Turkey, Greece and Croatia. The second leg the best of the Adriatic coast of Italy, Croatia and Malta and the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy. Siversea has a dedicated hotels programme for pre- and post-cruise accommodation. www.silversea.com World Magazine
Marina’s itinerary includes two full days in St. Petersburg, allowing time to browse the great State Hermitage museum.
Oceania Cruises Itinerary: Stockholm to London Ship: Marina Nights: 14 Departs: 15 September 2013 Marina is one of the newest and most beautifully crafted ships on the high seas. It was launched in 2011 to critical acclaim for its design and interior décor. Comfortably mid-sized, with a passenger-to-crew ratio of 1.57, Marina was designed with foodies in mind. Apart from the ﬁne dining at multiple open-seat gourmet restaurants, its Bon Appetit Culinary Centre is the only hands-on cooking school at sea. For 2013, Marina has expanded its food and drinks motif with a “drinks package” that includes all beer and house wines in one modest price. When not enjoying onboard activities or onshore excursions, passengers can retreat to the privacy of spacious staterooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, comfortable, stylish furnishings and granite-clad bathrooms with separate bathtub and shower. And speaking of privacy, anyone who feels like a break from public dining options can ring for complimentary room service any time, day or night. On that note, it’s hard to beat ﬁne dining on your private balcony, accompanied by the best sea views in the world. This itinerary is especially noteworthy for its two full days in St. Petersburg, the extra day simply because there is so much to see and do in this most historic of Russian cities. Take a general city tour or focus your attention on speciﬁc sites like The Hermitage, one of the world’s great art museums. There’s even time for an evening at the famed Russian Ballet or a day visit to Moscow by high-speed train. And that’s just for starters. The cruise continues with stops in Tallinn (Estonia) and Riga (Latvia) and, after a full day cruising the Baltic Sea (when guests often take time to luxuriate in the ship’s award-winning Canyon Ranch SpaClub®), Berlin, Copenhagen, Oslo, Amsterdam and Bruges, arriving finally in London. Sound tempting? www.oceaniacruises.com
enjoy ... IT’S ALL INCLUDED. Enjoy the most inclusive luxury cruise experience ever. This is cruising as it was meant to be — a world where everything is included, without exception and without compromise. Expect gratifying luxuries. Anticipate the world’s most exotic destinations. Indulge in world-class cuisine. Regent Seven Seas Cruises promises an extraordinary experience. Enjoy… it’s all included.
đƫ FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions đƫ FREE Luxury Hotel Package* đƫ FREE Beverages including fine wines and premium spirits đƫ FREE Pre-Paid Gratuities đƫ FREE In-suite mini-bar replenished daily đƫ FREE 24-hour room service and no additional charge for specialty restaurants
journey … A C R O S S T H E G L O B E Mediterranean
APRIL TO NOVEMBER 2013 7 to 30 night voyages Starting from $5,515 per guest
MAY TO AUGUST 2013
Northern Europe JUNE TO SEPTEMBER 2013 7 to 29 night voyages Starting from $5,315 per guest
7 to 12 night voyages Starting from $3,920 per guest
South America NOVEMBER 2013 TO MARCH 2014 10 to 70 night voyages Starting from $7, 050 per guest
Africa/India, Asia/Pacific, Canada/New England, Caribbean
A SAMPLING OF FREE UNLIMITED SHORE EXCURSIONS INCLUDED IN YOUR CRUISE FARE JUNEAU, ALASKA Whale Watching & Wildlife Quest Originally US$199 .......................... now FREE AMALFI/POSITANO, ITALY The Emerald Grotto Originally US$129 ........................... now FREE
FOR A BROCHURE CALL: 0800 CRUISE (278 473) FOR ENQUIRIES SEE YOUR TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL WWW.RSSC.COM Starting from fares are per guest, share twin in NZ dollars, based on best available lead in dates & categories as of 15 March 2013. Subject to change, currency ﬂuctuations & availability. * FREE pre-cruise hotel stay applies for Concierge suites & above on new 2014 Apr- Nov cruises.
CRUI S E MODE
Thinking of taking a ﬁrst cruise? Here are 20 tips for the perfect holiday aﬂoat. With a little thoughtful planning, shipboard life can be even better than you had imagined offering a wonderfully relaxed holiday often with service well beyond the level of a ﬁve-star hotel. By Tricia Welsh.
First choose your ship Cruise ships come in all sizes, from boutique, with just a couple of hundred guests, to colossal, carrying up to perhaps 5,000 passengers. These giants of the seas are destinations in themselves; ports of call seem an afterthought. They offer everything you’d expect from a major resort on land – some even have trees and manicured grass ideal for lawn bowls. Smaller ships are more intimate and with their shallow draft can venture into places where larger vessels daren’t go. But they’re unlikely to boast a climbing wall and may not be ideal for kids. Decide what sort of cruise holiday you want and then take your pick. Not all ships are equal Cruise ships vary in the level and standard of service they offer, onboard amenities and variety and quality of food served in their restaurants. Some, like Regent Seven Seas Cruises ships, are allinclusive, with beverages, gratuities and even excursions included in the fare. When booking, check exactly what is included and what is extra, so that when comparing cruise lines you can make an informed decision. On some cruises, it is possible to buy a drinks package and even have drinks in your own fridge.
Where to go? Alaska or the Caribbean? Pacific Islands or Africa? If timing is important it pays to check out the best time to visit your desired destinations. If you opt for Alaska, for instance, cruising there is only between May and September; or Antarctica, where cruises are available only between November and February. So, do your homework, talk to friends with similar interests who have cruised and consult a good travel agent with cruise experience. Culture or cuisine? Cruise lines offer an extraordinary array of themed and specialist cruises, some with matching onboard lectures and demonstrations and relevant shore excursions. Match a destination to an interest and you’re halfway there. Book well ahead The hottest deals and packages are released early and best cabins and suites are usually the first to go. Substantial savings can be made by booking your next cruise while already onboard another cruise. Many cruise companies have loyalty programs offering extra beneﬁts including possible upgrades to members on future cruises.
Going back-to-back Consider booking two cruises back-to-back. For example, a weeklong Venice to Rome segment continuing on with another week from Rome to Barcelona will give you a perfect two-week holiday. Get into shape Prepare yourself pre-cruise. From the pure nature of cruises, you will be doing far more walking than usual, so it pays to improve your ﬁtness levels before you go. And once on board, you can keep this up with regular visits to the ship’s gym and morning walks around the decks. If you’re prone to sea sickness, put cotton wool in one ear for balance. Before you go More than half beauty and spa treatments on board are booked ahead online, so be sure to reserve your beauty needs well in advance and try to select sea days. Consider a manicure and pedicure on arrival, a hair appointment for perhaps a formal dinner night and then a foot revival treatment at the end – to restore sore feet after walking Europe’s cobblestoned pavements.. Plan ahead Pre-book specialty restaurants and some shore excursions. Do your research, ﬁnd out what excursions you really would like to do and book them online. You can always change your mind once you are on board if something else takes . Getting there If long-haul air travel is involved, take a break along the way. For example, by having a stopover in Singapore or Dubai en route to Europe, you’ll arrive in better shape to enjoy yourself. And play it safe; plan to arrive at your disembarkation port a few days prior to departure. Ships don’t wait. What to take There is the old story about the wealthy New York widow who used to book two cabins on the QE2 – one for her and one for her clothes. But travelling light is the best advice. Check the onboard dress code: smart casual usually covers it, with occasionally frockingup, which can be fun. Some programmes state specific formal evenings, when a cocktail or long dress for women is recommended and a jacket and tie for men – sometimes even black tie. Made for walking Be sure to pack comfortable walking shoes for tackling the cobblestoned streets of Europe. While utterly charming, they can kill your feet. If you insist on buying new shoes, make sure they are well broken in before you travel. And consider packing a trekking pole to take weight off dodgy knees. Welcome aboard Make yourself at home in your stateroom and unpack as soon as you board. Suitcases can usually slide neatly under the bed. Get to know the layout of the ship as soon as possible. Even with a deck plan on every level, they can be terribly confusing. Walk every deck,
check out salons and restaurants, bars and the casino and choose a meeting point for when one of you goes AWOL. Once on board If you weren’t able to pre-book a reservation at one of the specialty restaurants, turn up anyway at 6.30pm sharp for lastminute cancellations. Check if any of the bars celebrate Happy Hour where drinks might be served on a two-for-one basis with wellpriced Cocktails of the Day. In the main restaurant, try to sit where the same stewards serve you each night; they’ll soon know your favourite tipple and have it served before you’ve even sat down. Watch your weight With buffets groaning with food and tempting treats available around the clock, it’s no wonder the average cruise-goer puts on up to four or ﬁve kilos, according to a recent survey. While it is all very tempting to over-indulge, try things – but just be sensible Going ashore Don’t go overboard on shore excursions – sometimes just walking around local ﬁshing ports can be the most rewarding. In major cities like Barcelona and Rome, take the hop-on, hop-off bus option. It’s often the best way to see a city in a couple of hours and is a relative bargain. But if you have a specific interest – Gaudi’s Barcelona, for example – a guided tour with an expert can enhance the experience Watch the time When discovering a port independently, avoid full-day trips that might involve lengthy bus travel. Remember, travel time has to be doubled, getting there and back, and if you miss the ship’s departure time, travel to the next port is at your own expense. Packing it in You may not be a ballroom dancer, craps player or think a line-up of single malt whiskies at 5pm is your scene, but it’s fun to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. There’s plenty of time to lie by the pool or read a book in the library, but who would have thought a spin class overlooking the Mediterranean or perfecting paella off the coast of Spain could be a highlight? Onboard costs One of the joys of cruising is that you’ve paid most of your holiday’s costs up front – but not all. Shore excursions, spa treatments, bar tab, boutique purchases, casino, dry cleaning … they all add up and should be factored into your cruise budget. And then there are tips, if they are not already included. You may want to reward extra-special service; think US$10 a day per person. It’s showtime Cruise lines go to great lengths to provide quality onboard entertainment – often recruiting off-Broadway talent and excellent professionals with a variety of entertainment styles. Take in as many shows as possible, it’s all part of the cruise experience – and besides, you’ve already paid for in your ticket price.
T H E FI N E S T C UI S I N E AT S E A
Oceania Cruises’ chefs present the finest culinary experience at sea as inspired by Master Chef Jacques Pépin. Dine whenever you wish and with whomever you choose in a selection of complimentary gourmet restaurants. Enjoy Toscana’s authentic Italian dishes, Polo Grill’s steakhouse fare, Continental cuisine in the Grand Dining Room, and made-to-order favourites in the Terrace Café. T H I S I S A D I S T I N C T LY DIFFERENT ST YLE OF CRUISING .
