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Opulent Living Welcome
‘There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.’ – Maya Angelou
Barbara Lenhard and Florian Gast, founders and owners of Opulent Living
PHOTOGRAPH: ANDREW BROWN
e all have a story to tell and, as we get older, life gives us new stories to add to our collection. One of our guiding principles in publishing this coffee-table magazine is to share stories that should be told with you, our readers. Whether they’re stories from inspiring people we’ve interviewed, stories of creativity and craftsmanship, or stories of amazing places, our main criteria is to give you something that is a pleasure to read, and that helps you compile a bucket list of what you’d like to experience on your life’s journey. Every now and then we need to pause on our journey and pay homage to life’s blessings. We also need to explore where we find ourselves on our life map,
and consider where we still wish to go. Journeys are not always as easy as we’d like them to be, and we can’t always do them on autopilot. The challenge is to find our ultimate opulent state, the fundamental GPS coordinate on our map that energises and excites us. Here at Opulent Living, we believe life should always be a celebration of excellence. Mediocrity is too easy – we want to sculpt beauty into everything we do, and acknowledge the importance of grand dreams that engineer unforgettable moments. That is the compass that guides us at Opulent Living. We want to showcase how magnificent life can be. It’s also why we created Opulent Living Experiences, where we curate magical events that not only bring people together to enjoy the finer things in life, but also make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves. With ‘Chefs who share – the ART of giving’, for instance, our gala food-and-wine pairing evening, we’ve created a concept that celebrates excellence while raising awareness and money for children who need support. And with ‘Valentine under the STARS’, we’ve celebrated the art of music in an open-air concert with some outstanding performers. Have a look at our events pages to get a taste of some of the magic that happened. Most importantly of all, though, we want to celebrate this Jubilee 10th Edition of Opulent Living with you. We love taking you with us on our journey and we want to say Thank You for giving us that privilege. As always,
we partner with businesses who share our philosophy of excellence to create a luxury framework that celebrates elegance in all its forms. We introduce you to people and their achievements, we expose products that deserve recognition and respect, and we showcase destinations and experiences that are truly distinctive. That is the life story that is Opulent Living, written and put together by so many wonderful people. We began our Opulent Living journey exactly five years ago, and have connected with so many interesting people along the way. Many of our readers have become our guests, and when we set up our bespoke travel business, we added another point on our Opulent Living map. By now everyone knows how much we love quotes, and this one – which meant a lot to us – was sent from a reader we met recently on a plane: ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.’ – Aristotle The story of life’s journey is constantly evolving, so start writing your new chapter on a blank page. We all have stories – unique stories that become great stories when we share them. Thank you for holding our magazine in your hand and sharing in our stories. It makes us proud to create excellence, to strive for quality and to live according to this sentence by American business consultant Jim Collins: ‘Good is the Enemy of Great’. Carpe diem! Barbara & Florian
The creative talents who crafted our features Photographer Fiona MacPherson has long been inspired by the alchemy that takes place when fashion and photography meet: ‘I am excited by the “extreme” image, where the design and fabrics, make-up and lighting, pose and expression make time stand still.’ Her award-winning talents created the visual extravaganza of our designer fashion feature. Charleen Clarke has written about cars for dozens of magazines and newspapers as
Publisher: Barbara Lenhard firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial & Creative Director: Florian Gast email@example.com Managing Editor: Michelle Snaddon Features Editor: Jocelyn Warrington Copy Editor: Anne Duncan Designer: Deborah Poswell Contributors: Sebastian Bartlett, Jane Broughton, Anne Duncan, Ian Duncan, Keri Harvey, Kit Heathcock, Robyn Hodson, Caroline Hurry, Sharon Preston, Michelle Snaddon, Sally Rutherford, Jocelyn Warrington, Richard Webb For advertising and sales please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
well as introduced South Africans to wheels in the Topcar television show. She has won former president of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists. She looks at what’s new from Aston Martin and Infiniti in this issue. Photojournalist and horse breeder, Liesl King travels the global horseracing circuit, working for several racing publications, from worldwide industry leader Thoroughbred Daily News to local newspapers. Her photographs and articles have also appeared in the New York Times and Vanity Fair. So who better to write on the local thoroughbred scene? Award-winning travel writer, Richard Holmes has managed to combine his three passions,
Newspace Publishing CC Cape Town, South Africa Issue no. 10: published May 2014 Issue no. 11: to be published in November 2014 Distribution: throughout South Africa and internationally via preferred partners · in first and business class on selected airlines · in exclusive lounges, showrooms and boutique stores · nationwide via direct mail · internationally via selected distributors Nominal charge: R180 Printed in South Africa by Tandym, Cape Town www.opulentliving.co.za www.facebook.com/opulentliving @liveopulent www.youtube.com/opulentliving
flying across the globe to see Bruce Springsteen at the Giants Stadium and drinking a vintage Bordeaux at a top estate in Aquitaine. He was thus the perfect journalist to interview audio wizard Joachim Spelling as well as to write on bespoke offerings for wine connoisseurs.
Opulent Living magazine is published by Newspace Publishing CC. Copyright Newspace Publishing CC. No portion of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent from Newspace Publishing or the authors. The publishers are not responsible for any unsolicited material. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Newspace Publishing or the editors. Opulent Living is a registered trademark of Newspace Publishing CC.
With us from the beginning, Harry the hippo.
COVER IMAGES: ASTON MARTIN, OCEANIA CRUISES, FIONA MACPHERSON, LUX* RESORTS, GRAFF DIAMONDS
SA Motoring Journalist of the Year, and is a
PIAGET ROSE COLLECTION
A true flower, a unique story
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The Marly · Showpiece of glamorous beachfront living
Villa Santorini · A Greek-style fantasy
DR PRECIOUS MOLOI-MOTSEPE INTERVIEW · WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE
LUX* Le Morne · Peak of playful luxury
Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge · Sculpted into the bushveld
58 SPECIAL · PERSONAL ENCOUNTERS IN WINE
Hyatt Regency Johannesburg · Synthesis of style
The Victoria Falls Hotel · A view to remember
Oceania Cruises · Voyages of culinary discovery and sensory charm
Grand Dédale · Cape Dutch hospitality in a tranquil valley
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“INVESTMENT NEVER LOOKED SO INTRIGUING.”
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Victoria Falls River Lodge · Charmed by the river
The Table Bay · Cape Town flavour seasoned with style
Opulent Living Photo Feature Fashion in the spotlight · Showcasing 10 acclaimed designers
Azura Benguerra Island · A magical experience
Delaire Graff Estate · The jewel of the Winelands
Opulent Events · Stylesetters and newsmakers
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The Marly ∙ South Africa
Showpiece of glamorous beachfront living
With its palm-lined boulevard, postcard-perfect beaches and array of upscale eateries, Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard has never been short on glamour. But the bar was raised even higher late last year with the opening in Camps Bay of The Marly – a stunning boutique hotel where opulent design gives the breathtaking scenery a run for its money. And with just a handful of spacious yet elegant suites, it has fast become one of the most sought-after addresses in the city… Opulent Living
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Modern art offsets the opulent décor in this glamorous five-star boutique hotel overlooking Camps Bay beach.
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s the waning sun sets the Atlantic Ocean ablaze and The Marly is bathed in the soft, coral glow of late evening light, it’s hard to think of a more perfect name for this boutique property overlooking Cape Town’s famed Camps Bay beach. For the hotel’s namesake is none other than Château de Marly; the 17th-century royal residence built outside Paris for King Louis XIV, the ‘Sun King’ who ruled France for more than seven decades. For Louis, his Château de Marly was an intimate escape: a palace with just a handful of rooms where he could leave behind the formality of Versailles and indulge in his favourite pastimes. It was a beloved property to which only the most fortunate courtiers were invited; a refuge from the rigours of the world and a destination he would return to at every opportunity. It was a peaceful haven of happy indulgence, fashionable décor and fine living. And the same applies to its modernday equivalent south of the equator. Here, just metres from the whispering sands of sun-splashed Camps Bay beach, The Marly welcomes well-connected travellers who have their finger on the pulse, those astute globetrotters who’ve heard that of the Mother City’s myriad hotels there is but one place to lay your regal head on the western fringes of Cape Town. There are just 11 spacious suites in the hotel, all of a remarkably generous size for the sought-after beachfront location, and each offering dramatic views of the Atlantic Ocean or the Table Mountain National Park. These two icons of Cape Town are a bellwether of The Marly’s sought-after location. The beachfront suburb of Camps Bay is just a short drive from most of Cape Town’s major attractions, making the hotel a perfect base for either soaking up the seaside life or venturing further afield. The pavement cafés, trendy bars and beachfront boutiques of the area are all just a short walk from the hotel; with the cosmopolitan streets of Cape Town’s colourful city centre or it’s popular V&A
Waterfront just a short taxi-ride away. There are two health spas adjacent to the hotel, and the welcoming staff are adept at arranging whatever it is your heart desires, be it a bespoke tour of the Cape peninsula or a romantic private dining room at one of the city’s top restaurants. At The Marly, royal treatment comes as standard. And as you’d expect from a five-star boutique property, the suites provide every imaginable convenience. Wi-Fi internet access is available at no cost throughout the hotel, while all rooms are offered with a complimentary refreshment bar and state-of-the-art espresso machine. If you’re travelling for business, a dedicated work desk and satellite television bouquet ensures you’ll stay on top of matters. King-sized, extra-length beds are de rigueur, and bathrooms offer high-quality Charlotte Rhys body and beauty products. Every detail is taken care of, leaving you to the important business of relaxation and indulgence. While every suite offers its own charms, the pick of the rooms are the Superior and Deluxe sea-facing suites. These boast sizeable private balconies with panoramic views of the chic Camps Bay boulevard, where Miami meets the Mother City. What’s more, outdoor seating and gleaming white sun loungers frame private Jacuzzis; the perfect combination for a soporific afternoon with sea views. Water was an ever-present pleasure of Louis XIV’s original château, and so too at the modern-day Marly. Aside from the Jacuzzis, selected suites offer indulgent outdoor showers, while the hotel pool and private terrace bar offer views over the Atlantic Ocean and the popular Camps Bay beach. If you’d prefer to feel the tang of salt on your skin, the most glamorous stretches of sand the city has to offer – the beaches of Camps Bay, Glen and Clifton – are a short walk or taxi away. As part of the respected Kove Collection – which counts eateries such as Paranga, Zenzero and The Bungalow in its
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In both the chic suites and stylish public areas, cutting-edge design blends playfully with subtle baroque flourishes that pay homage to the hotelâ€™s French namesake.
Top-tier suites offer a spacious seaview balcony and private Jacuzzi. Shimmering mirrors and gleaming marble add a touch of decadence to the en-suite bathrooms.
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stable, alongside boutique Constantia Winelands hotel The Alphen – the décor at The Marly reflects owner Paul Kovensky’s inimitable sense of style. And it’s a style that would have no doubt brought a smile to the face of the Sun King: expect a perfect blend of lavish design tempered by the influence of minimalist beach chic. Think sleek white leather couches against Chesterfields upholstered in decadent velvet. Polished granite and striking chandeliers are given a 21st-century makeover, contrasted against towering mirrors that wouldn’t look out of place at Versailles. Modern artworks, bespoke furniture and a perfect mélange of both less and more make The Marly a feast for the eyes. And feasts are precisely what you’ll find at Umi, The Marly’s modern Japanese restaurant that is making waves among Cape Town gourmands. Its name translates as ‘the sea’, and is the perfect moniker for the 200-seater restaurant, which offers superlative ocean views from almost all corners. Perhaps more importantly, the menu also makes the most of the ocean’s bounty. Umi is perfectly on-trend when it comes to the global wave of small-plate dining,
with the menu eschewing the traditional starter and main offerings in favour of an eclectic selection of smaller dishes to mix and match as you see fit. If the choice is overwhelming, the skilled waiters are always on hand to guide you on your gastronomic journey. With their dominant Japanese influence, the tuna tataki with onion ponzu and new-style sashimi with yuzu soy are both outstanding and not to be missed. The rice paper rolls with lobster tail meat, spicy mayonnaise and avocado are another modern classic in the making. Seafood aside, you’ll also find meatier options on the menu crafted by consultant chef Scott Hallsworth. Think teriyaki fillet, roast baby chicken and umami-rich crispy pork belly. You’ll find sushi here too, with the Umi House Roll a sure-fire crowd-pleaser. To drink, pair the Cape’s finest wines off the expertly curated list with a tempting selection of Japanese-influenced cocktails. In all it’s a deliciously decadent address, just like the hotel above. A hotel where the perfect combination of idyllic location and eye-catching design has resulted in one of the most remarkable boutique properties Cape Town has
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There’s a strong Japanese influence at Umi, the hotel’s modern restaurant and bar. The ocean features heavily, too, both in the views and in the variety of seafood on the menu.