THIS IS OCE ANIA CRUISES.
WHERE YOU BELONG ■
Elegant mid-size ships catering to just 684 or 1,250 guests
Finest cuisine at sea, served in a variety of distinctive open-seating restaurants, all at no additional charge
Port-intensive itineraries featuring more overnight visits and extended evening port stays
Country club-casual ambiance; tuxedos and gowns are never required
Canyon Ranch SpaClub® signature treatments
Yoga, Pilates and personal training
Canyon Ranch cuisine served in the main dining room
Extraordinarily high staff-to-guest ratio ensures exemplary personalised service
Youngest fleet in premium-class cruising with 85% of accommodations featuring private balconies BEST VALUE IN UPSCALE CRUISING
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Legendary Australian photographer Peter Lik, best known for his dazzling natural landscapes, ventured into the urban jungle to “capture the soul” of America’s most exciting city. By Thomas Hyde.
f there were ever a sport called Extreme Photography, Australian Peter Lik would be a gold medallist. His images are at once arresting and beautiful and have what photographers refer to as “pop”. That is, the images are big and bold and seem to jump out at you, like 3D. But his photographs are not as extreme as the work he puts into capturing them. If there’s a simple way of describing Lik’s method it might be called The Three Ps: Persistence, Perseverance and Patience. Lik possesses all three qualities in titanic proportions and that is ultimately what sets him apart from the competition. Those qualities, combined with a desire to get his hands dirty – literally so – have made him one of the most successful professional photographers in the world. He left Australia nearly three decades ago with little more than a passion for photography and an endorsement from Queensland Tourism – which had given him his ﬁrst commission. Today his work hangs on the walls of the rich and famous, much of it bought from one of his galleries in the US and at Noosa, in Australia. After visiting his two galleries in Hawaii – one in Waikiki, the other in Lahaina, on Maui – I understood why. His photographs are not only big and bold and stunning in every way, they’re also seductive. So what begins as superficial browsing turns into an irresistible desire to study each extraordinary image in depth. But what I found most interesting after examining his recent collection of New York images, simply titled New York, is their originality, a notable quality, since just about every photographer (and tourist) on the planet has at one time or another “shot” New York. Yet Lik’s images are different for two reasons: the exposure and time of day he took them, and the angle he shoots them
from. “Refraining from the standard imagery was my number-one priority,” he writes. For example, my educated guess is that no one before him has shot the Manhattan skyline at twilight from atop the Bank of America building. Why? Because, security being what it is in New York these days, you’d be unlikely to get permission, especially if you’re a rough-and-ready-looking bloke with a foreign accent. But Lik was patient, persistent and he persevered. He also used a contact inside the bank, and, after agreeing to a police escort, he was given 30 minutes at the top to do his thing. In fact, his own descriptions of how he took each shot reads like a reality television show script. (“I had only 30 minutes, so I had to work fast.”) Lik shot many of his pictures at twilight. The effect is to contrast a city lit up in preparation for dark against a sky set alight by the sinking sun. Some images are black and white, however, and, like a New Yorker on a weekend break, he headed out to the Hamptons to shoot autumn colours. One of my favourite images from that series is called “Emerald Shores”, taken at the farthest reaches of Long Island, on the beach at Montauk. Calm water, a pier in morning fog, and, in the foreground, rocks covered in green moss. Simple but strong. Apart from the Manhattan skyline, three prominent New York landmarks feature: Brooklyn Bridge, the Flatiron Building and the Chrysler Building. But there is one inner-city image that’s especially unique: City Hall subway station, one of the original subway stops. Ornate in design and detail, it’s a sight few New Yorkers have seen, as it’s no longer part of the regular network. It would not surprise me if that single image became a top seller. W Images are available for purchase from any Peter Lik gallery or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.lik.com
I could not get enough shots of this simply amazing, iconic building. Day/night/sunset/ sunrise, its architecture drew me in like a magnet. I was addicted. My biggest challenge was rooftop access to capture this beauty like no one else had. This is always so much hard work, but persistence and passion pay off. I knew I wanted this angle to complete my portfolio. The game was on. Security was off the charts and a week of solid rain didn’t really help matters. Then I got the call I was waiting for from one of my mates high up in banking. “Meet me in the lobby at 5 am,” the voicemail said. I knew it was on. Looking at the deco masterpiece as soon as I got out of the elevator blew my mind. I worked hard and fast as I knew the light would soon go out as the city woke up. The colours in the city kicked in and the whole scene looked like a painting. I was stoked — hardly believing I was seeing this in my viewﬁnder! It’s what I came here for — the spirit of NYC. Camera: Phase One IQ 180 Exposure: f ⁄ 9 @ 8 seconds
LUMINOUS CITYSCAPE NEW YORK
Camera: Phase One IQ 180 Exposure: f / 5.6 @ 1 second
The New York skyline is just so impressive and I had to make sure I captured that grandeur on ﬁlm. Getting to the right vantage point is always a challenge, as the security guys just hated the tripods. I was thrown off countless rooftops as soon as they discovered my tripods. But it was a total necessity, as my night exposures were always long. I could not do without them. I’d had a gutsful and decided to make some calls to allow me to shoot the scenes I wanted. It was a nightmare. Security was high and day after day I got no response. Finally, after weeks of chasing, I got the call I was waiting for. A high-end NYC ﬁnancial guy made the right contact and I was on! My window of time was short at twilight, as any light I had was evaporating quickly. Escorted to the rooftop elevator by two cops, I knew this was the real deal. I had to kick ass. I chose this impressive view downtown as my focal point and blazed off shot after shot as the gorgeous clouds ﬁlled the frame. The whole city was bathed in artiﬁcial golden light. It was like a painting. I worked like a madman, ﬁring off as many shots as possible. I chose this particular scene for the gallery walls. It reﬂects the mood of NYC and has a painterly glow I always try to achieve.
HIDDEN SECRET CENTRAL PARK
New York has its own unique culture and I set out to capture it on ﬁlm. This gorgeous architecture hidden beneath Central Park was a true classic I had to get for my collectors. I chose an early morning to shoot, with soft, overcast skies. I waited days for the light — it’s what the shot is all about. I was surprised by the number of people around that early in the morning, even in the middle of winter. I guess it’s Central Park in New York. So my biggest challenge was to shoot this scene without the people. I took a series of exposures when the light was right. The image radiated a soft painterly feel capturing the true spirit of New York City I was chasing. The detail is just incredible; I hope you can see that in this image.
Camera: Phase One IQ 180 Exposure: f / 8 @ 1/4 second
This would have to be one of New York’s hidden jewels. Only the locals even know it exists any more. Such an architectural masterpiece hidden below the streets of New York. I was very privileged to gain access to City Hall Station. Months of phone calls, emails and persistence ﬁnally paid off. The scene was incredible. A one-time opportunity to have a private subway ride made this location even more special. I really felt like I was part of history. The cracked headlight, old original chandeliers and ceramic subway tiles really added that special charm and character to this timeless image.
Camera: Phase One IQ 180 Exposure: f ⁄ 8 @ 1⁄4 second
EMERALD SHORES CONEY ISLAND
I wanted to capture a special mood at Coney Island. Normally chock-a-block, I wanted the opposite — calm, quaint and painterly. I knew this was going to be difﬁcult on one of the world’s busiest beaches! I set the alarm early and headed out onto the shores at twilight. A morning fog cloaked the horizon. This looked good. I chose a mid-winter morning. Only two lonely ﬁshermen braved the shores. As the daylight lifted, the light was perfect. This was my chance. I took many different frames and angles and chose this for the gallery. While everyone was sleeping, or grabbing coffee, I was capturing the scene never to be seen again. It really portrayed a special, unseen side of Coney Island. I hope you can feel the silence and solitude of this calm morning the way I felt it. The waves lapping the ocean, the calmness on the morning air, and the pure simplicity of an image like this. It’s what I chase: light — the perfect light. That’s what it was about.
Camera: Phase One IQ 180 Exposure: f ⁄ 16 @ 15 seconds
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Todd Pitock survives a night of chilly bliss at Quebecâ€™s Hotel de Glace.
e’ve just left a ﬁne room at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, a grand hotel in Quebec’s quartier historique, and we are driving on a dark, country road. It is -20˚C. We are on our way to the Hotel de Glace, the Ice Hotel, full of excitement – and dread. “It’s not that bad in the rooms, just minus-ﬁve,” someone had told us a little earlier, adding reassuringly: “You don’t really feel it. It’s a very dry cold.” The taxi driver, a Francophone Québécois, doesn’t speak much English. “I hope you have a freezing night!” he says after I pay his fare. I think he means it in a good spirit; that this is what you’re supposed to say when people are going off to sleep in a modern igloo. The way theatre people say “break a leg”. The path to the hotel has patches of black ice. Our breath comes out in frosty white puffs. The stars look frozen in space. At this moment the cosmos seems considerably less miraculous than central heating. Every kid in a cold climate, I suspect, has at some stage wished to sleep in an igloo. The Hotel de Glace is a whole complex of them, interconnected halls and chambers cut and carved from 1,500 tonnes of snow and 500 tonnes of ice. There’s a chapel with an altar and pews, a bar and a room with an indoor ice slide. Another space is a gallery full of whimsical ice sculptures, an oldfashioned landline telephone and an enormous volume like a Guttenberg Bible, and a vintage deep-sea diving helmet. There are whole dogs and a giraffe’s head and neck sticking out of the ﬂoor. A 270kg ice chandelier with long ice pipes hangs from the ceiling. The 44 guest rooms are a variety of shapes and dimensions. Ours, the Snowﬂake Room, has walls carved with giant crystals, like a magniﬁed image depicting the anatomy of snow crystals. Queen-sized mattresses are on two ice platforms. A pedestal and two chairs on either side of a table are fashioned, of course, from ice. It takes 15 artists and 35 workers six weeks to create it every winter, and it’s open from early January until late March. It would melt on its own, but due to concerns of insurers, they bulldoze it and start over each year. Quebec City itself is open all year round. It’s green in summer, and radiant with the gold and red foliage of maple trees in the autumn. The winter landscape makes photos look like they were shot in black and white. Vieux Quebec, the walled old city at the narrowest point of the St. Lawrence River, is a district of narrow streets crammed with two- and three-storey buildings reminiscent of Normandy and Brittany, which is where most Québécois originally came from. The dominant architectural feature, though, is the Chateaux Frontenac, a 618room, 120-year-old hotel with a soaring, oxidised copper roof atop turrets and exterior arches.