PHOTOGRAPHS: THE MARLY
Camps Bay, Cape Town, SA Telephone: +27 (0)21 437 1287, +27 (0)86 127 7725 Email: email@example.com Website: www.themarly.co.za
to offer. It’s both an ideal location for exploring the sights and sounds of Cape Town, but equally an idyllic escape for leaving the world behind and immersing yourself in an intoxicating blend of décor, design and decadent living. They’re worthy pursuits that were the highlight of King Louis’ regular forays to the original Marly, set in the parklands outside 17th-century Paris.
That landmark château is long gone, but the spirit of the place lives on south of the equator. In fact, ensconced in a spacious suite – soaking up the rays of a warm southern hemisphere sun with a bottle of chilled Méthode Cap Classique within easy reach – you can’t help but think that the Sun King would have been rather pleased with this slice of Camps Bay glamour. Sebastian Bartlett
One of two boutique hotels in Paul Kovensky’s acclaimed Kove Collection, The Marly is an intimate property of just 11 suites on Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard. The hotel is a short drive from Cape Town International Airport, which offers daily flights to cities across the globe.
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Villa Santorini âˆ™ Mozambique
A Greek-style fantasy Balmy breezes, a blissfully warm ocean and the freshest seafood are the very least you can expect from a Mozambique holiday, but a stay at the welcoming Villa Santorini, across the bay from the Bazaruto Archipelago, adds laid-back luxe at its best.
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lipping quietly down the steps to the beach just as the sun’s rays catch the early morning ripples of jumping fish and the eddies behind wooden dhows, it’s easy to let the Mozambican rhythm of life seep gently into the soul. A tranquil scene as old as Africa itself rewards anyone who gets out of bed early enough to enjoy the rituals of dawn as it unfolds on this serene tropical coastline. Invigorating pockets of cool morning air drift in from the sea, meeting deliciously warm beach breezes. But just as soon as
the sun is fully risen, a calmness brings on the humid heat, signalling the start of yet another day in paradise and time to head back up the hill for breakfast. Protected by the jewel-like string of islands in the Bazaruto Archipelago, this particular stretch of coastline is most often lapped by gentle waves, softly drifting inwards and then pulling far out with low tide, revealing a sandy shore dotted with shells and starfish, with skittish blue crabs darting from side to side. Further down, children play and laugh, while they wait for their fathers
to come ashore with baskets of slippery squid, large crabs for Mozambique’s legendary crab curry, and gleaming fish, which they’ll attach to a wooden pole and walk to market before the sun is at its fullest, often stopping along the way to sell them to the chef up at Villa Santorini. It’s this ebb and flow that is so etched in one’s memory of a holiday here, a way of life that makes for an idyllic sojourn at this five-star, Greek-styled haven just 25 minutes’ north of the bustling market town of Vilanculos.
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Santorini is built in traditional Greek style on a hill overlooking the ocean. Join the fishermen on the beach below as they sail in on ancient dhows with the catch of the day.
Back at the villa, the scent of freshly baked pastries and cooked breakfast wafts from the kitchen out to the terrace where sun-ripened mangoes and paw paw smell as good as they taste. Here, chef George Nhalingue plucks fresh tomatoes and herbs for breakfast straight from the prolific vegetable garden, lovingly tended by Felisberto Magumane, who even manages to grow flowers in this climate. But dining is always varied and never short on imagination, whether it’s a platter of sushi you’re craving or the freshest salad for lunch, which is prepared while you’re out visiting the town or perhaps taking a dhow safari. Breakfast is a good time to plan for the day before settling around the pool for hours of blissful ‘me time’ – reading, snoozing or simply catching up with friends and family. The more energetic divers and snorkellers can make the journey across the bay to the pristine islands of Bazaruto or Benguerra to
explore their world-renowned reefs and clear blue waters, or take a trip to the smaller islands of Magaruque, Santa Carolina (also known as Paradise Island) and Bangue, just off the coast. Picnics on Pansy Island, where the beach is bound to be lined with a fresh row of washed up, sun-bleached pansy shells and cowries, are wonderful for families with kids, and sightings of dolphins, humpbacked whales and sometimes the rare dugong are a special treat on these boat trips. Closer to shore, a kayak or standup board will take you over shallower, cerulean-blue waters, often dotted with pretty coloured fish. The villa is stocked with kids’ beach toys, fishing equipment, volleyball and cricket gear, but also sand boards for a speedy ride down the dunes. And in the heat of the day, palm trees and thatched umbrellas provide shade on the beach, where deck chairs are laid out for complete relaxation.
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A central courtyard, perfect for alfresco dining, welcomes guests with the bluest of swimming pools, while other rim-flow plunge pools provide heavenly views. There are more stunning views from the outdoor shower at The Chapel, which offers a smaller, more private sanctuary apart from the main villa.
After a day spent outdoors, what better than to return home to sundowners up at the spectacular rooftop sala for a lingering sunset, followed by chef’s legendary seafood feasts or homemade pizzas in the pool-side pizza oven? Fancy dinner under the stars? There’s a beautifully lit and comfortably furnished boma set away from the main villa. Night skies are crystal bright so this is a an experience not to be missed. Designed on 16 different levels, Villa Santorini offers privacy to couples even when staying with extended family or friends, because each suite has its own private terrace. The perfect location for small weddings, honeymooners are rewarded with the upstairs suite, on one side of the villa, that’s so roomy that they could cocoon there for days. On the other side, there is an open-air sala for spa treatments or a glass of chilled bubbly with spectacular views of the Bahia de Pescador (Fishermen’s Bay).
Downstairs, three levels house four peaceful bedrooms, each decorated in natural shades to reflect the sand and sea in the magnificent ocean views. Cool floors, air-conditioning and beds draped with mosquito nets and quality linen make these heavenly spaces to retreat to on hot days. One of these suites can be specifically geared for children, featuring miniature four posters with truckle beds underneath so that up to six siblings or friends can all sleep together in one room. Upstairs, in the family room off the pool, there’s a computer with Wi-Fi, satellite television and comfy sofas – and blissful sea-fresh breezes flow through all the slide-back doors that allow for seamless indoor-outdoor flow. Expect a sprawling uncluttered space, but with loads of private terraces, nooks and spaces where you can enjoy the pleasure of some alone-time. For those who really do want to be all
alone, The Chapel at Villa Santorini offers a smaller, more private hideaway. This ocean-facing villa – built in the style of small Greek-island chapel – has just one en-suite bedroom as well as a lounge, kitchen and dining room. With beautiful palms shading a patio with a pool and outdoor dining area, and a private path leading to the beach stairs, it’s a blissful retreat for couples. A small path links it to the main villa, where meals are served. Both couples and families of all ages will find that the area is not short on activities – horse riding on the beach, camel rides, kite surfing and fishing by boat are all easy to organise with full-time managers, Neill and Christi Patterson. In fact, with a staff complement of 12, including a world-class chef, holidaying at Villa Santorini is like staying in a private hotel. Full-time management as well as guaranteed privacy and exceptional security make this a perfect bolt-hole for
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Beach walks, languorous lunches and afternoon siestas are what idyllic holidays are made of here, with boat trips and snorkelling in between.
Vilanculos, MOZAMBIQUE Telephone: +27 (0)82 883 3774 Email: reservations@ santorinimozambique.com Website: www.villasantorini.co.za
of the architecture on its Greek island namesake – is a story of grit and determination. The dome was handpacked and took 150 builders 10 weeks to build. It’s an architectural feat that guests cannot fail to appreciate when it takes on a magnificent early evening glow as they’re sipping martinis or G&Ts in quiet contemplation of sun-kissed days in this peaceful spot of Mozambican heaven. n Michelle Snaddon
PHOTOGRAPHS: VILLA SANTORINI
celebrities or anyone simply wanting to get away from it all. Crafted in traditional Greek style from no less than a million handmade bricks and 40 tonnes of steel, this dramatic villa stands proud on this beautiful stretch of coast. It was built over a period of four years, starting in 2008 – an ambitious task because there was no electricity here in the early days. Behind its beautiful blue dome – so reminiscent
Villa Santorini is 25 minutes’ drive north of Vilanculos airport. It sleeps 10 adults, or eight adults and six children, in five bedrooms in the main villa and two adults in The Chapel. Rates are available per person, or for the entire villa (with or without The Chapel) on an exclusive-use basis.
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PRECIOUS WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE known as the Queen of South African fashion not only for her impeccable personal style but also for her dedication in promoting African fashion to a global audience.
Authenticity is the heart of luxury, says Dr Precious MoloiMotsepe. And, when it comes to the genuine article, this doctor, businesswoman, philanthropist and executive chairperson of African Fashion International is as real as it gets. by Ian Duncan
Defining Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe is a bit like describing your favourite designer outfit. Sometimes you get close, you might even think you’ve succeeded. But then a glance from a different angle reveals some new complexity you’d not seen before. You know it’s still outstanding – the merits of the ensemble haven’t changed – you simply had not anticipated this different perspective. The more you learn, in other words, the less certain you are that you’re getting any closer to the so-called ‘essence’ of the thing. At first glance, then, Precious Moloi-Motsepe is a medical doctor turned businesswoman. She studied at Wits University in Johannesburg, and has practised in both the public and private health sector as a general practitioner. She moved to the United States of America with her family where she worked in the teenage and women’s health areas at the Medical College of Virginia. Upon her return to South Africa she opened one of the first women’s health clinics in Johannesburg. But then the bright young doctor’s finelytuned eye caught sight of the fashion industry and she, effectively, changed course
completely, choosing to immerse herself in the momentous challenge of bringing African fashion to the world. Along the way she became the wife of mining magnate Patrice Motsepe, and loving mother to three sons. The good doctor Of course, that is only the most clinical of sketches on blank draftsman’s paper. Discovering the ‘essence’ of Moloi-Motsepe really should begin with the endearing simplicity this complex woman somehow succeeds in maintaining. ‘I usually get up and go to the gym,’ she says of the typical start to a day in her life. ‘Then, I spend the morning with my husband, eating breakfast and reading the papers. On alternate days, I take my boys to school and then it’s on to whatever meetings I have scheduled. I spend most of my time on our fashion business, but I also have work with the World Economic Forum and our Foundation.’ The last, the Motsepe Foundation, was founded by the dynamic couple in an effort to support a variety of initiatives that enhance education and provide opportunities for the benefit
PHOTOGRAPH: FIONA MACPHERSON FOR OPULENT LIVING
Precious Moloi-Motsepe is
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to speak at various high-profile international events, where she champions Africa’s distinctive aesthetic. She is married to Patrice Motsepe (opposite), founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals.
“ „ We push our designers to be
entrepreneurs. You’ve got
to think of yourself not as
someone who will be an employee, but as someone who will create employment. From leather to
mohair, there are countless other
industries that benefit from a strong fashion sector.
of the current and emerging generation of South African leaders. As head of the Foundation, Moloi-Motsepe also continues her focus on advocacy work around girls’ and women’s health education. She even marries her passion for women’s health with her involvement in the fashion business through projects such as the Design for Life Breast Cancer Campaign, which supports education and diagnosis of breast cancer in women in rural communities and townships. She hopes, she says, to use the fashion industry, which receives a lot of media attention, to bring focus to health issues in poor communities in South Africa. In pursuit of style The fashion business we speak of is African Fashion International (AFI) – as executive chairperson, Moloi-Motsepe is the driving force behind this ambitious venture. ‘Patrice and I started AFI when we bought a company that handled fashion events,’ she explains. ‘In one way or another, we’re all fascinated by creativity, be it fashion or fine art.’ Often referred to as the Queen of South African Fashion, Moloi-Motsepe has impeccable personal style, and is often in the front row of fashion shows across the continent as director of AFI, which focuses on supporting and providing a platform for local fashion designers. ‘I wanted to see if we could take local fashion into the global market by developing and nurturing local designers and using the
PHOTOGRAPHS: GALLO IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES/LARRY BUSACCA, SUPPLIED
Moloi-Motsepe has been invited
networks we already had in place,’ she explains of the company’s ambitious agenda. Moloi-Motsepe oversees AFI’s mission to promote and develop South African and African fashion, which it does via its annual Fashion Weeks in South Africa. The goal of bringing local and African fashion into the mainstream is also achieved through strategic partnerships with various companies and government, which bring together fashion designers, media, retailers and consumers. This gives fashion designers media publicity and orders from retail buyers and the public. It soon becomes clear, however, that even within this singular sphere of her life, MoloiMotsepe’s thinking is multifarious. For her, she asserts, the fashion industry is sustained by three pillars: cultural, social and economic. ‘When we talk about African fashion, we’re really talking about our culture, our heritage. It’s the fruit of our history and diversity and it’s part of what defines us as a continent,’ she explains. ‘Then, within the continent you have individual nations, each with their own distinctive dress style. The key is to retain these roots while being internationally relevant. Look at a designer like Laduma Ngxokolo: his work is all Xhosa-inspired but very global. Gavin Rajah’s work portrays his Indian heritage. That authenticity is part of what makes each garment luxurious.’ Then, there’s the social side. ‘We get involved with a lot of corporate social investment projects,’ she continues, citing a Cape Townbased clothing bank as an example. ‘This is a hub that looks after women who have come out of terrible situations. We help to teach them marketing, finance, you name it, so they can run their own businesses. We then collect clothing the big retailers can’t sell, and the ladies fill the gap, selling them in the townships for their own profit.’ When it comes to her third essential pillar – economics – Moloi-Motsepe believes in bestowing opportunity where it’s due. ‘We push our designers to be entrepreneurs. You’ve got to think of yourself not as someone who will be an employee, but as someone who will create employment. From leather to mohair, there are countless other industries that benefit from a strong fashion sector.’ The success of AFI’s mission to ensure the fashion and clothing industry plays a role in
supporting and developing small businesses has been in getting several designers known locally and creating domestic demand for their products. It also exposes them to global markets through its local Fashion Week platforms – Joburg Fashion Week, Cape Town Fashion Week and Africa Fashion Week have had much exposure in the global fashion and clothing industry – and facilitates their showcase during New York and Paris Fashion Weeks. Its annual fashion designer development programme, AFI Fastrack also helps to launch careers. Young designers are invited to submit work, with 10 finalists invited to present designs based on their graduate collection at Joburg Fashion Week. Three winners are selected for an intensive internship with leading design houses and receive both a cash prize and an opportunity to launch a capsule collection at Fashion Week Africa. Power couplings Paradoxically, it is business that often clears space for quality time for the devoted couple. ‘Patrice and I have our own time together when we’re away doing business,’ explains Moloi-Motsepe.
‘At the start of every year there’s the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. It’s so beautiful there in the snow. It’s one of the most intellectually stimulating trips we do, but we always find time just for us, to reconnect. Around May we visit the States for pledge meetings,’ she continues. ‘Later in the year we go to the Cannes Film Festival, which I especially love. Patrice loves his motor racing, so at the same time we do the Monaco Grand Prix. Yes, we’re doing business, but we also always steal time to share some private moments.’ Moloi-Motsepe’s natural aptitude for connecting with others simultaneously plugs back into her growing commercial operations. She speaks fondly of the many companies, brands and people AFI engages with to produce that rare alchemy where both parties, as well as a wider spectrum, are benefitted. ‘The partnership with Mercedes-Benz has been especially important,’ she explains. ‘MercedesBenz is known globally as the fashion and lifestyle brand. It’s closely associated with fashion in New York, Berlin and London. On the African continent, it chose to partner with us. I think that was because our values are similar: values of excellence and the pursuit of elegant design and lifestyles. Mercedes has
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students on bursaries. They
won’t make a difference
today – it will takes years –
but, as the saying goes, if you
want to go fast, walk alone; if you want to go far, walk with others. It’s a process.
Not just an icon of style, Moloi-Motsepe uses her family’s resources and influence to support charitable, educational and healthcare projects.
helped us elevate our Fashion Week standards to global levels. It also sponsors the African Fashion Awards and sends off the winner to showcase at one of the international fashion weeks. It’s a terrific alliance.’ Her belief in the benefits of interconnectedness doesn’t stop there. Along with Patrice (frequently listed as one of the top 10 richest men in Africa), Moloi-Motsepe, as head of the Motsepe Foundation, is now in a position to employ her family’s resources for the greater good. ‘Initially we gave back to our country in a very unstructured way. We’d offer a bursary here, support a school library there. We only formalised it all in 2002 when we established the foundation, and it’s been incredible. You get to meet like-minded people and learn from them. It’s an education for us, but exhilarating. ‘Our basic approach was to form development forums in the nine provinces, and then we asked local communities to decide what their priorities were. That means they come to us and we’ll support the projects that they’ve identified. We feel that the people on the ground understand their problems better than we do. We can’t sit in Bryanston and decide, ‘hmmm, you need this or that...’ We work in partnerships, too. Nobody can do it on their own, and it makes sense to avoid unnecessary repetition. Government, for instance, has all sorts of infrastructure. We’d hate to put energy into building a new school or library when there’s one in place that just needs improvement by way of the addition of computers or training for teachers. We’ve got about 400 university students on bursaries. They won’t make a difference today – it will takes years – but, as the saying goes, if you want to go fast, walk alone; if you want to go far, walk with others. It’s a process.’ It takes a village Heeding her own advice, that worthwhile things are a process, reveals yet another angle on the woman. Before medical school, marriage and motherhood, there were connections and partnerships that shaped her. So, what form did the fabled village take that raised this child? ‘My parents were hugely influential. We were a middle-income family, two parents who worked very hard, and I’m passionate about
education because of what they preached to us. It doesn’t matter where you end up, your education is so important. Like Madiba would say, it’s one key that opens many doors. It certainly was for me… ‘Then there were my teachers at school. I still go back to my primary school with the foundation and see my old principal. She’s an amazing woman. Without knowing it, she always made me feel special – like I had potential. That’s often all it takes – to say to a child, “You can do this”. My university professors also deserve a mention. I was lucky enough to be taught by the renowned Professor Tobias. He was an amazing mentor, and a great character.’ Naturally, there’s a tangent here too. Tilt your perspective just a tad, and this retrospective loses prominence. It’s the future that takes centrestage. ‘I’ve got three wonderful sons. I’m fortunate enough to be able to send the two younger ones to good schools, and my eldest has just finished university. They live in such a different world to the one Patrice and I grew up in. My eldest son went to the university where I had to apply specially through the minister, because of racial segregation.’ Unsurprisingly, Moloi-Motsepe is not prone to self-pity: ‘How can anyone dwell on the past when we had a man like Nelson Mandela who gave up so much? Every time I want to complain, I consider what he went through, and I think, “Wow, I’ve got nothing to complain about.” We need to enjoy the fruits of those labours to make South Africa work. And it will work. I say, “Enjoy the now and be forward-looking.” That’s my mindset.’ It’s a mindset that underlies all her philanthropic pursuits and, of these, there is no shortage. She’s Patron of both Child Welfare South Africa and BirdLife South Africa. She’s former President of the Cancer Association of South Africa and is now its lifetime member. She serves on the boards of Synergos Institute, an organisation dedicated to addressing global poverty and social injustice through collaboration with governments, business and civil society; Endeavor, a global non-profit organisation dedicated to transforming emerging countries by supporting high-impact entrepreneurs; the Women’s Leadership Board (Harvard Kennedy School) that supports research, teaching and
PHOTOGRAPHS: FIONA MACPHERSON FOR OPULENT LIVING
“ „ We’ve got about 400 university
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training; and the Women and Public Policy Programme in Gender Equality. She was appointed Champion for Africa by Gift from Africa, a Global Fund Initiative that seeks to mobilise private-sector support in Africa in the fight against HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. She is a humanitarian, in other words, and a benefactor, a spokesperson and an activist, an eco warrior and an advocate for change. In the same way, then, that we don’t have one jacket for all occasions or all the many temperaments of weather, Precious MoloiMotsepe isn’t always and everywhere defined by just one feature. There is no one-size-fitsall garment for this formidable fashion force. Perhaps that is, after all, how best to describe her: none of her distinct facets yet all of them… with more, no doubt, to come. PRECIOUS AT A GLANCE My advice to young people is to do what they’re passionate about. If that’s fashion, then go for it. As long as you gather new skills all the time… because a career can take some interesting turns. My favourite city is Cape Town. I love it with a passion. Travelling so much, I get exposure to lots of cities, and it makes me appreciate all the more how beautiful our country is. The artist I currently admire most is a
architect named David Adjaye. He was born in Dar es Salaam, the son of a Ghanaian diplomat, but moved to Britain early in life. He has built homes for designer Alexander McQueen, artist Jake Chapman, photographer Juergen Teller, actor Ewan McGregor, and artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster, among other amazing international commissions. My special treat is to head to the bush with my children. We all love it. It’s always a special time together. My favourite books are the ones I’ve read to my children. The stories are very simple, but memorable and leave an impression. I mean, take Dr Seuss’s The Lorax. It discusses greed and the importance of protecting the environment for generations to come. I also read lots of business biographies, of course, to learn from the great thinkers like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. After all, Microsoft was once a start-up, just like we were. In 10 years time I know I’ll still be taking on new challenges. That’s who I am. And AFI will be globally renowned as a purveyor of refined African fashion. To me, luxury is time. It’s an absolute luxury for me to read a book, because I don’t often have that time. Or to see a wild animal looking after it’s child. It’s so rare. Those are my precious moments.
ENJOY NOW AND LOOK AHEAD
Talking with Florian Gast and Barbara Lenhard during the Opulent Living interview and photoshoot in Johannesburg.
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LUX* Le Morne ∙ Mauritius
Peak of playful luxury Set beneath a towering UNESCO World Heritage Site, LUX* Le Morne reinvents island luxury with a beachfront resort that offers world-class accommodation and a plethora of pleasant surprises in one of the most spectacular locations Île Maurice has to offer…
hat is it about travel that keeps us coming back for more, ever seeking out special corners of the planet and the experiences that will remain with us for a lifetime? Is it simply the chance to admire some of the most beautiful vistas the world has to offer? Perhaps the opportunity to escape the humdrum routine of everyday life and immerse yourself in a world where there’s a surprise around every corner?