Hotel de Glace is carved anew each year from 1,500 tonnes of snow and 500 tonnes of ice. Even the glasses are made of ice.
Clockwise from above left: Bears carved into the bedroom wall; Hotel Frontenac is Vieux Quebec is the cityâ€™s iconic image; this yearâ€™s Winter Carnival brought snow artists from all over Canada; the ice bar at the Ice Hotel: ice sculpture decor.
In front of the Frontenac is a boardwalk with views of the river and the entrance to a funicular railway that takes you down to Petit Champlain, a gentrified neighbourhood of boutiques and restaurants. Beyond the walls of the Old City are great streets and avenues and a large municipal park where people ski and skate and celebrate the season. We’ve arrived during Winter Carnival, an annual festival that takes place over three weekends in February. It’s a big party. There are discos and dogsleds. There’s human foosball, with little kids harnessed to poles trying to kick a ball into goals. There’s a crenelated ice palace. The highlight is snow sculptures carved from enormous blocks of compressed snow for a competition whose contestants must submit designs and concepts just for the right to be here. The images tell stories. My favourite is one of an Inuit elder teaching two young children to ice ﬁsh. The Frontenac, with its dark-panelled lobby and a bar with martinis named for the luminaries who have visited, is awfully comfortable. And that is part of the problem: it’s the warm-up, so to speak, to a far chillier adventure. The Ice Hotel complex has coloured lighting that keeps refracting through the ice and settling on the snow like Technicolor dust. The other visitors, mostly Canadians, are a merry crew. Québécois are still into electronic disco, even when they’re wearing snow pants and parkas. I admire them for it. When I put on clothes like that I’m even stiffer than usual. They dance on the glazed surfaces of the ice bar and pose for photos with frozen smiles around a flaming chiminea. The hotel brings out blocks of ice and little picks for a sculpting contest. People chip away at little blocks, making mini snowmen or ice hearts. We go to the spa, which has hot tubs and saunas, and change into World Magazine
Above: Snow sculptures are carved from enormous blocks of compressed snow. Creative lighting highlights the architecture at the Hotel de Glace.
bathing suits and robes in a conventional building located behind the ice complex, where there are also toilets, showers and lockers. The hot tub’s submersed lighting catches the steam hovering just above the water’s surface. We take off our robes and plunge in, like soldiers diving into the safety of a trench. We’re playing a game of catch with the cold: first the cold has you, then you slip into the hot water and lie back under the stars and enjoy the hot water and the jets from the Jacuzzi. Strangers want to know where you come from. That’s okay. You’re like brothers in arms facing the same adversaries. Cold hands, warm hearts. And then it’s time to get out, because you know you can’t stay there all night. There’s no escape. The cold has you, from the bottoms of your feet as they touch the icy ﬂoor, to the top of your wet head. It licks your raised, weeping ﬂesh. And you give it its taste on your way to dry off and change clothes and get ready for the main event: sleeping. We go to the Snowflake Room and twist ourselves into the sleeping bag liners and stretch our limbs into the mummy bags. I’m glad for the advice we received on arrival. For example: put on fresh socks. If you wear the ones you sweated in already, the cold air will circulate and your feet will get colder all night. The liner works beautifully. There is, I’m sure, some science to this, something about airflows and trapping heat between layers. But what you need to know is that what starts out warm and dry stays warm and dry and that when the warmth surrounds you it feels a lot like complete love, the kind of all-enveloping peace you probably last experienced in the womb. There is, though, a kind of low-intensity anxiety. Fear, for one thing, that the warmth won’t remain and you’ll wake up freezing. Fear, too, of not sleeping, of an eternal, dark night shivering and
shaking like a detox patient. But cold exhausts the body and fear exhausts the brain and soon enough your wife taps you to complain: you’re snoring. An arm falls out, and the cold air coats it. Breathe through the nose and the air freezes your nasal passages; breathe through your mouth and you get a dry throat. I fall back to sleep. The ski hat I brought along comes off and some Arctic spirit massages my head and breathes on the rims of my ears. I twist in my mummy bag to re-position. The bag is rated for -28˚C. Eventually it gets to -26˚C. That’s the temperature outside, of course. Inside, I have no idea. I suspect it’s getting colder all night, but it’s possible I’m just weakening, waves of cold battering the ramparts of my being. I’ve slept outside, exposed to the elements, in deserts and jungles and I’ve been in a few really grim hotels, too, but now it comes as a revelation that I am, in reality, a soft man. I dream of the hours of the night. I dream that it’s morning. Even so, unlike a few guests each night, the one option I wouldn’t dream of is running for heated shelter. I’d rather be found mummiﬁed by frost, a stiff on my bed of ice, than to have quit. I have my pride. In the morning, light pours in through the ventilation hole in the ceiling that’s there to prevent humidity. Light is not just illumination. It brings news: I have survived. This is a modest achievement. I think of the great polar explorers – Amundsen, Scott, Shackleton. They had to thaw their sleeping bags before climbing into them. The biggest advantage a modern polar adventurer has today, a modern polar adventurer once told me, is not GPS or satellite phones but technical fabrics and advances in footwear. I lie there a while, enjoying the soft light and serenity and girding myself to the idea of unzipping the bag and climbing out. In the end, it isn’t courage that makes me move but a full bladder. I get up quickly, jiggling a foot into a shoe – careful not to land an unshod hoof on the snowy floor – and give my stiff spine a fillip. Then I stand, in a series of shivers and spasms, like a foal getting itself upright and, pulling a jersey over my swollen dome, I shufﬂe forward and lurch towards the ﬁnish line: a hot W breakfast, indoors. www.hoteldeglace-canada.com
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CHIC After founding Dedon, a world-leading brand of outdoor furniture, Bobby Dekeyser spent so much time in the Philippines he decided to open an exclusive eco retreat there. By Thomas Hyde.
t’s not a written rule, but it’s understood that guests arriving at Dedon Island, Bobby Dekeyser’s new environment-friendly resort on Siargao Island in the Philippines, kick off their shoes. Okay, so you may wish to bring a pair of jandals to be safe. But the property – not an island so much as a seaside strip facing the South China Sea and with a protected mangrove forest at its back – is as informal as it is remote. The island takes its name from the leading brand of outdoor furniture founded by the Belgian-born, German-raised entrepreneur 20 years ago. It’s often said that his idea of creating an outdoor living room began in a hospital bed; and to a degree, that’s true. Robert “Bobby” Dekeyser was a soccer goalkeeper contracted to the famed Bayern Munich club when, instead of catching the ball, he caught an elbow, leaving him hospitalised and for a while uncertain if he would regain sight in one eye. While in hospital, as if accepting his time in professional football was up, he wondered what to do next. He liked rattan furniture but it weathered and eventually split. With help from an uncle who had a flair for science and engineering, they developed a unique weather-resistant, strong and supple synthetic they called Dedon ﬁbre. The problem was, how to use it.
Well-designed outdoor furniture crafted from weather-resistant material by Philippine craftsmen is the Dedon trademark. Dedon style also pervades the new resort. World Magazine
Dedon Island, four hoursâ€™ ďŹ‚ight from Hong Kong and a short hop from Cebu City, is a natural hideaway with a lovely beach and all the trimmings of paradise.
About that time, Dekeyser was browsing at a furniture trade show in Cologne when he came upon a display of rattan furniture made in the Philippines. And voila! By employing the same rattan master weavers from Cebu City to work their magic with Dedon fibre, he could create the kind of outdoor furniture he had always envisioned: attractive pieces that were artfully designed, comfortable and, most of all, resisted weathering. Since then, Dedon has recruited top European designers to create original pieces like the Obelisk and Orbit (see website) that are sold worldwide, while the brand has become associated with the very best in outdoor living. For Bobby Dekeyser, this meant spending a lot of time in the Philippines, where Dedon now employs more than 3,000 people. Here, every piece of Dedon furniture is still handmade by the same master craftsmen who made the very ďŹ rst pieces 20 years ago. One day, while on yet another trip from Dedon headquarters near Hamburg, Germany, Dekeyser heard about a beachfront property, just a short ďŹ‚ight from Cebu City, off the southeast coast of Siargao Island. Separated from Siargao by mangroves, it turned out to be a natural hideaway with a lovely beach and all the trimmings of paradise. He bought it, gave it the name Dedon Island and, instead of keeping it as a private retreat for family, friends and employees, he turned into a very good reason to visit the Philippines, a destination Australians and New Zealanders do not commonly think of when they consider visiting Southeast Asia.
Dedon Island is a four-hour ﬂight from Hong Kong, including a stopover in Cebu City, where guests transfer to a smaller plane for the one-hour hop to Siargao Island. Today it has nine villas accommodating up to 20 guests. Calling it a “resort” could be misleading, because it’s small and intimate and there’s no daily menu of activities, no golf course – in fact, no demand to do anything. Time is forgotten and staff are there only to help guests do whatever they may feel like at any given time of day or night – from a champagne lunch on the beach to a visit to the local ﬁsh market in the nearby village of Dapa, or perhaps surﬁng the world-renowned Cloud 9 break not far away. The villas were designed by the French partnership of Jean-Marie Mussaud and Daniel Pouzet. Philippe Starck was recently brought in to add his touch. That said, the Dedon style pervades the property, as you might guess. All other furnishings are made from local hardwood and other materials, the menu is organic, for the most part drawing on locally grown produce and, from waste water to recycling, sustainability is a founding principle. W www.dedonisland.com
Sustainability is a founding principle of Dedon Island, but comfort and service remain just as important.
THE ART OF OUTDOOR LIVING
Auckland Showroom · Cnr Churton & Farnham Streets · Parnell · Ph (09) 921 5574 Mon – Fri 9 – 5.30 · Sat 9 – 5 · Sun by appointment · firstname.lastname@example.org · www.domo.co.nz
HEAVEN ON EARTH 166
John Hawkesby is seduced by the warmth and beauty of the Seychelles. And he’s not the ﬁrst travel writer to fall in love with this Indian Ocean paradise...
ome years ago I interviewed the engaging, hilarious, sometime travel writer and best-selling author Bill Bryson. My ﬁnal question to him was along the lines of, “You have one week to live, where is the most beautiful place on Earth you want to spend it?” His reply was immediate: “The Seychelles.” Armed with this memory, it was with enormous expectations that we arrived at Seychelles International Airport on Mahé Island after a ﬁve-hour ﬂight from Johannesburg. The first thing you notice is that the Seychelles is even more beautiful than the picture-perfect brochures you’ve been poring over. Clichés roll off the tongue – exotic, pristine, lush, warm, beautiful, breathtaking. Traditionally associated with the most spectacular beaches on the planet – often framed by timeless granite boulders – these 115 coral islands scattered over a remote corner of the Indian Ocean have remained sanctuaries for some of the rarest species of ﬂora and fauna on Earth. This remote archipelago has given birth to numerous myths and legends since it was first settled in the late 18th century. Vallée de Mai, a huge tropical garden with towering palms, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and some believe it could be the original location of the Biblical Garden of Eden. I’m not about to argue the point. But Adam and Eve could have frolicked quite happily in this gentle, welcoming environment. The islands are awash with unique, unspoilt ecosystems and trees and ﬂowers ﬂourish in a climate of almost perpetual summer.