What about the all-too-rare pleasure of having your every whim catered for, indulging in a little well-deserved luxury? For the thrill-seeker, it may be the opportunity to push boundaries; filling your sails with warm tropical winds and embarking on new adventures. Whichever it is, the remarkable resort of LUX* Le Morne ticks all of the boxes and more. Mauritius has long been an alluring destination in the Indian Ocean
– and on this forested isle that author Mark Twain suggested was the blueprint for heaven itself, Le Morne is perhaps the finest corner. Situated in the southwest of the island, LUX* Le Morne is sheltered from the brisk trade winds by the dramatic Le Morne Brabant Peak. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the peak was inscribed as a memorial to the island’s chequered history of indentured labour. Today, that
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Dive into one of the resort’s four magnificent swimming pools (opposite), which feature both child-friendly areas and swim-up bars.
dark past is but a memory, although the island’s rich blend of Malay, French, Indian and Chinese cultures endure. It’s an exotic mix – a blend unmistakably Mauritian – that is effortlessly reflected in every facet of the five-star resort. Set on a sweeping 600-metre stretch of sand at the foot of the peak, the resort has become known as one of the finest on Île Maurice for its world-class blend of service, setting and superb facilities. Unlike many resorts on the island there’s a welcome sense of intimacy here, with just 149 rooms grouped together in double-storey chalets that all but blend into the landscape of lush gardens and rustling palms. Every room offers its own private balcony or terrace, with the soughtafter suite accommodation adding wonderful sea views to the mix. Rooms are decorated in a chic island style with soothing tones of mahogany, stone and rattan reflecting the unique location and landscape of Le Morne. Crisp cotton sheets and king-sized beds add a luxuriant feel to every room, with a dose of the exotic in the lazily turning ceiling fans and sliding wooden screens. Authentic as it is, satellite television,
complimentary Wi-Fi internet access and all the other modern conveniences you’d expect of a five-star international resort come standard. But standard is a word rarely associated with LUX* Le Morne. Particularly for the lucky few ensconced in the comfortable embrace of the Prestige Junior Suites and Ocean Junior Suites, the experience is perhaps better described as superlative. The warm seas of the Indian Ocean are just a few short steps from your bed, while an outdoor shower awaits for washing away the salt from an early-morning swim. An espresso on the terrace before breakfast? Just call room service, or stop by Café LUX*: the resort serves a bespoke blend of certified organic beans, roasted on the island and prepared by skilled baristas to offer some of the best coffee on Mauritius. From coffee to Creole cuisine, dining is a highlight of any stay here. The resort offers four charming restaurants with something for all palates. The Kitchen is the most popular dining area, with dramatic show-kitchens and an expansive buffet showcasing both the skills of the chefs and the fine island produce available on Mauritius.
Double-storey chalet-style accommodation hidden between the palms enhances the intimate feel of the resort. Inside, a stylish Afro-Asian approach lends a relaxed, airy feel.
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The 600-metre beach is one of the finest on Mauritius, and perfect for a romantic al fresco dinner for two. Fresh ice cream and superb coffee (opposite) are LUX* specialities, as are the complimentary phone booths – just don’t call the office!
For a taste of the Mediterranean, The Beach restaurant is where you’ll want to find yourself for lunch and dinner, with an Italian-inspired à la carte menu of fresh seasonal dishes. The delicious pizza and beachfront location make this, perhaps unsurprisingly, a hit with families. The island’s rich Asian heritage comes to the fore as the sun dips below the horizon, and EAST welcomes diners to their tables. With a dramatic location overlooking the lagoon, the vistas are as sumptuous as the menu of Royal Thai cuisine. Aromas of lemongrass, chilli and galangal waft through the warm island
air as coconut curries and fresh seafood emerge from the kitchens of the resort’s signature restaurant. It’s the perfect way to while away an evening, but throughout the day there are myriad opportunities to indulge, from swim-up bars to vibrant cocktail destinations. True to the LUX* philosophy of creating memorable experiences, don’t be surprised if an ice-cream vendor appears around the next palm-lined corner either. For what good is a tropical holiday without great ice cream? And so the team at LUX* offer the delicious ‘ici’; an array of exotic, island flavours served
from retro-styled parlours and mobile carts. Who’s for seconds? It’s just one of the innovations that sets LUX* Le Morne apart from the plethora of resorts on the island. Pop-up outdoor cinemas showing both classic films and new releases on the beach? Why of course. A London-style phone booth hidden away in the resort, with a free phone for calling home? It’s just one more example of the inimitable LUX* magic. Another favourite is the iPad-powered LUX* Valet; your personal virtual butler who’s always on hand to take care of, well, pretty much anything you can think of. Need a glass of wine to toast the sunset? What, you’d like a tray of snacks to go with that? A spa treatment for after lunch? A romantic dinner for two at EAST? Flowers in your room when you return? Ask and it shall be done. Speaking of spa, the wellness facilities on the resort are world-class, not least due to the groundbreaking LUX* ME programme – an integrated approach to wellness, with trained therapists on offer to tailor a bespoke mix of Pilates, yoga and meditation classes, many of which take place al fresco. LUX* ME is complemented by the state-of-the-art spa featuring couples’ treatment rooms, sauna, hammam and outdoor oriental massage verandas. The modern fitness centre is similarly equipped with top-notch facilities for both strength and conditioning sessions. And, if mom and dad need time out to
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LUX* Le Morne
Le Morne Beach, MAURITIUS Telephone: +230 401 4000 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.luxresorts.com It’s a multi-faceted world of opportunity for indulgence and relaxation, however you choose to spend your days. Whether you’re lazing on the pristine sands with a colourful cocktail and favourite book by your side, or whipping across the Indian Ocean honing your kite-surfing skills, LUX* Le Morne is a destination where your passion for travel comes to life. It was Twain that urged us to ‘catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’ There are few better places on earth to do that than in the shadow of Brabant Peak, at LUX* Le Morne. n Sebastian Bartlett
Situated on the dramatic Le Morne peninsula in the southwest of Mauritius, LUX* Le Morne is just a 75-minute drive from the island’s international airport, which offers daily direct flights to destinations in Africa, Europe and Asia.
PHOTOGRAPHS: LUX* RESORTS
enjoy a spa treatment or gym session, the resort’s well-equipped kids and teens clubs are open from 9am until late. Of course the great outdoors offers just as many opportunities to both relax and rejuvenate, with the magnificent scenery of the Le Morne peninsula providing a dramatic backdrop to a day spent windsurfing, kayaking, sailing, snorkelling or waterskiing. What’s more, they’re all complimentary activities here, with only the likes of scuba diving, game fishing and golf – there are two worldclass golf courses nearby – coming at an additional cost.
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The Big Five welcomes a new member to the family. The new Porsche Macan. Life, intensified. Life is at its best when lived intensely. That’s why we’ve built what we always build: a sports car. Five doors. Five seats. Four-wheel drive. With high-performance engines and technologies tested on the racetrack. For top agility and dynamics. Every second of the day.
Fuel consumption in l/100 km (Macan S Diesel): city 6.9; highway 5.9; combined 6.3 • CO2 emissions: 164 g/km • Power: 180 kW (245 hp) • Torque: 580 Nm • 0 - 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds (6.1 s Sport+)
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Porsche Centre Johannesburg Tel: 011 540 5000
Porsche Centre Cape Town Tel: 021 555 6800
Porsche Centre Umhlanga Tel: 031 514 3000
2014/05/12 7:04 AM
Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge âˆ™ South Africa
Sculpted into the bushveld At Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge a minimalist design aesthetic ensures that the game-rich savanna of the Sabi Sand Reserve always takes centre stage. The result is an environmentally sensitive but exquisitely luxurious safari sanctuary that delivers a superlative wilderness experience.
The main lodge is built into a natural slope, and from the top, only the unassuming concrete entrance corridor is visible.
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The opulent Amber Presidential Suite includes a private plunge pool and an indulgent en-suite bathroom that evokes the comfort and style of a luxurious spa. The unobtrusive, airconditioned gym (below) overlooks a waterhole with large windows that maximise your chance of spotting game while you’re working out.
sanctuary in every sense, Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge is enfolded by the pristine bushveld that surrounds it. It is all but invisible from outside, with just a single sinuous path that winds from the unassuming entrance right down into the earth itself. When you finally emerge from this subterranean corridor into the jaw-dropping majesty of the cavernous entrance gallery that is backlit by the sweeping savanna beyond, you feel as though you have stepped through the looking glass into a magical, mystical wonderland. This is a lodge that melds unspoilt African bush with sinuous contemporary architecture, low-tech raw materials with high-end sophistication, true wilderness with modern luxury. It is no wonder then that Sabi Sabi has repeatedly garnered international accolades, including being voted by Condé Nast Traveler as one of
Africa’s top lodges, with full marks for exceptional service, breathtaking scenery, truly luxurious accommodation, worldclass safaris and mouth-watering cuisine. The architectural masterpiece that is Earth Lodge is like a discreet bird hide, allowing all within a privileged window into the natural world beyond. Architect Mohammed Hans worked closely with owners Hilton and Jacqui Loon to design a truly contemporary lodge that has minimal visual and environmental impact. This minimalist design aesthetic allows the lodge to submit to the majesty of its surroundings, and it enhances rather than competes with the grand simplicity of the landscape. Texture, light and space are key: there is true synergy between the dramatic minimalism and sweeping lines of the lodge itself and the savanna that embraces it. Harmony rules and the great outdoors is the hero. The eye is always
drawn outwards, past the magnificent water features cunningly sculpted from ancient, salvaged tree trunks to the waterhole beyond, where a hippopotamus wallows and herds of waterbuck graze in the afternoon sun. This is a place that whispers, never shouts. Guests will find no brash paintings to distract from nature’s canvas or piped music to compete with the soundtrack of the breeze in the grass and the songs of the more than 350 endemic bird species. Visitors to this unfenced safari lodge in the 65 000-hectare Sabi Sand Reserve (nestled in the southwestern corner of the Greater Kruger National Park) live cheek by jowl with wildlife great and small – from the ubiquitous impala to every one of the Big Five. It’s not unusual to find waterbuck or kudu grazing on the turfed roofs of the 13 guest suites scattered around the grounds, their architecture inspired by the ant
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hills dotted throughout the surrounding landscape. Guests may even be lucky enough to catch sight of elephant or lion from their private plunge pool as this area is known for its prolific game. Each suite is a sanctuary in itself. Generous bedroom and living spaces are individually furnished with customdesigned wooden pieces by renowned artist Geoffrey Armstrong, while glassfronted bathrooms feature large stone tubs and both indoor and outdoor hotwater showers. Acclaimed local interior decorator Stephen Rich collaborated with Jacqui to reinterpret the interiors during a recent refurbishment, crafting a subtle, glowing African masterpiece. The décor celebrates the rich mineral wealth – gold, copper, silver, platinum and bronze – that is hidden deep beneath Africa’s earth. Luxurious metallic veins of
these precious elements are reflected in sophisticated furnishings and objets d’art that form a glamorous foil to the rough, textured walls, themselves inspired by the traditional way that local Shangaan communities have built their homes since time immemorial. Rich’s interior design capitalises cleverly on the quality of the natural light so that guest suites – which include the impossibly opulent Amber Presidential Suite complete with a lounge, study, steam room and kitchenette – glow with warmth. Screeded floors polished to a dull shine are adorned with Nguni cowhides that shimmer with hints of gold, copper and silver. Handmade twig chandeliers with gilded metal branches twinkle softly, mirroring the night stars. As the sun sets, it becomes clear that the deliciously heavy, tactile linen throws adorning the king-sized beds are interwoven with gold
Sumptuous interiors are decorated in warm metallic shades and feature natural wooden sculptures by South African artist Geoffrey Armstrong.
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PHOTOGRAPHS: SABI SABI
Dinner in the outdoor boma – with its walls sculpted from salvaged tree roots – is an integral part of the Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge experience, as are morning and evening game drives, which offer outstanding sightings of the area’s prolific wildlife.
threads that gleam in the evening rays. Every aspect of this lodge has a subtle shimmer revealed when the light is right. Each item of furniture is an original artwork that takes its cue from nature. Stephen asked the Earth Lodge safari guides to list their favourite endemic birds; now, perfect metal replicas peep out charmingly from the sculpted metal standard lamps, the hand-crafted struts of occasional tables and the romantic lantern stands that dot the grounds by night. Ottomans resemble a group of pebbles in a pond. Wooden elements – tables, benches, wall décor and water features – were sculpted by Armstrong from salvaged trees torn out of the bushveld by elephants or washed down during seasonal floods. Thoughtful personal touches include the set of watercolour paints you’ll find tucked inside a bedside-table drawer for when inspiration inevitably strikes.
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Excellent personal service is a given at Earth Lodge, and your own butler and guide will escort you safely to and from your suite for game drives, or to the open-walled dining area. Each morning and evening you depart from the comfort of the safari lodge into the wilderness, either by open Land Rover or on foot for a walking safari, accompanied by your armed and extremely knowledgeable game ranger and Shangaan tracker. Between these thrilling encounters, you can relax at the award-winning Amani Spa, decorated in understated Afro-chic style, where you can indulge in holistic body, skin and beauty treatments, or slip off to the Zen meditation garden. The day bar, meanwhile, is the perfect place from which to view the parade of animals drinking at the waterhole beyond. In the heat of the day, you can doze on muslin-enclosed salas or relax at stone-topped tables inside the shallow pool, cooling your feet in ankledeep water while enjoying refreshing cocktails and superb cuisine prepared
by gourmet chefs. There’s also a cosy lounge and secluded library where on chillier winter stays you can read up on the flora, fauna and history of the area in front of a roaring fire. And while safari holidays are wonderfully relaxing, even the most indolent guest is eventually sufficiently recharged to want to make the most of the cardio equipment in the air-conditioned gym. This recent addition to Earth Lodge’s charms has beautiful views over a very active waterhole, which lets you remain on safari even while you are spinning, running or rowing. ‘I have regularly seen elephant come to drink and also been lucky enough to see lion walk past while I’m on the spinning bike,’ says Sabi Sabi’s marketing director, Jacques Smit. When evening comes, enjoy sundowners and cocktails, superb gourmet cuisine and unmatched service in the outdoor boma. Its low walls are sculpted from tree roots and it’s lit by massive chandeliers handmade from gold, silver and bronze twigs that are perfect replicas of those in the surrounding bush. Here the drama of the African night
Afternoon tea is a thoroughly decadent daily affair in the day bar-cum-lounge.
and the power of the wilderness are close enough to touch and the distant coughing of a lion reverberates through the still air with startling immediacy. Watch the stars rise in the inky night sky while you savour a delectable meal accompanied by a superb wine selected from the lodge’s 6 000-bottle-strong wine cellar. Truly, this is paradise on earth. n Sally Rutherford
Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge
Sabi Sand Reserve, Greater Kruger National Park, SA Telephone: +27 (0)11 447 7172 Email: email@example.com Website: www.sabisabi.com
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PERSONAL ENCOUNTERS IN WINE The growing trend for bespoke South African wine tourism ticks all the boxes when it comes to exclusive experiential travel. by Richard Holmes
If there’s a trend that has grown to dominate the world of high-end travel over the past decade, it’s that experience is everything. Put simply, it’s no longer good enough to merely show travellers a destination, pointing out the scenery as it whips past the chauffeur-driven window. Travellers want to experience a destination: to feel, touch and smell it. They want to shake local hands and break local bread. And particularly when it comes to luxury travel, you can add the word ‘bespoke’ in front of ‘experience’. High-end travel is about unique encounters, enjoying access to sights and sounds your average traveller – their noses pressed metaphorically up against the glass – can only dream of. So it was no surprise that when the hammer fell on the final bids of the inaugural AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction, it was experiential travel that had garnered the highest bids. The Auction is a unique event in that it is the only major gathering on the local calendar that sees a disparate collection of winemakers and estates come together
to raise money for charity; in this case, to develop education among Winelands communities. Uniquely too, it harnessed the networks of influence that exist in the region, with ‘ambassadors’ tasked with creating and curating the one-of-a-kind lots up for auction. ‘It was about accessing the little black book of people in the Winelands,’ explains Mike Ratcliffe, Managing Director of Warwick Estate. Ratcliffe was a driving force behind the Auction and, along with other industry heavyweights Michael Jordaan, Ken Kinsey-Quick, Wendy Appelbaum and Siobhan Thompson, is one of its founding trustees. ‘We asked people to come to the party with experiences,’ he says. ‘We wanted things that money can’t buy.’ And the 250 attendees at the exclusive R3 000-per-head lunchtime auction held at Delaire Graff Estate outside Stellenbosch in March were not disappointed. Take Lot #38 for instance, the Glenelly Lot that sold for R450 000. It included a tasting hosted by Lady May de Lencquesaing in her private Glenelly Manor House with cellar master Luke O’Cuinneagain. Apart
A variety of exclusive wine experiences, from invitationonly auctions to private tastings with winemakers are proving a big drawcard for discerning travellers to South Africa.
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ON A PAR WITH THE BEST
Local estates such as Vergelegen and Dornier combine world-class wine with cutting-edge architecture, while the Cape Winemakers Guild allows unfettered access to colourful Winelands personalities and the chance to bid on remarkable wines.
from a tasting of incredible historical vintages from the family-owned Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande in Bordeaux, the lot included a collection of vintage Bordeaux magnums – ’55, ’59, ’61 and ’89, to name a few – along with some of the finest Glenelly magnums ever produced. Personalities certainly loomed large during the auction: Lot #1 included a fine dining experience at Franschhoek’s Pierneef à La Motte hosted by rugby legend Francois Pienaar and estate chief executive Hein Koegelenberg, along with six bottles of the rare flagship 2007 Hanneli R, signed by Hanneli RupertKoegelenberg herself. For something with an international flavour there was the remarkable lot #39: The Mulderbosch Vineyards/Fable Mountain Vineyards American Dream Lot that offered a week-long Californian experience for two couples. It included Business Class flights; dinner with Charles Banks, the winelands-investor and former owner of Napa Valley icon Screaming Eagle; golf at Pebble Beach Golf Links and meals at California’s most celebrated restaurants. It went for a staggering R700 000. It was a remarkable day in the Winelands that raised more than R7-million for charity, and all eyes are on what the 2015 Auction has in store. ‘It will be about continuing with experiences; we’d like to see deeper partnerships between the hospitality and the wine industry,’ says Ratcliffe. ‘The auction will move every year, with the idea to move the opportunity around the Winelands.’ While just 40 fortunate bidders walked away with the once-in-a-lifetime lots on offer at the 2014 auction, there’s good news for wine-loving travellers. The South African Winelands is increasingly being fêted as one of the finest wine tourism destinations on the planet. ‘The wine experiences that are possible in South Africa are, without any doubt, on a par with the very best of France, the USA and Australia,’ says UK-based Master of Wine Nancy Gilchrist, who runs bespoke tours of the South African Winelands.
‘The combination of the extraordinarily beautiful vineyard regions, the idyllic climate, almost no time-difference for Europeans, and world-class food and wine is extremely attractive. Add to that the very favourable exchange rate right now and it makes South Africa possibly the best value in terms of foreign holiday destinations: an almost irresistible package.’ It’s a package that is attracting an evergreater number of high-end travellers to South Africa’s vineyards and cellars; travellers on the hunt for experiences that are individual, made-to-order and exclusive. The kind of experiences offered by a host of boutique concierge travel services, including Opulent Living Travel, where the focus is firmly on exploring in a manner that is personal, experiential and bespoke. They are all key touch-points when it comes to luxury travel through South Africa’s remarkable Winelands. ‘What many clients appreciate is the lack of obvious commercialism at our wine estates,’ adds François Rautenbach, Wine Director and Head Sommelier for luxury safari operator Singita. ‘They offer an authentic experience; they are farms, not just brands.’ That especially applies to guests who’ve been to California and the Napa Valley, he adds: ‘The obvious example there is Mondavi, which has a very slick operation that is very good on the one hand, but the opportunity to chat to the person actually making the wine and getting their hands dirty in the cellar is simply not available.’ Precisely the opposite applies in South Africa, says Rautenbach: ‘I recently accompanied a couple, guests who have been coming to one of our lodges for the past decade, for four nights in the Cape. We were the first-ever private group to have lunch in the Hartenberg Manor House in Stellenbosch, and the cellarmaster Carl Schultz gave us a private tasting followed by a vineyard tour.’ Rautenbach also recalls a couple who loved art, cars and wine, so a visit to Franschhoek ticked all the boxes: ‘We arranged a personalised tour of the artworks at La Motte and the Franschhoek
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Motor Museum at L’Ormarins, followed by a private lunch in the manor house.’ Expert advice is especially sought-after when it comes to the high-profile events that dominate the society calendar. The prestigious ‘Chefs who Share – the ART of giving’ is an annual black-tie charity dinner that approaches the South
A blend of the finest pinotages, Le Vin de François by Château Naudé in Stellenbosch is only available at an invitation-only auction. The iconic Vin de Constance (below) has for centuries flown the flag for South African wine in Europe.
African wine experience from a different angle. At first glance, it seems all about the culinary delights prepared by a brigade of the best chefs in the country, but these are served with top local wines, expertly paired with the exquisite food by world-class sommeliers. The 2013 event saw no less than 28 of the country’s best wines on the menu, a tasting experience that’s hard to beat. The 2014 dinner, scheduled for September, will take this food-and-wine pairing to a new level, with seven Michelin-starred chefs joining the local kitchen stars and wine experts. Organised by Opulent Living, it’s an invitation-only event, although well-heeled connoisseurs can sometimes be lucky enough to secure tickets. All the money raised from the R3 000-per-head ticket sales and the accompanying auction goes to local charities. ‘It’s a fabulous opportunity not just to experience exceptional food and wine but also to give back,’ says Barbara Lenhard, who came up with the innovative idea.
Outside of glamorous evening gala events, it’s auctions that define the Winelands calendar. Despite dramatically cutting the amount of wine offered for auction over the past two years, the Nederburg Auction remains one of the largest. The focus here is firmly on the business of wine, but private buyers are able to apply for the handful of sought-after tickets. Under the auctioneer’s hammer is a stringently selected range of the country’s finest, most exclusive wines. These include not only current vintages but also a wide selection of older wines as well as some rare bottles, selected from special collections or wine libraries, that are not available on the open market. The gathering of the who’s who of the South African wine industry is legendary – and it’s not all business. On the last day, especially, the social aspect comes to the fore and there’s the opportunity for local and international connoisseurs to rub shoulders with industry leaders, and exchange opinions on specific wines, vintages and varietals. It’s slightly easier for wine lovers to attend the Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) Auction, traditionally held on the first Saturday of October. The exceptional wines on offer here are crafted exclusively for the Auction by members of the Guild – an elite invitation-only association of South Africa’s best winemakers – and consistently raise the bar for what can be achieved in South African winemaking. Open to the general public, the annual Auction is a highlight for many, with a host of events allowing unfettered access to a number of Winelands personalities. Private cellar dinners, a golf day, boules tournament and showcase tastings offer a fun, informal environment in which to meet and interact with some of the country’s top winemakers. Even for those who don’t buy wine, it’s considered well worth a visit. For others, though, it’s private access that is the benchmark for bespoke Winelands touring. As one of just 312 Masters of Wine in the world, Nancy Gilchrist is well positioned to lead discerning tourists searching for a more intimate experience
PHOTOGRAPHS: GREATSTOCK/CORBIS, CAPE WINE AUCTION, VERGELEGEN WINE ESTATE, KAREN SWANEPOEL/DORNIER, ANDREW SWARTS, CHÂTEAU NAUDÉ, KLEIN CONSTANTIA, WATERKLOOF ESTATE
than what’s available at the tasting counter. Speak to the right people, and (cellar) doors open. ‘I know many of the winemakers personally and can gain privileged access to many wine cellars that are inaccessible to the average tourist,’ says Gilchrist. ‘At Vergelegen, possibly the Western Cape’s most spectacular winery, we can join winemaker André van Rensburg for a private rooftop meal and vertical tasting of Vergelegen Bordeaux blends, plus wines from André’s private cellar.’ Other exclusive opportunities include a private tasting with JP Colmant of Colmant Cap Classique – ‘consistently one of the very best sparkling wines in South Africa, even the world,’ says Gilchrist – and a comparative tasting of South Africa’s iconic pinotage varietal led by De Wet Viljoen, vice-president of the Pinotage Association and cellarmaster of the Neethlingshof Estate outside Stellenbosch. It’s not just the wine that draws visitors to the Cape’s top cellars, either. Many design lovers come for the outstanding architecture. Alongside fine examples of the traditional Cape Dutch style, there’s the chance for them to see some truly modern masterpieces. These include the cutting-edge cellar at Vergelegen, where three of the four
levels are buried under the ground in a tower configuration that allows for gravitational flow and gentle handling. The Dornier cellar is another landmark, famed for its undulating roof (featured on its wine label) and the reflective pool on top of the maturation cellar, which provides an eco-friendly way of keeping the space cool. Top of the list for designophiles, however, has to be Waterkloof’s awardwinning ‘Cellar in the Sky’. Encased in a contemporary glass and concrete sphere, it maximises the estate’s setting on the slopes above Somerset West, combining magnificent views with state-of-the-art wine-making facilities. For travellers who want to learn more, Gerard de Villiers is the man to meet. The South African has designed wineries and distilling facilities around the world for the past 30 years, and is the expert when it comes to efficient, high-quality production in an elegant shell. As with so many facets of life, enjoying the best of the region often comes down to who you know; a knowledgeable insider to point you in the right direction and shake hands with the right people. With the right introductions, travellers are fast realising that South Africa stands head and shoulders above wine tourism destinations worldwide.