The view from a hillside Pool Villa overlooking Intendance Bay at The Banyan Tree Resort, Mahé.
Above: Aerial view of Rafﬂes Resort. Opposite page, top to bottom: Curieuse Restaurant; villa terrace at Rafﬂes; Rafﬂes Spa openair treatment pavilion.
A short ferry ride brings us to the relatively new Raffles Resort on the island of Praslin. Eighty-six northeast-facing villas are dotted discreetly amongst vegetation and large boulders on a sun-washed hillside. The villas are incredibly spacious, each with a butler’s room and kitchen, expansive decks with individual plunge pool, indoor-outdoor showers, deep luxury bath, separate dining and sitting areas and television sets all over the place. There’s actually no need to leave your villa, but then you’d miss out on the excellent alfresco or indoor dining opportunities, fabulous beaches and the most impressive 100-metre-long pool with a designated large shallow end for children. One of the restaurants has (as you would expect) a seafood-dominated menu. Its European chef, Denis Bruemmel, meets the local ﬁshermen daily and buys his seafood at the wharf. The menu will invariably include the super-fresh local delicacy, red snapper, along with lobster, prawns and an array of ﬁsh you hadn’t known existed. It’s very casual; shorts are welcome and you can leave jackets and ties elsewhere as you sip a grand local cocktail while being fanned by a delicate, warm, sea breeze. There’s a fitness centre, internet services and a worldacclaimed spa just steps away from the local Anse Takamaka beach. Apart from the steam room, sauna and whirlpools, there’s an inhalation room where you can send your sinuses
to wherever they should be sent. And, lest I forget, there’s a special bath for gentlemen that comes with a glass of cognac and a Cuban cigar and you can catch up on news from The Wall Street Journal as you soak in a blend of wild lime and sandalwood oils. Bliss. Simon Hirst, an Englishman and professional hotelier, was tapped on the shoulder to manage the resort. “I came out to see it and instantly fell in love with the new property and its potential,” he tells us. Hirst is full of enthusiasm, ideas and has a keen eye for detail. He is acutely aware of what his guests want and what they’re prepared to pay. “I’m looking at tweaking the dinner menu, maybe add another entrée and possibly another non-seafood main option… Having a great location and a wonderful natural environment is no longer enough; you have to keep reinventing yourself.” There’s a youthful, eclectic mix of staff, almost 50 per cent of whom are trained locals. We were ﬁrst met by a Norwegian and during our stay were served by people from Mauritius, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Germany. Guests are evenly split: mainly Europeans and Brits, but Americans and Australasians are in their sights. Hirst has a hands-on approach to marketing and ensuring nothing is left to chance.
Clockwise from top left: The Banyan Tree Resort main pool; Sea and Stars Restaurant; outdoor pavilion at Intendance Pool Villa; romantic table for two on the beach.
“You’ve got to create new events, give people a reason to come here,” he says, “you’ve got to have something different and exciting.” Nothing escapes his notice. “Even getting the music played in the main restaurant every night is important. I’m big on local sounds and rhythms… Not meaning to be critical, but when I got here there was too much ‘Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree.’ ” Ably assisting Simon Hirst in his quest to make Raffles a must-visit destination is New Zealander Ollie Ormond. As Hirst’s right-hand man he brings that typical Kiwi “can do” attitude to his job, which ofﬁcially is “room division manager” but goes way beyond that. “I actually get everything done,” he laughs. Ormond is the sort of go-to guy you want in your team. Born in Hawke’s Bay, brought up in Taupo and Wellington, he trained in hospitality in Taranaki and has an air of conﬁdence, courtesy and commitment that is often associated with King’s School old boys – though law, medicine and merchant banking are more usual occupations for them than hospitality. Ormond went straight into hospitality from high school and has worked in Hawaii and Australia and was very involved in the revamp of the Savoy Hotel in London. He’s enjoying the challenge of a completely different style of hospitality. “It’s more relaxed and less pressured but can still be frenetic at times – you’ve got to meet everyone’s expectations.” For dinner that night he suggests we try the local Creole specialty, red snapper with rice and grilled vegetables, which, after a starter of local sushi, we do. The ﬁsh is carved at the table and it’s quite superb. Our New Zealand connection joins us for a shared delectable chocolate dessert and we chat about home as a calm, warm zephyr wafts through the palms
onto our dining deck, with its flickering oil lamps playing tricks against a crimson sunset. A buggy transports us back to our villa with quiet efﬁciency and we realise it’s easy to be a complete sloth at Rafﬂes; you don’t need to lift a ﬁnger. The next day I head to what had been described as the world’s ﬁnest beach – Anse Lazio. It’s within cycling distance of Raffles but I opt for the personal driver. It’s so close I really should have walked, but when on holiday exercise is something best left for another occasion. Anse Lazio is not a large beach but it’s perfectly formed: a kilometre-long crescent with shade provided by deep-green palms bending and bowing towards the whitest sand imaginable. The almost translucent water plays tricks on your eyes and changes colour between light emerald green and aqua. There is a uniform gentle dip making a regular set of waves that are perfect for body surfing. Huge Easter Island-like statues of boulders rise up out of the water at each end of the beach to create picturesque bookends. Nothing is out of place and the entire environment looks as if a team of landscape architects has designed it. It’s time to move on. In our villa there’s an art easel with a large white sketchpad and a carton of crayons for you to express yourself when the urge takes you. I attempt a Picassoesque sketch of a smiling sun face gazing down on a sea of palm trees. It’s the kind of drawing done by children at preschool. Underneath it I write, “Rafﬂes rocks – Love to return.” And we would. The Banyan Tree Resort is back on Mahé, a pretty halfhour drive from the airport and 45 minutes from the buzzy Seychelles capital, Victoria. Victoria has that rustic largevillage charm that reminds me of Pacific island capitals like Nadi and Papeete. People move at a relaxed, shufﬂing pace, while the cars move along narrow roads at considerable
Above: Banyan Tree Pool Villa. All of the resort’s 60 villas have uninterrupted views of Intendance Bay.
speed. Everyone seems to want to hug the centre line (or, at least, where the centre line should be) and passing on blind corners appears to be par for the course. I continue to be struck by the vibrant vegetation, which occasionally allows a peek at the fabulous beaches lying around every corner. The main building at the Banyan Tree has that elegant colonial plantation look, with shaded veranda overlooking a long, gloriously wild beach of pure white sand. This is the windy season and high waves are belting onto the beach. Of the three restaurants at the Banyan Tree our favourite is Saffron, which has Thai and Southeast Asian taste sensations made more memorable by sitting on the veranda listening to the crashing surf below and being serenaded by a trio of locals singing their own compositions. Truly magical. We have a hillside villa with wide-ranging views, our own plunge pool and shady patio. The golf-style carts carry you with casual swiftness to the pool, the beach or restaurants, or on a lazy meander beside the wetlands. The beach beckons. It reminds me of a wild New Zealand west coast beach but without the black sand. In my younger days I was an OK swimmer and so I happily dive under the waves and out to a calmer area of water. To my dismay I ﬁnd it difﬁcult to get back in – the back rip is stronger than I had thought and I suddenly realise that those youthful beach skills of a bygone era have totally abandoned me. “Don’t panic,” I remind myself, but still try to offer up a few quick Hail Marys, though I can’t remember the words – in fact I’m not even Catholic. Eventually I capture an obliging wave, which takes me to the safety of the shore. Note to self: swim within your capabilities and don’t go beyond your depth. But it’s hard to do so when
the waters are so astonishingly warm and inviting. I finish off in the resort’s infinity pool, a lot safer though much less exciting, and start chatting to a woman who comes from Dunedin but has lived in Dubai for over 35 years. When I mention I’m from Waiheke Island she says I might know some friends of hers who live there. Not only do I know them but we are practically neighbours. No matter where you go in the world, it seems, you’re never far from a Kiwi or a Kiwi connection… It will forever be just one degree of separation. Klaus Spickermann comes from Cologne, Germany. He’s a manager here and loves the fact that at a resort like this, where the average stay is five nights, you have a chance to interact with your guests. “I like the flexibility of exploring different cultures and people from a wide range of countries,” he says. It is a genuine piece of paradise here at Intendance Bay and all of the resort’s 60 villas have uninterrupted views. But for an hotelier the location presents a few problems and Spickermann says you have to be “really attentive” to the needs of your guests. “Nothing is really grown on the island so we import everything. If you don’t have any tomatoes today, try telling that to someone who doesn’t understand that the boat or plane hasn’t arrived yet.” And the most bizarre grumble? “I did have a guest once who couldn’t sleep because of the sound of the ocean,” he laughs. Some people should never leave Las Vegas. W John and Joyce Hawkesby ﬂew Emirates. www.emirates.com
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am enjoying a morning cup of tea with homemade shortbreads on my sunny terrace. Just metres away a farmer is tilling the soil using an old-fashioned plough stick and a pair of oxen. And straight in front of me through distant haze I can just make out the outline of snow-capped Kanchenjunga – which at 8,598m is the third-highest mountain in the world and the highest in India. It’s a surreal scene from my comfy cane chair in these remote eastern foothills of the Himalayas. Few visitors make it to West Sikkim. While sitting in the border security officer’s room at Melli a few days earlier waiting for my permit to be completed I’d noted the entry ﬁgures for the previous month: Australians 8, Americans 11, Nepalese 89, among others – with a grand total of 143. For Sikkim, in northeast India, is a world unto itself. Bordered by Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan, this former independent kingdom is populated by just some 600,000-odd people – more than half of them Nepalese,
Perhaps it’s the breathtaking scenery or the pure Himalayan air that makes the people of remote West Sikkim so happy. Story and photos by Tricia Welsh.
a quarter Tibetan and the rest Lepcha – all with distinct Mongolian features, unlike anywhere else in India. It is so mountainous that if you ironed it out it might cover an area the size of Tasmania. There is literally no ﬂat land for grazing, farming being done on narrow terraces with animals tethered in sheds; farm hands go out each day to cut grass for their feed. I’m enjoying a Shakti experience, staying in village houses by night and walking along narrow village paths through steep terraced farms by day. It’s a levelling experience to see at close range how these close-knit farming communities live. Seemingly, they have nothing – no reliable electricity, no flush toilets nor running water; no mod cons at all – but, in essence, they have everything. A more smiling, happy and welcoming people it would be difficult to meet. Everywhere I go, I’m greeted with hands held together in namaste, with khadaks presented around my neck, given the traditional tilak, or dab of red vermillion, on my forehead and to made feel rather special.
Opposite page, clockwise from top left: Sunrise on Mount Kanchenjunga; alfresco breakfast, Sandyang Lee house, Sikkim; Making fresh sweet jalebis in the local Kaluk market. Below, left to right: Homemade vegatable pakoras; breakfast on the terrace at Hee house.
Above: Fresh fruit for breakfast, Sandyang Lee house. Below, left to right: Villagers keep cows for fresh milk supplies, near Rinchenpong; Shakti guides Prabhat and Pujan on our ﬁrst village walk, near Rinchen pong.
Perhaps, at 1,500m up, it’s the pure mountain air that accounts for this general equanimity, because under 50km away, as the Rufous Treepie ﬂies, is Bhutan, whose proud and equally happy race eschewed worrying about GNP and today embraces a Gross National Happiness index. Entrepreneurial Indian tour operator Jamshyd Sethna, who established well-respected Banyan Tours for discerning travellers in 1996, set up Shakti Himalaya in 2004 to offer homestays to sophisticated travellers in the country’s remote mountain regions of Ladakh, Kumaon and Sikkim. In Sikkim, he has smartened up and rents three such accommodations from local owners, adding mod cons and giving them a touch of country chic. With the concept “Inner journeys – outdoors”, it offers a unique opportunity to tap into local village lifestyle, sharing the same space, the same food and learning the stories of the people. Earlier I had flown into Bagdogra in northernmost West Bengal, where I was met by Pujan, my guide for the next few days. With driver Manouj, who manoeuvred the locally made 4WD Scorpio through the city’s chaotic trafﬁc, dodging a sea of rickshaws, meandering cows and over-loaded trucks, we headed due north before crossing through border security into Sikkim. The mountainous main road west is largely unsealed, with countless hairpin bends, steep cliffs with massive landslides and seemingly no road rules whatsoever. It takes ﬁve arduous hours to drive just 120km before we arrive at Rinchenpong, population about 1,000 and our ﬁrst village homestay. It’s the home of a local politician, Shri O.T. Lepcha, who is currently away on work in the capital, Delhi. I am greeted by his mother, who places a traditional white silken khadak around my neck. Shakti staff offer a moist hand-towel and a glass of refreshing rhododendron juice. Rhododendrons grow wild in the Himalayas, along with ﬂowering magnolias, giant ﬂame trees, myriad ferns, delicate tree orchids, tiny shy
ground violets and wild strawberries. My rustic cottage has been built next to the family’s home and blends in as though it has always been there. It’s most comfortable, with spacious carpeted bedroom-cumlounge, king bed with duvet (and hot water bottles at night), warming chip heater and en suite with instant hot water and Western-style toilet. There is a power outage as the heavens open and I snuggle up with a hottie in bed listening to thunder claps ricocheting off the mountains like canon fire and schoolchildren singing in the rain as they make their way home. The evening fines up in time for pre-dinner drinks in a thatch-roofed hut above the house overlooking the valley lights, where an array of locally made spirits is displayed. I choose a Blue Riband gin with tonic as a tray of just-cooked vegetable samosas arrive. Shakti chef Dhan Kumar (DK) prepares a typical Indian meal that night of rice, yellow split dhal, egg curry, beans and potatoes and local red leafy vegetables from the home garden. The next day dawns sunny – but thick haze still clouds the famous mountain range. Pujan and I walk up to the nearby 200-year-old Rinchenpong monastery to join some of the 80 monks in morning prayer. A young shaven recruit is being shown how to secure his red shoulder shawl and we burn incense in front of the golden Buddha. Instead of praying for world peace and other worthy things, I should have asked for a decent look at Kanchenjunga – or even just a glimpse, for it manages to hide its jagged face during my entire visit. Fortunately, I had seen its crystal peaks gleaming pink at dawn on a previous visit – but from the other side of the mountain range, from the hill station town of Darjeeling. Pujan explains that the haze is caused by forest fires and villagers burning dry grass to encourage new growth. Clear skies are almost guaranteed in April-May and again in October-November, he assures me. “Our Chief Minister’s wish is to make Sikkim the
Above, left to right: Proud farmer with his prized orchids, near Rinchenpong; young monks by a prayer wheel, Rinchenpong monastery. Below: The local Rinchenpong Buddhist monastery is 200 years old.
Above: Rhododendrons thrive in the Himalayas. Above right: Local farmers still use oxen and a plough stick to till the ground. Below: Local farmers’ produce at the Kaluk market.
Switzerland of the East,” he adds. After breakfast, with Pujan and assistant guide Prabhat, we set off for our ﬁrst real walk, stopping by people’s small farms and to admire masses of potted ﬂowering orchids that bedeck some homes. The villagers are so house-proud, with such clean and well-kept homes, you could eat off the ﬂoor. Some invite us in to show how they husk dry corn for animal fodder; others to show how they cook on low, mud-covered stoves. Schoolchildren follow our trail, chatting all the way. My next accommodation is at Hee house, owned by a lama, Kunzan Bhutia and his wife, Hangu. The farm is delightfully located on a small plateau on the hillside with regular sightings, they tell me, of Kanchenjunga directly ahead. On the farm there are a couple of goats, some milking cows, two oxen, myriad chickens and one pig, which they are fattening up for Losar, the Tibetan New Year, in October. The extended Bhutia family invites me in to sit around their warming mud stove as Hangu prepares dinner for them. She’s whipping up a powerful cheese, tomato and onion dish on a gas burner. They laugh as I recoil from the acrid smell of the homemade bottled cheese (there is no refrigeration here). I’m reluctant to leave this warm family circle but chef DK has prepared a terriﬁc Burmese meal of flat rice noodles with chicken, ginger, coconut and shrimp paste, and lots of little side dishes that are sprinkled on top. Next day we set off for our longest walk – about 9km – en route to our last house, Radhu Khandu, which we can just see in the distance on the opposite side of a deep valley. Undaunted, we venture up hill and down dale walking paths used by local folk every day. It proves quite social as we pass through private home gardens, whose owners are always ready for a chat, through healthy cardamom crops, by waterfalls and through schoolyards where children practise their English on us. “You’re cute,” one little girl tells me – having probably been told that herself many times before. Deep in the valley by a running stream, the Shakti team has set up a picnic lunch on a mossy rock. While we have been approaching the valley from one direction, they have come in from the other with tifﬁns ﬁlled with a variety of fresh salads for lunch. Septuagenarians Ranbhadur and Dhanmaya Basnet meet us on arrival at Radhu Khandu house. Sporting a typical Nepalese hat and impressive ceremonial dagger, Ranbhadur gently puts a khadak around my neck and anoints me with a tilak. The evening celebrates the local Nepalese culture with a group of children from nearby Khandu village performing traditional dances and songs, and chef Tika giving me a cooking class in typical Nepalese dishes, including steamed spinach, local chicken and gundruk soup made from dried leafy greens we had bought earlier in the market. Next morning, as we prepare to leave, we encounter children with milk cans going to collect fresh milk from a nearby farm. They wave as we leave the village for the last time. I feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to be part of their lives, even for just a few days. Their warmth and spontaneity will stay with me forever. www.shaktihimalaya.com W
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PERFECT Burma has become Myanmar and Rangoon is now Yangon, but Brett Atkinson ﬁnds the country’s colonial past still echoing throughout one of Asia’s most fascinating cities.
W Photo: John Henebry
ho knew that Silk Air flight 518 from Singapore to Myanmar is actually a time machine? Stunning developments like Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands celebrate the 21st century and beyond, but the three-hour flight from Changi to Yangon’s Mingaladon airport effortlessly winds back the clock. And while other nearby cities such as Hanoi and Phnom Penh are renewed through foreign investment, one of the British Empire’s grandest and most reﬁned cities remains largely unchanged beneath a fascinating and fecund cloak. Walking the languid tropical streets of the Burmese city formerly known as Rangoon, northern England and New York are the last places I expect to be reminded of, but the resemblances are uncanny. Post ofﬁces, warehouses and law courts – all built of rich red brick – are transplanted from Victorian England, their imposing colonial facades struggling to retain a gravitas under waves of tropical humidity. Downtown Yangon’s checkerboard grid is a sleepy doppelganger for the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Roads are linked with narrow lanes trimmed with tenements and ﬁre escapes, while cooling river breezes – substitute the Yangon River for the Hudson – struggle through thoroughfares lined with commerce and pedestrians. Even the street names have a utilitarian New York spin, as 1st to 56th Streets run parallel, west to east. A venerable icon of Southeast Asian travel celebrates a prime location in downtown Yangon. The Strand Hotel, built in 1896 by the Sarkies brothers – who also built Rafﬂes in Singapore and the Eastern & Oriental Hotel in Penang – is
Yangon’s Shwedagon Paya is Myanmar’s holiest Buddhist site, said to be covered in more gold than is in all the vaults of the Bank of England – to say nothing of the thousands of precious gems studding its spires.