Waterkloof Estate near Somerset West boasts a spectacular ‘Cellar in the Sky’ and won the Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Award for Architecture and Landscapes in both 2012 and 2013.
Opulent Living Travel specialises in bespoke journeys and experiences, offering visitors to South Africa exclusive opportunities to meet local personalities, from award-winning winemakers and celebrated chefs to top artists and designers, as well as access to premier events. Opulent Living Travel Telephone: +27 (0)21 433 0526 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.opulentliving.travel
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Hyatt Regency Johannesburg ∙ South Africa
Synthesis of style More than just city-based corporate luxury, Hyatt Regency is now the hottest, hippest hotel in Johannesburg after an extensive refurbishment that’s given it a new sense of space, light and elegant refinement. Pair that with top conference facilities and gourmet dining, and it’s easy to understand why it’s a high-level social hub.
ome hotels boast about their achievements. Others, like the Hyatt Regency, prefer a low-key approach – letting guests fuel rumours of devoted service, brilliant breakfasts, sumptuous beds, vast bathrooms in marble, and the most exclusive gym and spa in Johannesburg. The Hyatt brand doesn’t have staff either, it has associates – part of a global family that wants guests to feel at home. So much so that nothing feels more natural than loosening that tie and settling back in the The Terrace – Wine & Cigar bar
to enjoy a well-deserved Cognac and fire up one of Cuba’s finest at the end of a successful day. Overlooking the terrace with its mini jungle and central water feature, it’s the coolest place to meet after work. Indeed, Hyatt Regency GM Michael McBain explains that the hotel’s most valued asset since it opened in 1995 is its ‘high-level social connectivity’. Business, cultural and society leaders all meet here, ‘even more so thanks to our recent R80-million renovation’. Always popular with the cognoscenti – ‘Let’s meet at the Hyatt’ being entrenched
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Decorated with photographic prints of jacaranda trees, the light and airy oneNINEone restaurant offers a selection of fine wines and superb cuisine.
in the Jo’burg lexicon – the refurbishment has broken new ground, enhancing the luxury with a refined grown-up feel that sets it apart from its competitors. The former Gentleman’s Club feel has made way for a majestic sense of space bathed in light, gleaming white marble, sleek furnishings and chic, patterned glass panels. With a nod to Rosebank’s jacaranda-lined avenues, photographs of the trees in all their purple glory occupy the walls of the oneNINEone restaurant, syncing with mauve accents in fabrics and furnishings. The overall effect is deeply soothing.
‘The use of light and space reflects Hyatt Regency’s elevated place in global business and tourism,’ says Michael. ‘Our focus was to create a wow effect.’ Certainly guests walking from The Firs shopping mall or the lower parking levels through to The Lobby Lounge can’t help but be impressed. With artfully arranged seating areas, it’s everyone’s favourite calm spot for daytime cappuccinos. Early evenings draw the cocktail crowd and you’ll hear a variety of languages. Within walking distance of the Gautrain station, both local and international guests favour the Hyatt for its world-
class standards and facilities. Think swift, efficient check-ins, deep, sound sleep in a new bed with goose-down duvets and plump pillows, a clutch of conference venues and a wealth of leisure facilities. Conference commuters appreciate all the meeting space that takes up the entire ground-floor area with 12 multifunction venues that include two boardrooms and the large Ayanda room seating up to 350. The elegant ballroom has a dedicated chef, who offers food tastings to help patrons decide on menus for effortless parties and wedding receptions organised by the Hyatt Regency’s conference and events team.
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PHOTOGRAPHS: HYATT REGENCY
The sophisticated double-volume Lobby Lounge is a popular meeting spot, while whisky and a Cuban cigar awaits guests to The Terrace – Wine & Cigar, particularly popular for its outdoor tables on balmy evenings.
After a hard morning of business negotiations, you’ll want to spend the afternoon unwinding under the skilled fingers of a Amani Spa therapist. Indulge in luxurious facials, manicures, pedicures and body treatments targeted to your specific needs – followed by a relaxation session in the Jacuzzi, sauna, steam-bath or outdoor pool. Then it’s time for a nap in your room before dinner. Loyal guests will tell you that they choose the Regency Club suites on the eighth floor. With private checkin and check-out facilities, tea, coffee, cocktails and canapés, they ensure total
privacy, as does having your own key to the new gym and its top-notch facilities 24 hours a day. At the oneNINEone restaurant, dishes are prepared right before your eyes in the openplan kitchen. Here eating is an experience. Think culinary theatre, revelatory tastes and authentic, clean cuisine. Who would have thought, for example, of partnering beef fillet with ground coffee, buttered asparagus and barley risotto? Enjoyed with a bottle of Rupert & Rothschild Classique 2011, the result is a sophisticated symbiosis of heavenly flavours. The kitchen is led by former MasterChef South Africa judge, Andrew Atkinson, and his executive sous chef Shaniel Dinna. Andrew sources fresh, organic supplies from local farms and changes the menu every few months to keep it interesting for the regular clientele. ‘I like to think there’s something that caters to everyone’s taste buds,’ he says. His special Business Lunch, served Mondays to Fridays, offers delights such as braised springbok bredie with herb and leek couscous or peppered beef salad, with the menu changing weekly. Today, people walk taller when they enter the Hyatt Regency Johannesburg. Its new look is an ego boost for the city and, naturally, its guests too. n Caroline Hurry
Hyatt Regency Johannesburg
Rosebank, Johannesburg, SA Telephone: +27 (0)11 280 1234 Email: johannesburg.regency @hyatt.com Website: www.johannesburg.regency. hyatt.com The Hyatt Regency is a 244-room hotel at 191 Oxford Road in Rosebank. Within easy access of the Sandton CBD, it is a 25-minute drive from OR Tambo International Airport and close to the Rosebank Gautrain station.
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Fine craftsmanship, quality materials and that extra dash of indescribable something â€“ this section presents the finer things in life no man or woman
should be without.
Opulent Living Style
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10 items every woman should own
Opulent Living essence Compiled by Florian Gast Words by Anne Duncan
Film and fashion icon Audrey Hepburn embodied elegance in her little black dress, tiara and oversized sunglasses in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. These chic staples are all beautifully crafted from the finest materials for a similarly gracious, timeless appeal.
n A coveted, much-collected symbol
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of style, a Hermès scarf is not only made from the finest-quality silk but is also, quite literally, a work of art. The French fashion house commissions artists from around the world to create designs for its iconic accessory, first produced in the 1930s. It releases around 20 new designs a year and then sprinkles the patterns and colours of each throughout its collections of ready-to-wear clothing, accessories and homeware. The scarves are made in the Hermès workshops outside Lyon, where just the process of engraving the screens for printing can take up to 750 hours. Once printed, they’re hand-rolled with tiny stitches around the edges, producing a square of silk that will add that certain je ne sais quoi to the simplest of outfits. www.hermes.com
Silver Tiffany bracelet
n New York’s Tiffany & Co has been synonymous
with fine jewellery since the mid 19th century, celebrated for both its superlative craftsmanship and its classic designs. Legendary designer Jean Schlumberger, who joined the company in 1956, introduced its now iconic bracelets, which quickly became arbiters of refined taste thanks to Jackie Kennedy, who wore so many of his simple, elegant pieces that the press dubbed them ‘Jackie bracelets’. In recent decades, it’s the sterling silver toggle bracelet that has become a timeless favourite, especially those bearing the heart charm with the ‘please return to Tiffany & Co’ motif that was introduced in 2008. www.tiffany.com
Cartier Trinity ring
n The Trinity ring is one of Cartier’s most iconic creations and has become an enduring
symbol of love. It was designed by Louis Cartier in 1924, at the request of the French poet, novelist, artist and filmmaker Jean Cocteau, and was a remarkably simple design for its time. The classic Trinity ring features three bands, each in a different coloured gold, joined in a tactile embrace. Each type of gold represents a different quality: the rose gold signifies love, the yellow fidelity and the white friendship. The original design is now part of a collection of Cartier Trinity rings. All incorporate the same three intertwined bands of 18-carat gold, but some are studded with diamonds while others feature one band (or even all three) set with pavé diamonds. www.cartier.com
Montblanc fountain pen
■ Founded in Hamburg in 1906, Montblanc began life as the Simplo Filler Pen Company, producing upmarket fountain pens featuring the latest in early 20th-century ink-filling technology. The brand may now have branched out into other luxury lifestyle products, but beautifully crafted writing instruments are still the cornerstone of the business – and a fountain pen featuring the trademark six-pointed white star, representative of the Mont Blanc snowcap from above, is an elegant status symbol worldwide. Pens come in a wide variety of styles but the Princesse Grace de Monaco limited edition, in pink gold and rosecoloured lacquer embellished with white diamonds and a drop-cut pink sapphire, is a stylish addition to any modern woman’s desk. www.montblanc.com
Filofax personal organiser
■ The London company famous for its loose-leaf,
ring-binder organisers was founded as far back as 1921, and the name Filofax – from the description a ‘file of facts’ – registered in 1930. Its practical personal organisers, combining diary, address book and any number of information sheets, really took off in the 1980s, however, when it became de rigueur to sport one of its leather-bound tomes at highpowered business meetings and social lunches. And while many people have now gone digital, the fine quality of these traditional organisers still make them a stylish choice – and new versions now allow you to combine your paper diary and digital device in one elegant Filofax package. www.filofax.co.uk
Dom Perignon Rosé
■ Bubbly doesn’t come finer than Dom Pérignon, the
prestige vintage cuvée of Moët & Chandon that’s a vibrant, living homage to the Benedictine monk said to have perfected the Champagne-making process. Since the debut release of the 1921 vintage in 1936, Dom Pérignon has been the preferred Champagne of the rich and famous, lauded for its consistent quality year on year. The superb Rosé Vintage 2000, a blend of 45% chardonnay and 55% pinot noir, is beautifully structured and well-balanced in a classic style that is perfect for drinking now. www.domperignon.com
String of South Sea pearls
■ As Coco Chanel once declared, ‘a woman needs ropes and ropes of
pearls’ – and, certainly, a classic string of these beautiful gems remains an elegant, timeless accessory. The queen of all pearls is the South Sea variation, produced by the Pinctada maxima mollusc in the warm waters lying between the northern coast of Australia and the southern coast of China. They’re prized for their large size, excellent sheen and beautiful colours, which range from white with silver, bluish and pinkish overtones, through to champagne, vanilla and gold. This beautiful Rainbow Collier from German pearl specialists, Schoeffel, features a beautiful array of these subtly shaded gems and is an innovative take on a classic that is sure to appeal to women of style the world over. www.schoeffel-pearl.com
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■ A stylish pair of shoes with the signature red-
lacquered sole of footwear designer Christian Louboutin has become synonymous with Hollywood glamour. The flamboyant French designer helped bring stilettos back into fashion in the 1990s, designing dozens of statement styles with towering heels, and says his goal has been to ‘make a woman look sexy, beautiful, to make her legs look as long as I can’. The covetable Pigalle, with its perfectly pointed toes and 120mm heels, is one of his most enduring designs. Named after his favourite neighbourhood in Paris, it’s most often seen in chic patent leather, but also comes in sparkling Glitter Gold – perfect for those red-carpet moments. www.christianlouboutin.com
■ This leading Italian label seems to effortlessly capture the zeitgeist as it seeks to empower women through fashion. Established in 1913, it soared to new heights under the leadership of designer Miuccia Prada, who stopped selling imported brands in her family’s Milanese store and instead concentrated on producing her own handbag designs, which were then made to exacting quality standards in Italy. And since Miuccia’s first leather handbags made their Vogue debut in 1978, their fresh style and exquisite craftsmanship have seen them top every fashionista’s wishlist. The 2014 Collection is as stylish as ever, with boxy vintage shapes featuring bold, emotive paintings of women by muralists El Mac, Mesa, Gabriel Specter, Stinkfish, Jeanne Detallante and Pierre Mornet. www.prada.com
■ No stylish woman feels fully dressed without a
perfume and her choice, as Christian Dior famously said, ‘tells more about her than her handwriting’. Top of the list of covetable signature scents for many women of substance is surely Chanel No.5, a compelling blend of aldehyde, Grasse jasmine and bourbon vanilla that delivers the ageless, polished presence of its creator, Coco Chanel. For the more daring, there’s Dior Poison, a heady blend of amber, honey, berries and spices that speaks of mystery and seduction. Then what sophisticated woman could resist the flirtatious floral elegance of Nina Ricci’s L’Air du Temps and its beautiful Lalique-designed flacon? All icons of the fragrance industry, they can’t help but add memorable notes to your day. www.chanel.com, www.dior.com, www.ninaricci.com
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10 items every man should own Sean Connery’s Bond had a style that was classically cool and confident. He was the quintessential gentleman, displaying both class and flair with charming nonchalance. For a similarly effortless chic, these luxury essentials offer both traditional excellence and intelligent innovation in one elegantly crafted package.