Photo: GMH Hotels Photo: GMH Hotels
Top and above: Yangon’s famous Strand Hotel, built in 1896 and still the most gracious hostelry in the city. Opposite page, clockwise from top left: Buddhism is at the heart of Myanmar culture; Supreme Court building; Golden Rock temple atop Mt Kyaiktiyo sits on a gravity-defying rock covered in gold leaf.
one of the region’s most gracious places to stay. A palm-studded lobby segues into spacious suites with teak ﬂoors, canopied beds and mahogany furniture, and the hotel’s graceful ambience belies a past that includes occupation by the Japanese army in 1941 and Mick Jagger a few decades later. Other former guests include Rudyard Kipling and Somerset Maugham, both celebrated in The Strand’s Writer’s Bar, Yangon’s preferred after-dark assignation for diplomats from nearby embassies along Strand Road. During Burma’s colonial time as a British protectorate, the riverside esplanade was the first introduction to Rangoon for visitors travelling on the Irrawaddy and Yangon rivers from Mandalay. Now the road’s stately colonial buildings are interspersed with occasional newer structures, but faded gems remain. Near the city’s main post office, broken pavements play host to street vendors selling garlands of fragrant blooms, and bookish fortunetellers offer me celestial guidance in measured English tones with a subtle hint of the BBC World Service. Yangon’s geographic hub is the Sule Paya, a 2,200-year-old golden temple incongruously occupying the city’s main trafﬁc roundabout. In-your-face moneychangers with backpacks bulging with US dollars and Burmese kyat mock local laws supposedly banning black-market currency transactions, and a dribble of bus and bicycle trafﬁc eases by City Hall, built from 1928 and combining British and Burmese inﬂuences. Nearby, the Queen Anne-style Supreme Court is one of the city’s best-restored British-era buildings. Grandiose in red brick and topped by a clock tower and British Imperial lions, it’s an ironic structure in a country where justice is often dispensed depending on the whims of the generals of the ruling military junta. Outside the court, a couple of slow-walking locals avoid a slowermoving bus, reinforcing just how different Yangon is from its closest international neighbours. Try that kind of laidback manoeuvre in
Photo: John Henebry
Photo: Brett Atkinson
Photo: John Henebry
Photos: John Henebry Photo: Brett Atkinson
Yangon is a city of contrasts, where democracy struggles to bloom and traditional piety exists beside modern consumerism. The mix makes for a fascinating visitor experience.
downtown New Delhi, Dhaka or Bangkok and see how long you last. With more than 2,000 stalls selling everything from local handicrafts to uniquely Burmese spirulina-ﬂavoured beer, the city’s commercial hub is the sprawling Bogyoke Aung San Market. Still called Scott Market by the city’s older Anglophile residents, the commercial labyrinth has dozens of stalls owned by descendants of Indian families introduced to the city by the British during the 19th century. Bring along your negotiation A-game to secure some of Asia’s best-value gems, silver and gold. There’s no shortage of gold illuminating Yangon’s astonishing Shwedagon Paya. Local knowledge claims Myanmar’s holiest Buddhist site has more gold plastered on its graceful and elegant sides than is in all the vaults of the Bank of England. Add the value of the diamonds, rubies and emeralds studding the peaks and spires of Shwedagon’s gleaming man-made mountains and you’ve got one of Asia’s most remarkable sights. Shwedagon’s 100-metre-high golden stupa certainly impressed Rudyard Kipling when he visited in 1889. “A golden mystery upheaved itself on the horizon,” he wrote, “… a beautiful winking wonder that blazed in the sun.” In Yangon’s sprawling low-rise cityscape, Shwedagon Paya is always visible and is a favourite focal point for local visitors. At sunset the spacious grounds are packed with Burmese families
Photos: John Henebry
strolling, picnicking and relaxing, all with a laidback air at odds with the immense wealth cloaking the temple complex. Buddhist monks chant and pray in airy pavilions book-ended by palm trees silhouetted in the fading tropical dusk, resurrecting a scene unchanged for centuries. Shwedagon has often assumed a central role in Burmese society and politics, and in 1988 Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi called for democracy in front of the main stupa, 42 years after her father pleaded for independence from Burma’s colonial masters. Because of the imposed strongarm will of Myanmar’s ruling military junta, Aung San Suu Kyi’s vision for a democratic Myanmar still remains elusive, but her recent appointment to the lower house of the country’s parliament now offers some hope. A faded photograph of “The Lady” takes pride of place in most of Yangon’s fleet of wheezing Toyota taxis, and reverential cabbies never fail to point out the location of her lakeside villa along University Avenue. Ironically, she shares one of the city’s most expensive neighbourhoods with the ruling generals and business oligarchs made rich through Myanmar’s ingrained culture of nepotism and patronage. In one of Asia’s most captivating cities, contradiction and compromise go hand in hand. W World Magazine
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SINGAPORE World Magazineâ€™s Don Hope pays a nostalgic visit to the place he once called home and notes how 20 years have changed the face of this dynamic Asian city-state.
Photo: Marina Bay Sands
n the early 1990s my life took a turn in a way I had never imagined. Growing up in Christchurch, where my passion for magazines was born, it never occurred to me that some day I would be asked to set up a publishing company in a vastly different city in an unfamiliar region of the world. I had travelled extensively by then but my only experience of Singapore was an airport transit lounge. Singapore was never a holiday destination and I never gave a second thought to living there. All careers have their unexpected turns, but being asked to set up a company in Southeast Asia was, for me, truly outside the box. When I walked out of Changi Airport pulling two cases I thought: what now? Working for Kerry Packer opened many doors. One of my first meetings was with the company lawyer to get the low-down on what could and could not be published: at the time, Singapore had strict regulations about that. The publishing plan needed Ministry of Information and the Arts approval and while that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing it meant a lot of paperwork and presentations. Things moved slowly back then. Today, the process would be quicker because Singapore has grown from a tightly regulated regional hub into a free-flowing cosmopolitan city. I think the internet has played a major role in that and now, as far as Asia is concerned, Singapore rivals Hong Kong and Shanghai for business and, most recently, tourism. It took most of that ﬁrst year to get set up, but four years later we had a staff of 30 or more with offices in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and, on a personal note, I had grown to enjoy the city. I lived a short walk from Orchard Road in one direction and the ofﬁce in another. After hours, the nightlife was fun. The range of restaurants and bars was great for entertaining clients and, as golf was my sporting passion, there was always somewhere to play. Singapore had a number of great golf courses and across the causeway in Malaysia there were more. Sometimes on Friday I caught a short ﬂight to Thailand to play at Blue Canyon in Phuket, ﬂying back again on Sunday evening. Life was good. Back then Singapore was an emerging city; today it has emerged. On my 2012 visit I went for a walkabout – seeing how old haunts had changed, or not, and discovering what was entirely new, like the extraordinary Gardens by the Bay and the spectacular Marina Bay Sands hotel. Like Christchurch, Singapore is a “garden city”. And today this city is blooming in many other ways, so much so that I quickly realised a visit of just one or two days was not enough to capture the myriad experiences on offer. The shopping options are endless and because Singapore is also about great food, the choices of restaurants and cafés can leave a ﬁrst-time visitor wondering where to begin. For my part, I spent one day checking out the 55-storey Marina Bay Sands with its much-photographed inﬁnity pool at the top – no doubt the highest swimming pool in the world. Close by I had a look through the impressive Louis Vuitton Island Maison, one of the city’s newest architectural gems. And a further ﬁve minutes away by taxi was the new Gardens by the Bay, a development unlike any I had ever seen before. I did not stay at the Marina Bay Sands but did check out the Singapore sings: Striking nighttime scene from Marina Bay, with the ArtScience Museum reﬂected in the water and Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino in the background. World Magazine
Photo: Marina Bay Sands
Photo: Marina Bay Sands
casino and enjoyed the breathtaking view from the top. The swimming pool is for hotel guests only but it’s accompanied by the SkyPark – a vast deck one can circle for 360-degree views of the city. The mall below the hotel lobby has more than 300 shops, representing all the world’s leading brands, celebrity-chef restaurants, a food hall with an ice skating rink in the centre, Southeast Asia’s largest ballroom and two new state-of-the-art theatres that host a variety of international acts including Broadway musicals. The new lotus-design ArtScience Museum, which features exhibitions from around the world, was showing a retrospective on Andy Warhol. I did stay at Rafﬂes, Singapore’s historic and, many believe, ﬁnest hotel. I was there not long after Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, who turned up during their royal visit. For all the changes taking place elsewhere in the city, Rafﬂes remains pretty much as it was 20 years ago – and that’s a good thing. The hotel continues to deliver the same high-quality service it has for more than 100 years. Last year, in fact, Rafﬂes celebrated its 125th anniversary. One morning, as I was reading the local newspaper over coffee in the Tifﬁn Room, a headline caught my eye. It read: “Population Rises to 5.31 Million”. The article noted that Singapore has had an average annual population increase of 2.5 per cent in recent years, much of that attributed to foreign workers and students. My guess is that growth is driven by the increased demand on hotel and hospitality services. But however you break down the numbers, Singapore today is a bustling city in ways unimaginable 20 years ago. The Tifﬁn Room at Rafﬂes serves a terriﬁc buffet breakfast and I note that because in my day, the best places to eat out were independent restaurants in districts like Chinatown or Little India. You’ll still find wonderful food in these places, but today some of the ﬁnest restaurant are attached to top international hotels. Elsewhere in the city, a host of celebrity chefs such as Mario Batali, Daniel Boulud, Wolfgang Puck and Tetsuya Wakuda have opened world-class eateries. At the Majestic Hotel in Chinatown, where the restaurant is under the direction of award-winning Singapore chef Yong Bing Ngen, I had the best sweet and sour prawns I’ve ever tasted. Another day I had lunch at db, the new Daniel Boulud bistro in the Marina Bays Sands. The Original db Burger, as it was called – sirloin steak with braised short ribs and foie gras – proved to be another culinary highlight. I walked off lunch that day at the city’s latest major attraction: Gardens by the Bay, a 100-hectare public park containing a variety of spectacular attractions and dedicated to plants and flowers from all over the world. Unlike the ever-popular Botanical Gardens and Orchid Centre, however, Gardens by the Bay employs the latest green technology.
The signature features are 11 solar-powered “Super Trees” constructed with a special reinforced concrete skeleton overlaid with panels of living plants, all linked by a living canopy. Created by English landscape architect Andrew Grant, Gardens by the Bay won a world design award for two of its most popular areas: the Flower Dome, where a Mediterranean climate is sustained all year round, and the Cloud Forest, home to the world’s highest indoor waterfall. There are restaurants and cafés throughout the park and one of them, the IndoChine Bistro, sits 50m up – at the top of a Super Tree. Another day was spent exploring my former neighbourhood of Ann Siang Hill, in Chinatown, where I had my ofﬁce. Back then it was a relatively quiet district. Today it’s a cluster of bars, cafés and small shops that, together with Club Street, make it one of the city’s most popular nightspot strips. Not far away is the Beaujolais Bar, one of the original wine bars and one of my favourite haunts back in the day. I was glad to see that it remains as engaging today as it was then. Over on Orchard Road, Lucky Plaza, Singapore’s original shopping mall, has changed little. Opened in 1978, it has more than 500 shops, but it’s not so much a mall as a quirky bazaar. It has lots of character (and characters), but in my view the best and certainly most modern shopping site is the impressive ION centre on the corner of Orchard and Scott’s roads. Here, too, you will ﬁnd all the world’s leading brands spread over eight levels. As I love watches and in one shop I had to try on a magniﬁcent diver’s watch by Richard Mille. “You have good taste, sir,” the assistant beamed – before informing me that it was only one of two in the world, that actor Jackie Chan owned the other and that it cost $985,000! I spent another day walking about Little India and Arab Street, both unchanged and now ofﬁcial heritage districts. Like Lucky Plaza, Arab Street is bazaar-style shopping. Silk, Middle Eastern carpets, spices and perfume, fresh ﬂowers, cafés with people smoking water pipes and – its signature feature – the Sultan Mosque, leave you feeling you really are in Arabia. Close by, I enjoyed checking out the fashion boutiques and textile shops of Haji Lane, known for its clever grafﬁti and the city’s most authentic Mexican restaurant, Piedra Negra. Back at Raffles before dinner and looking forward that night to one of the hotel’s delectable curries, I had a drink in the Bar and Billiard Room, where I couldn’t help but notice another guest enjoying a Singapore Sling. It’s a common sight there because the Singapore Sling was invented by a Rafﬂes bartender in 1915. The ingredients were printed on a menu, so I jotted them down (see page 193). Rafﬂes is one of three hotels in an enclave of the city that includes a Swissotel and the Fairmont Singapore. The three
Opposite page, clockwise from top left: The waterfall at Gardens by the Bay; Rafﬂes Hotel; inﬁnity pool, Marina Bay Sands; Marina Bay Sands Shoppes; OCBC Skyway at Gardens in the Park. Above, left to right: Grafﬁti and Piedra Negra; Ann Siang Hill in Chinatown.
Above, left to right Langoustine at French restaurant JAAN; bar with a view – City Space on the 70th ﬂoor of Swissotel. Below, left to right: Mikuni Japanese restaurant at Fairmont Hotel; tiger at Singapore Zoo.
sister brands are operated by FRHI Holdings, a hotel company with over 100 hotels worldwide. From my own self-guided tour of these hotels, I can report that the French restaurant, JAAN, on the 70th floor of Swissotel, has the best view of any of the city’s five-star restaurants; and that the world’s most expensive apple can be found at Mikuni, the Japanese restaurant at the Fairmont. This pink-tinged Japanese apple is unlike any you’ve ever had before. The free-flow champagne Sunday brunch at Raffles Bar & Billiard Room, meanwhile, may be tops among all the Sunday brunches that are now a standard feature of top hotels. In fact, I’m sure they must compete for the best brunch. One tip when it comes to food in Singapore: try the food halls usually found on the lower levels at centres like ION, Rafﬂes City and Marina Bay Sands. This is typical hawker food, but served in clean, air-conditioned surroundings and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to eat well. Rooftop bars are more common too now, no doubt because drinks go down well high in the sky in the cool of the night. My research into this phenomenon included a Lychee martini at Fabrika, a terrace bar on the 17th ﬂoor of klapsons, a boutique hotel in the Tanjong Pagar district. I can also recommend City Space on the 70th floor of the Swissotel, and KU DE TA, at the top of Marina Bay Sands. I began this Singapore sojourn thinking that a week would
be more than enough time to do what I wanted to do. I thought I knew the city well enough from 20 years ago. But I was wrong. I never got to Sentosa Island, where a Universal Studios theme park has become a popular family attraction. It’s easy enough to catch a taxi to Sentosa, but the more exhilarating scenic route is by cable car from Mt. Faber. It takes you right out over the water, hundreds of metres up and into the heart of Sentosa, where beaches and more theme parks, restaurants and cafés await – all accessible by a free shuttle that makes regular runs from one end of the island to the other. Nor did I manage to re-visit the Night Zoo and Jurong Bird Park, still two of the most popular attractions. And I was a week too early for the event that brings most overseas visitors to the city: the Formula 1 Grand Prix, held annually in September. Someone asked me if I could live in Singapore again. “Maybe,” I said, recalling that the small publishing company started in 1991 was sold 20 years later for a reported $55 million. But for now I’m happy to think of Singapore not as a daily grind but as an all-absorbing holiday destination. After all, I’ll need at least another week to catch up on what I missed this time. Don’t believe me? Check out www.yoursingapore.com. W Thomas Hyde assisted with the research for this article.
The Original Singapore Sling 30ml gin 15ml Cherry Heering 7.5ml Benedictine D.O.M. 7.5ml Cointreau 120ml pineapple juice 15ml lime juice 10ml grenadine Dash Angostura Bitters Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker ďŹ lled with ice cubes. Shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with pineapple and maraschino cherry.
We asked World Journeys to put together a package for one wonderful week in Singapore. The package includes Economy or Business Class airfares (AucklandSingapore-Auckland) with Singapore Airlines, six nights in a Fairmont Room at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, private transfers to and from Changi Airport and a number of excursions and experiences including: Private car trip to Jurong Bird Park or Singapore Zoo (day trip or Night Safari); Car and driver at your disposal for half a day of sightseeing and/or shopping. Admission and transfers to the Gardens by the Bay. Dinner and view for two aboard the Singapore Flyer, the worldâ€™s largest observation wheel. Afternoon Tea RafďŹ‚es Tour retracing the colonial history of Singapore on a jam-packed half-day tour with a knowledgeable English-speaking guide. Cost: NZ$4,119 (Economy Class airfare) or NZ$7,295 (Business Class). For more details about this exclusive package, call World Journeys on (09) 360 7311 or 0800 11 73 11. www.worldjourneys.co.nz
Photo: Marina Bay Sands
Opposite page, clockwise from top: Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300; Sands Skypark; Singapore street scene; Lychee Martini at Fairmont Hotel Ink Bar; Fairmont Singapore. Right, top to bottom: Night view from the helicopter landing pad, Swissotel; DragonďŹ‚y Lake, Gardens by the Bay; shoppers paradise â€“ the ION centre offers all the big brands. World Magazine
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CONCIERGE New Zealand Style A WORLD of exceptional accommodation – focusing in this issue on New Zealand lodges and lodgings.
Fiordland Lodge guests have the best of Fiordland on their doorstep, with great ﬁshing, iconic walking tracks and more.
FIORDLAND LODGE, TE ANAU Five kilometres from the town of Te Anau along the Te AnauMilford Highway, Fiorland Lodge has nine spacious double rooms, one executive suite and two self-standing log cabins perfect for a family holiday. On entering the main lodge, guests are commonly struck by two things: the interior, constructed in log cabin-style of Douglas-fir, with massive beams support and floor-to-ceiling windows; and, second, the stunning view through those windows over Lake Te Anau to the Kepler and Murchison Ranges – the edge of Fiordland National Park. The best of Fiordland is on the doorstep, ready to be explored on foot, by car or bus, by boat or helicopter. Excursions may include a Lodge owner and former ranger Ron Peacock is well qualiﬁed to advise guests who want to experience the best of Fiordland.
visit to Milford Sound or a day walk on the famed Milford Track, a cruise on Lake Manapouri or Doubtful Sound or a visit after dark to a glow-worm cave. Fly ﬁshing here, where brown trout thrive, is among the best in the world, and if anyone needs expert advice from a guide, there’s no one better qualiﬁed than lodge owner Ron Peacock, who was a National Parks ranger with the Department of Conservation for 25 years before opening his lodge in 2002. The lodge’s extraordinary meals, prepared by the magical hands of chef James Loughnane, are included in the tariff. www.ﬁordlandlodge.co.nz
Just ﬁve minutes from Queenstown, Matakauri Lodge is breathtaking inside and out.
MATAKAURI LODGE, QUEENSTOWN Kauri Cliffs in the Bay of Islands, The Lodge at Cape Kidnappers in Hawke’s Bay and now Matakauri Lodge in Queenstown: three spectacular properties owned by the Robinson family, who bought this lodge and re-opened it, after a full makeover, in August 2010. In doing so they brought their ﬁne sense of the art of hospitality (and original New Zealand art) to the main tourist hub of the South Island. Queenstown is unlike any other stopover in New Zealand for its crisp alpine air and physical beauty. It’s special for the grandeur of the Remarkables range, its traditional pleasures like a Lake Wakatipu cruise on the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and its crop of adrenalin thrills such as bungy-jumping and jet-boating. For the more sedate among us, the Central Otago wine region, producing among the classiest Pinot Noir in the world, is a short drive away. Matakauri Lodge rests on a spectacular site overlooking the lake and the mountains, ﬁve minutes from town. The rural chic interiors of designer Virginia Fisher bring a reﬁned but homespun feel to the lodge’s 11 suites, each of which has a private balcony and an open ﬁreplace. Lodge amenities include a heated pool, spa and a ﬁtness centre. But no matter where guests find themselves at any time of day, there is always a dazzling view. In keeping with the high standard set by Kauri Cliffs and The Lodge at Cape Kidnappers, dinner here involves nothing less than the ﬁnest New Zealand cuisine. www.matakauri.co.nz
WHARE KEA, WANAKA
Superb cuisine is a hallmark of Whare Kea, where guests may choose to swap views of Lake Wanaka for a chalet in the Buchanan mountains.
There’s no question that Whare Kea, on the western shore of Lake Wanaka and framed by snowcapped peaks, occupies a very special setting. Yet for all the outdoor escapades available here for guests who turn up from all over the world, the single feature they comment most about is the food. Since it opened in 1996, and more so since it became a member of the Relais & Châteaux group, Whare Kea has delighted guests with its sumptuous cuisine. This is created by award-winning English chef James Staples, whose seasonal recipes can be found in the beautifully produced book, Wanaka, Earth to Heaven at Whare Kea (Godwit, $75). The secret, the chef readily admits, is sourcing the freshest local ingredients, including those from the lodge’s own garden. The lodge accommodates just 12 guests at a time in a choice of six suites and deluxe rooms, all with lake and mountain views. A helicopter is available for an overnight stay in the lodge’s chalet high in the Buchanan Range. Check out the chalet web cam. www.wharekealodge.com
OTAHUNA LODGE, CHRISTCHURCH Once New Zealand’s largest private residence, Otahuna was bought in 2006 by Americans Hall Cannon and Miles Refo, who reinvented the mansion into one of the ﬁnest small luxury lodges in the world. This stunning 41-room manor of native kauri and rimu is the quintessential New Zealand colonial spread. It was built in 1895 for Sir Heaton Rhodes, one of the country’s foremost Renaissance men – lawyer, politician, soldier and gardener (the latter his greatest legacy outside of the house itself). Otahuna’s is a Garden of Signiﬁcance as deﬁned by the New Zealand Gardens Trust. Which is to say, the grounds themselves are reason enough to visit Otahuna, from the potager-style garden with 120 different fruits, vegetables, nuts and mushrooms (all organically grown), to the Daffodil Field (gloriously abloom in September) and the formal Dutch Garden. Located 30 minutes from Christchurch Airport (see the website for directions), Otahuna is a treasure. Evening meals are a fivecourse, wine-paired affair prepared daily by chef Jimmy McIntyre, who sources most of his ingredients from the gardens and who holds cooking classes to show guests how they can do it at home. www.otahuna.co.nz
Once New Zealand’s largest private home, Otahuna Lodge has been turned into one of the country’s ﬁnest small luxury lodges.