Versace silk tie
n The Versace label has been synonymous with daring Italian style ever since Gianni Versace launched his first collection in 1978. And what better way to adopt his colourful, confident style than with a bold tie? This vibrant design, incorporating Versace’s trademark Medusa icon, makes a creative statement that will pep up the most sober of office attire. Made in Italy from 100% silk, it’s also a quality accessory that will stand the test of time. www.versace.com
Borsalino Panama hat
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n The time was that, come rain or shine, no
gentleman appeared in public without a hat. And for gentlemen with style, the hat of choice was a Borsalino, handmade in Italy to the finest quality standards. It’s distinctive central crease and two side hollows, perfect for lifting the hat in the presence of a lady, added a certain je ne sais quoi to any outfit. Fashions wax and wane and hats went out of style, but they’ve made a comeback in the lightweight straw-construction of the traditional Panama hat, the quintessential attire of the stylish traveller. Now style icons across the globe don Borsalino’s classic Panama, still made by hand in Italy to the same exacting standards. www.borsalino.com
Artemide Tizio desk lamp
n Effortlessly blending function with style, the
Tizio is a modern design classic that is included in the permanent collections of both the London Design Museum and New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Designed by German industrial designer Richard Sapper for Artemide in 1972, it revolutionised the traditional desk lamp. Its success lies in its perfectly counterbalanced arms, which can easily be adjusted to position the small but intense light to suit the user. Another winning feature is its lack of wires - the parallel metal arms conduct electricity to the halogen bulb. Available in white, black or silver grey painted polycarbonate, it’s still one of the most useful task lamps available – and a statement in high-tech design. www.artemide.com
Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman
■ When Charles and Ray Eames first introduced
this set in 1956, there was nothing else like it. The design was completely new, combining modern techniques for moulding plywood with traditional craftsmanship. Now instantly recognisable, it’s hailed as one of the most significant and collectible furniture designs of the 20th century – and displayed in museums around the world. The set is still hand-assembled with great attention to detail by the Herman Miller furniture company in Michigan, although the rich wood veneer and supple leather cushions are now available in a wider range of finishes. A synthesis of modern style and old-fashioned comfort, it’s still an elegant refuge after a hard day in the office. www.hermanmiller.com
John Lobb shoes
■ If you’re looking for quality footwear, you can’t
do much better than handmade leather shoes from bootmaker John Lobb, which first set up shop in 1866 to provide bespoke footwear to London’s elite. It still offers a bespoke service, as well as a ready to wear collection that combines the best in comfort, durability and elegance. www.johnlobb.com
■ A must-have accessory for serious wine connoisseurs, the famous Château Laguiole
corkscrew was introduced by sommelier Guy Vialis in 1987. While it’s named for Laguiole, a town in the south of France famed for its cutlery industry, the brand is actually made in nearby Thiers – although the classic design does feature the distinctive bee of traditional Laguiole cutlery. The competing Forge de Laguiole brand, which is based in Laguiole, makes a corkscrew in the same sleek design. Both feature handles in a range of finishes, a flip-out foil-cutting blade, a grooved corkscrew and a bottle opener, and can be seen in use at the best establishments and wine shows worldwide. www.laguiole.com
■ British luxury brand Alfred Dunhill has been producing stylish goods for men for over a century. Its founder inherited his father’s London saddlery and developed it into a luxury leather business selling high-end accessories to motorists in the early days of the automobile - everything from goggles and leather overcoats to a special Windshield Pipe that allowed comfortable smoking while driving. Its elegant cufflinks were launched in the 1970s and embody the brand’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship, with timeless designs that are tactile and detailed. These Sprocket Cufflinks, inspired by the gears from a high performance racing bike, are made from polished stainless steel with a swivel finding that features the brand’s distinctive logo. www.dunhill.com
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n Known for the characteristic grooves on its case
bodies, Rimowa has been producing high-quality luggage since 1898. With a motto of ‘handmade meets high-tech’, the Cologne-based brand has always placed a premium on sturdy but lightweight designs. It released the first aluminium suitcase in 1950, fast becoming the brand of choice for photographers and film crews needing to transport sensitive equipment. In 2000, it released the Salsa range, made of high-tech polycarbonate, which has fast become a market leader for its durable but extremely lightweight construction. Available in a range of sizes, all with easy to operate locks and smooth-rolling wheels, a Rimowa suitcase offers globetrotters a practical and stylish travelling companion. www.rimowa.com
Exceptional single-malt whisky
A superb single-malt whisky is one of life’s great joys, and half the pleasure is in finding the blend that’s a perfect expression of your personal style. With so many fine single malts to try, it can’t help but be an enjoyable journey of discovery. The Dalmore, crafted by renowned master blender Richard Paterson, is widely regarded as one of Scotland’s finest. The legendary Dalmore Distillery sits on the northern shore of the Cromarty Firth, where it takes advantage of the cold, clear waters of Loch Morie, high in the hills above, and the golden barley of the rich coastal soils. It’s then aged in first fill bourbon barrels and aged sherry casks to create a rich, full-bodied ‘water of life’ that should be on every bucket list. www.thedalmore.com
Vintage Vespa scooter
n If you’re looking for two-wheel transport, then it
doesn’t come cooler than a Vespa, which has pure Italian style woven into its construction. It was introduced by Enrico Piaggio in 1946, when he took on the task of reconstructing his father’s aeronautical company postWorld War II and decided to move it into producing personal transport. He gave his best engineer the task of designing a stylish two-wheeler that would be practical for Italy’s narrow city streets – and the Vespa was born. With wheels driven directly from the transmission and a monocoque frame and enclosed bodywork designed to protect the rider, it revolutionised the two-wheel market and quickly became a symbol of Italy – especially after starring with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday. And while new releases feature plenty of innovations, you can’t beat the panache of a vintage model, or the thrill of searching for authentic parts in hidden corners of la bella Italia. www.vespa.co.za
The Sport of Kings Nothing compares to the excitement of a horse race, and the line-up of highly trained thoroughbreds jostling to be first out of the starting gates.
South African thoroughbred breeders and their champion horses are blazing a trail in the international racing stakes. by Liesl King
here is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.’ Words attributed to, among others, the Duke of Beaufort and Winston Churchill. In fact, they were both simply echoing the simple truth that equus caballus has had a long relationship with man, one that dates back to 4000BC. The horse has played an indelible role in our history, both during times of peace and times of war. Yet much more recently, a subtle shift has taken place, and the horse no longer serves as mere transport, but is seen as an object of grace, beauty and, above all, speed. Horse racing today spans the globe, yet it all began with a King getting lost in the fog. It was 1605 and King James I was travelling between his hunting lodges when a thick fog descended, forcing him to overnight in the small town of Newmarket. After a good night’s rest, he awoke to the sight of the rolling grasslands of Newmarket Heath and its surrounding forests. Deciding it was the perfect place to hawk and hunt, he promptly built a Royal Palace there. Sadly, the English Civil War intervened and the Palace was
destroyed. After the war, with Charles II on the throne, a new Royal Palace was built – together with the obligatory Royal Stables, of course. A passionate horseman, Charles II not only raced his horses, but often rode in the races himself. The training of the running horses was, however, sketchy and it was not until the late 17th century that we find the first record of ‘The Father of the Turf’, Tregonwell Frampton, Esq, Keeper of the Running Horses to their Majesties William III, Queen Anne, George I and II at Heath House Stables in Newmarket. Fast forward almost a century and thousands of miles away, to the tip of Africa. Towards the end of the 18th century, the first English thoroughbred horses landed at Cape Town, followed three years later by the first British occupation. And it did not take the British garrison long to organise the first race, which took place on a dusty September morning at Green Point Common. Here, a mismatched bunch of nags, carriage horses and the odd thoroughbred competed in a number of races. The Governor, Lord Macartney, and his secretary, Mr Andrew Barnard, looked
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L’Ormarins wine estate (top) in Franschhoek is home to the Drakenstein Stud and headline sponsor of the Queen’s Plate, the oldest horse-racing event in South Africa.
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upon these races with great disapproval. Indeed, Mr Barnard found an excuse to go into the country to avoid the meeting. Imagine the drama and intrigue when his wife, Lady Anne, arrived at those very races in the carriage of a Dutchman! Needless to say, the Sport of Kings was here to stay. People often ponder what it was that brought racing to our shores? Was it merely a way to curb the garrison’s boredom or was it the soldiers’ love of gambling? Perhaps the answer lies much deeper, in the subtle alchemy between man’s desire for speed, his urge to compete and the age-old bond between man and horse. For there is something magical about half a ton of finely honed muscle, ligament and bone, with the grace of a ballet dancer and the acceleration of a Ferrari, thundering down the turf at 60 kilometres an hour. On its back, balancing on a postage stamp of leather is a jockey, weighing no more than 60 kilograms. It is pure adrenalin, exhilaration and danger all rolled into one. Since those early days, racing has spread throughout South Africa, with nine tracks countrywide on which some 440 meetings are held a year. With 32 grade-one races, there is plenty of excitement, but the two biggest race days on the calendar are the J&B Metropolitan Handicap and the Vodacom Durban July Handicap. The garrison may have long departed, but we have not quite let go of our colonial roots, with South Africa’s oldest race, the grade one Queen’s Plate, first run in 1861 in honour of Queen Victoria, still taking place annually in mid January.