WHAREKAUHAU, PALLISER BAY Just the fact that this lodge is relatively remote, resting on the shores of Palliser Bay in the Wairarapa, would be enough to satisfy most guests. But that it’s also an easy drive to the charming country town of Martinborough, the heart of one of New Zealand’s signature winemaking regions, makes it all the more attractive. Wharekauhau’s “partner vineyard” is Te Kairanga, but the wine list that accompanies gourmet lunches and sumptuous evening meals here showcases the best the region has to offer. Wine tours, of course, are de rigueur, while other off-site adventures might include a helicopter tour to the Kaikoura Coast of the South Island for whale watching or a game of golf across the Rimutaka
Ranges at Paraparaumu Beach, the best links course in New Zealand. On second thoughts, why go anywhere? Wharekauhau has a gym and a spa, horseback riding, a tennis court, croquet lawn, petanque… Or how about doing absolutely nothing and lying back in the quiet, sun-ﬁlled courtyard for a mid-afternoon nap? A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Wharekauhau is a gem located less than two and a half hours by road from Wellington or 15 minutes by helicopter from Wellington airport. All considered it’s no wonder this lodge has been identiﬁed by Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report and Wine Spectator as one of the world’s best. www.wharekauhau.co.nz
With wild Palliser Bay on its doorstep, Wharekauhau has been acclaimed as one the of the world’s best lodges.
RIVER BIRCHES, TURANGI The Tongariro Alpine Crossing, in Turangi or National Park, is commonly recognised as one of the most spectacular one-day walks in the world. The 19.4-km hike takes between seven and nine hours and though it is steep at the start and weather conditions can change from one hour to the next, the experience of crossing this active volcanic range, one that includes the steamy craters of Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu, is something people never forget. River Birches lodge in Turangi is arguably the best place to start and ďŹ nish the walk. The lodge specialises in getting guests to and from the track and its two-night package for two includes meals and drinks, a guide on request and, perhaps most important, a postwalk massage in the privacy of your own room. Of course, for the less ambitious but equally adventurous, River Birches sits on the banks of the famed Tongariro River, known by anglers as one of the best rivers in the world for hooking rainbow trout. www.riverbirches.co.nz
World-class trout ďŹ shing is among the attractions at River Birches, sitting beside the Tongariro River at Turangi.
PORONUI LODGE & BLAKE HOUSE, TAHARUA VALLEY Forbes, the worldly American business magazine, has listed this property among its top 10 trout ﬁshing sites in the world. Located on a 6,500-hectare private estate in the Taharua Valley, 45 minutes from Taupo off State Highway 5, Poronui Lodge and Blake House together provide access to a wilderness paradise like no other. The lodge and the house occupy the same locale, but where the lodge has seven freestanding cabins and a communal dining room and lounge with an open fireplace, Blake House, a stone’s throw away, is a stately homestead offering quite a different experience. The lodge is better
suited to couples, for example, while the house can accommodate up to 16 guests – a small wedding party, perhaps. Outside, meanwhile, red and sika deer, ducks and pheasants, roam a property through which run the crystal-clear waters of the Taharua and Mohaka rivers, providing some of the best angling in the world. For guests who like to stay wired, both Poronui Lodge and Blake House have satellite television and complimentary high-speed broadband. A chef looks after ﬁne dining each night at Poronui Lodge. Blake House guests can choose to have a chef or cook for themselves. www.poronui.com
Your own cabin or a suite in Blake House homestead: the choice is yours. Either way you’ll have access to excellent ﬁshing and wildlife.
SOLITARE LODGE, ROTORUA Rotorua is an iconic New Zealand destination, a place for learning a thing or two about Maori culture, for freshwater ﬁshing on any of its collection of lakes and streams and, at the end of the day, relaxing in one of the many natural, hot-water mineral springs. You know you’ve arrived here when you smell sulphur in the air. Solitare Lodge, set on a small peninsula on the shore of Lake Tarawera, is about a 20-minute drive from town. Like Taupo’s Huka Lodge, Solitaire is one of New Zealand’s original ﬁve-star escapes. Originally built as a comfortable ﬁshing lodge, it is now much more than that. Though fishing on the lake and rivers nearby is still popular, there’s so much more going on now, because Rotorua has transformed itself into an adventure playground. When guests of Solitare Lodge are not fishing or kayaking or mountain biking or playing golf or viewing the region’s volcanic landscape from the seat of a helicopter, they are soaking in peace and privacy and enjoying the ﬁne wine and food the lodge is famous for – and in a style the anglers of the past could not have imagined. www.solitarelodge.co.nz
One of New Zealand’s original ﬁve-star retreats, Solitaire Lodge sits on a peninsula with views over Lake Tarawera. World Magazine
DELAMORE LODGE, WAIHEKE ISLAND Waiheke Island wineries have been making a splash (sorry) in recent years for their Bordeaux-style blends that some critics believe outdo Bordeaux itself. So wine tasting is certainly a reason to visit. But as seductive as the wine and food at Delamore Lodge can be, there’s equal focus here on the spa – the best on the island and one of the best among New Zealand’s small boutique lodges. This Mediterranean-style lodge has four guest suites and a two-bedroom apartment, each with a private courtyard and panoramic views of the Hauraki Gulf. There is a dedicated spa room but guests commonly enjoy treatments in the privacy of their suite or courtyard (see the website for the treatment menu). As for or the famous names who have testiﬁed to the quality of the service, (actress Hilary Swank, singer Alanis Morissette), the comment that says it all came from musician Phil Docherty of The Police when that band last toured New Zealand. “We arrived on a chopper,” he wrote, “and left on a cloud.” www.delamorelodge.com
Mediterranean style in the Hauraki Gulf: Delamore Lodge has become the hideaway of choice for some high-proﬁle stars.
Beautiful inside and out, Cotter House is Auckland’s ﬁnest boutique lodge and a heritage gem, though with every modern amenity.
COTTER HOUSE, AUCKLAND Every place has a story, but we venture to guess few have a story to tell like Cotter House, an historic mansion in Auckland owned by the gracious Gloria Poupard-Walbridge, a Columbian-born, French-raised former diplomat who has lived in New Zealand for more than 30 years. Cotter House, built in 1847, may be New Zealand’s best example of early 19th-century Regency-style architecture. Built by Joseph Newman, it was sold to the Cotter family after Newman, a teetotaller, died when a sign advertising whisky fell on his head. The Cotter family owned the house until 1926, after which subsequent owners allowed it to fall into disrepair. Gloria Poupard-Walbridge bought the house and restored it to its original glory. Today, it is Auckland’s ﬁnest boutique lodge and art hotel, French in style but adorned with paintings, antiques and religious icons the owner collected during her years living Europe and South America. Cotter House has a quiet private garden, swimming pool and spa service and though the house is a heritage gem, it is equipped with the latest technology, including complimentary Wi-Fi and a laptop in every room. Twice a World Travel Award finalist, Cotter House is a discreet hideaway – though we can reveal that this is where Rolling Stones legend Keith Richard secluded himself with his family a few years back while recovering from the head injury he suffered in Fiji. www.cotterhouse.com
MY WORLD Martin Snedden: Detours
hen I reached 41 years of age I found out that life was going to be a lot more interesting if I was prepared to take the same risks from that point on that I was prepared to take in my teens and 20s. Why is it that many of us reach 30 or so and look to settle down, looking for surety and predictability, pretending things will be “happy ever after” if we do? But life doesn’t happen like that – and thank God it doesn’t. At 41 I was happy. I had a lovely wife, four healthy kids and a good job in a law partnership with one of my brothers. We were living in the pretty Auckland suburb of Devonport, were well established, with great friends and with a beach and a golf course across the road from our house. Then – wham! – I reached middle age and we’re suddenly moving to Christchurch, leaving family, friends and jobs behind to take up a role in cricket. Suddenly, we’re looking for somewhere to live, somewhere to send our four kids to school, someone to be friends with – and at work, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, I’m dealing more with terrorist threats than batting coaches. Disconcerting? Yes. Scary? A little bit. Invigorating? Very. At 47 I was happy – a lovely wife, four healthy kids and a good job in a sport I’ve loved all my life. We lived in Fendalton, were well established and had great friends. Then – wham! – we’re suddenly moving again, this time to Wellington, leaving all behind to take up a critical role for the Rugby World Cup 2011. Suddenly, we’re looking for somewhere to live again and trying to manage where four kids will end up being educated (they ended up scattered around New Zealand). Moreover, I’d just taken on a job that would destroy future career prospects if it went wrong. Disconcerting? Yes. Scary? Very. Invigorating? Totally. At 53 I was still happy – still had a lovely wife, four healthy kids spread over different locations inside and out of the country – but I was out of a job, even if not for a bad reason. Rugby World Cup 2011 went well. My career wasn’t destroyed. But I had no idea what to do next. Then someone pointed me towards tourism. Way back when I was a cricketer, tourism was pretty basic. But over the last 30 years it has grown enormously, both in size and in value. Right now the basic stats look good: $23 billion a year spend in New Zealand and it’s our number-two export earner, creating about 187,000 jobs. Tourism matters. Airlines and airports, hotels and motels, backpackers and luxury lodges; from bungy jumpers, whitewater rafters and skydivers to trampers and mountain climbers: the job of the Tourism Industry Association is to look after the lot! Most of our adventure industry didn’t even exist when I was young. And I’m loving it! I love trying to ﬁgure out ways to help our members cope with a fast-changing world. Not that long ago there was no global ﬁnancial crisis, our dollar was way lower and more of our visitors were coming from western countries than from Asia. For now, the economies of our traditional visitor markets are shot, the dollar is horrendously high and, for example, we are fast trying to work out how to best serve our escalating Chinese visitor market. Fortunately, our operators are good. They are smart and resilient and are ﬁnding solutions. So when I look back, I’m glad something at the age of 41 caused me to radically change my planned life course. Change has been good to me: the spice of life. I love New Zealand because it is truly a land of opportunity. We just need to open our eyes every so often to see the possibilities. W Martin Snedden, a lawyer by profession, played 25 cricket tests for New Zealand. He was the chairman of the 2011 Rugby World Cup Organising Committee. Today he is chief executive of the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand.
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Published on Apr 5, 2013
Issue 24 of World Magazine. World is about presenting high-quality local and international content, along with premium advertising to high-e...