With L’Ormarins Wine Estate as headline sponsor, the course is packed as racegoers, dressed in the stylish theme colours of blue and white, come to enjoy a day of elegance, great wines and superb racing. Next, it is the turn of the J&B Met, which dates from 1883 and is run in a carnival atmosphere on the last Saturday of January – a day that sees thousands of trendy Capetonians and a host of visitors converge on Kenilworth Race Course in Cape Town’s southern suburbs. The fashion stakes are high, as are the racing, with three grade-one races on the cards. On the first Saturday in July, it’s time for the Durban July, considered South Africa’s greatest horse race. It’s a day of red-hot action both on and off the turf, as the best horses in the country compete over 2 200m to determine who will be South Africa’s next champion, and fashionistas vie to be chosen the bestdressed couple, with outfits as exotic as they are colourful. From humble beginnings on the windy, dusty Green Point Common, the Sport of Kings has found a majestic home in South Africa – and beyond, even, because local horses blaze a trail internationally. South African thoroughbreds have conquered the world, winning at the highest level in Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, England, Australia, America, France and Turkey – all true ambassadors of the land. The ability and class of local horses also bring a host of overseas visitors with only one intention in mind – to buy a South African racehorse. Annually, yearling thoroughbreds are sold for millions of rand at two gala events, the Cape Premier
The Sport of Kings The Durban July, like horse races the world over, has become as famous for its colourful fashions as for its champion thoroughbreds.
Yearling Sale, held in the unique setting of the Cape Town International Convention Centre, and the National Yearling Sale, held in Johannesburg. In the striking surroundings of the sales ring where a yearling circles in the spotlight, local and international buyers think nothing of paying up to R4-million for the mere chance that it may be a future champion. Yet the horse is but one half of the equation – and we need to look at the effect these creatures have on ‘the inside of a man’. Regardless of their backgrounds, racing personalities the world over share a common bond – a love for that magnificent animal, the thoroughbred racehorse. And, here at the tip of Africa, it is certainly no different. The history of the Oppenheimer family is firmly entwined in the history of South Africa and its mining conglomerates. Yet outside of South Africa in the mid 1990s, few had heard of a place called Mauritzfontein. A fledgling stud founded by Harry Oppenheimer and his wife Bridget on the site of the famous De Beers remount depot, Mauritzfontein started small with only 18 mares and one stallion. Barely 13 years later, the Oppenheimers’ homebred Tiger Fish won the Durban July. Mauritzfontein has now grown into a powerhouse stud, standing top sires such as Fort Wood. Fondly known as the ‘Queen Mum of SA racing’, Mrs Oppenheimer, the first lady to be admitted as a Member of the Jockey Club of South Africa, remained passionate about horses until her death in 2013. Her love of the thoroughbred racehorse was passed on
to her daughter Mary Slack, who owns Wilgerbosdrift Stud on the West Coast, as well as to her granddaughter Jessica Slack, who took over the reins at Mauritzfontein upon her grandmother’s death. Racing is also no longer the domain of just the titled and wealthy, and with this shift has come the glorious prospect that anything is possible. From humble beginnings as the son of a farmer and a trading station proprietor, Mick Goss has built Summerhill Stud in the rolling foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains into an empire that has garnered the title of Equus Champion Breeder for a staggering nine years. Goss seems small in stature – until he starts to speak. For
there surely is no greater orator in South Africa when it comes to the story of his little patch of earth, in the land of the Zulu warriors, and his passion for the magnificent thoroughbred racehorse. ‘Racehorses are part of my DNA and have been in the forefront of my imagination for as long as I can remember,’ he says. ‘I come from humble beginnings as the son of a farmer. My wife had to leave school early to go and work and yet racehorses have taken us to faraway lands, sat us down with the Queen of England and made us many friends.’ Across the country, in the arid Karoo, is another colourful character whose love of the horse is matched only by his love of
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The Sport of Kings
South African stud farms
PHOTOGRAPHS: LIESL KING, DRAKENSTEIN STUD
have made a name for
golf. Nicknamed the Black Knight, Gary Player dominated tournaments the world over and ranks amongst the greatest golfers of all times. Player was the first international golfer to gain ‘stardom’, yet few know about his second passion – his love for thoroughbred horses. In 1974, Player acquired a stud farm in Colesberg. The vastness of the Karoo, coupled with the scarcity of grazing and the extreme climate, lends itself to the breeding of tough, durable thoroughbreds, rather like the golfer himself. Player’s involvement also means that he brought his winning philosophy and his personal motto of ‘the harder you practice, the luckier you get’ to the breeding of his horses. The Gary Player Stud consistently ranks among South Africa’s leading breeders and has produced numerous champions. Having travelled the world, Player still thinks South African racehorses are among the best. ‘Pound for pound, or rather rand for rand, if you go to the sales in South Africa, you can buy as good a horse as I think exists anywhere in the world,’ he asserts. Moving down south to where it all began so long ago, we come across two extraordinary stud farms owned by two extraordinary people. In the rich limestone valley of Robertson in the Western Cape lies Maine Chance Farms, owned by German businessman Dr Andreas Jacobs. Jacobs’ grandfather, Walther Jacobs, was an astute horseman and owner of Gestüt Fährhof near Bremen in Germany. On Jacobs’ fifth birthday, his grandfather gave him a horse and the rest, as they say, is history. A keen rider, racing
enthusiast and student of pedigrees, Jacobs was handed the reins of the stud at the tender age of 32. Then on a chance visit to South Africa he fell utterly in love with a beautiful valley and a stud farm called Maine Chance. ‘When my wife Natalie and I visited Maine Chance Farms in 2002 we could hardly have anticipated that we would soon have the opportunity to acquire one of the most beautiful stud farms in the world,’ he reminisces. Standing stallions such as 2013 Equus Champion Sire Silvano, Maine Chance has continued to be at the forefront of the South African breeding industry and, with Jacobs’ love of horses, racing and breeding that is likely to continue for some time to come. Finally we journey to the picturesque Franschhoek Valley and Drakenstein Stud, owned by Mrs Gaynor Rupert. Situated on the L’Ormarins wine farm, with the Groot Drakenstein mountains as backdrop and acres of lush pasture enveloping it, the stud is home to stallions such as Trippi, Horse Chestnut, Philanthropist and What A Winter, together with a band of 70 brood mares. Established in 2003, it is the new kid on the block, but with a number of feature winners having emerged from its paddocks, it is already one of South Africa’s leading stud farms. It may not offer the rolling grasslands of the Newmarket Heath or the sound of the trumpet at Royal Ascot, but here, at the tip of Africa, the Sport of Kings has established itself as a fully-fledged, world-class player, together with horses and horsemen and -women who can hold their own anywhere in the world.
breeding champions such as What a Winter, seen winning his second Cape Flying Championship (opposite).
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Pushing boundaries The new luxury offering from Japanese car maker Infiniti has sophisticated curves, high-quality finishes and a cutting-edge infotainment system.
From its sporting stance to its plush interior, the Infiniti Q50 succeeds in standing out from the luxury pack. by Charleen Clarke
any brands try to be all things to all people. More often than not, though, this dilutes the unique qualities that make them stand apart from the rest – with the result that they become little to few. Not Infiniti. As company president Johan de Nysschen points out: ‘Infiniti is not about doing what everyone else is doing. It is not about copying traditional, conservative notions of luxury. We will not try to be all things to all people… but everything to some.’ Such has been the brand’s philosophy from day one. And this Hong Kongheadquartered luxury car manufacturer kickstarted an Oriental commercial tsunami that swept across North America with remarkable speed when it was born 25 years ago. How did it do it? The company started by establishing a top-secret task force that it entrusted with creating a car that would epitomise both luxury and performance. With the motoring horizon littered with brands claiming just this combination, it was a challenge of note. In July 1989, the first Infiniti vehicle was born. The badge – with its two
central lines leading to an infinite point on the horizon – symbolised the desire of this luxury performance car always to be looking to the future. Fast-forward 25 years and the car has a loyal following the world over. It has won quality, technology and design awards, and is aiming to move past 500 000 sales by 2020 – quite a feat for a brand that didn’t exist three decades ago. Now Infiniti is poised for even greater success with the launch of the Q50, a groundbreaking new premium sports sedan. This is the car that is making luxury car aficionados sit up and take note, and that’s no small achievement in a world populated by hundreds of new car launches every year. But there is little doubt that the Q50 will not only stand out from the rest, but will sweep lovers of life’s finest luxuries right off their feet. Take a look at its design and technology and you quickly see why it stands apart from other luxury contenders. Firstly, it’s cutting-edge design is based on three Infiniti concept cars, the Essence, Etherea and Emerg-E. Concept cars are ‘teaser’ vehicles or
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A key feature of the plush interior is the roomy driver compartment and high-tech centre console.
A BRAND DEFINED The luxury arm of Nissan Motor Company, Infiniti is the playboy of the motor industry. It parties in markets all over the world, from the United States and Canada through Europe to the Ukraine, Russia, the Middle East, Korea, Taiwan, China, Singapore, Australia and, of course, South Africa. It mixes with the world’s rich and famous, and is best friends with Formula One’s Sebastian Vettel, who is its Director of Performance. It also sponsors his Red Bull Racing team. It calls Hong Kong home and has sired scores of glamorous offspring in sedan, coupe, cabriolet and SUV guise – from the original Q45 to the high-performance Q50 Eau Rouge concept currently stunning the automotive world. It is also celebrated for its leading and patented technologies. In 2004, the QX70 (previously known as the FX) was the first car equipped with Lane Departure Warning technology. Infiniti’s world-first Hydraulic Body Motion Control system – launched in 2010 – helps bring sedan-like handling to SUVs. In 2012, it launched Back-Up Collision Intervention, which senses what the driver may miss. Now, with the Q50, it is the first automotive company to introduce drive-by-wire steering in its production models. www.infiniti.co.za
design dreams unveiled at motor shows to gauge the public’s reaction to new styling, materials or technology. But, as Infiniti Executive Design Director Alfonso Albaisa says: ‘A concept car to us is far more than a motor-show indulgence. It is the canvas on which we paint our production car dreams.’ Sometimes production vehicles are remarkably similar to their concept-car predecessors; generally they’re more toned down and sensible. But, in the case of the Q50, Albaisa’s dreams have been made real. The Q50’s distinctive headlights, for instance, hark back to the Etherea, while the crescent-cut C-pillar – which ensures that the car will always turn heads – was first seen on the Essence. Another defining exterior feature is the three-dimensional doublearch grille, which debuted on the Etherea. This grille has a delightful story behind
it: the top span is designed to represent the profile of a typical Japanese bridge, while the lower span represents the bridge’s reflection in the water below. The Q50’s wave-like and distinctively deep and steep body sections are also inherited from the Essence… ‘powerfully shouldered’ is how it is often described. In fact, so dramatically advanced and effective is the luxury sedan’s styling that the Q50 is credited with boasting some of the most complex surfaces of any car in its class. ‘The Q50 has Infiniti design DNA running through it,’ confirms Albaisa. And an inheritance of riches it most certainly is. Albaisa describes it as a legacy symbolised by design that is ‘inviting, emotional and born of inspiration from both the human and natural worlds’. The striking interior of the Q50 – boasting premium quality materials and superb
The stylish vehicle comes standard with LED head- and taillights and an InTouch system that features
attention to detail – has also taken its cue from the three concept cars. For instance, it has the asymmetrical front cabin layout first seen in the Essence, and later the Emerg-E. With driver focus in the cabin an important part of any Infiniti vehicle, this asymmetrical approach makes for a lavish and distinct driver space, delineated by a line that curves elegantly across the centre console. In short, it celebrates the driver. Infiniti Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer, Shiro Nakamura, is understandably proud of his team’s achievements. ‘An interior is a confluence of thousands of parts and many materials, including leathers, fabrics, metals and glass,’ he says, explaining that the harmony between each element is an important part of the Q50’s warmth and high-quality feel. ‘Our designers approached the integration
of every element in terms of not just function but also of stimulation of the senses – colour, touch, texture, finish and beauty – creating an environment that is both intuitive and indulgent.’ Then there is the technology. Leading the way in this regard is the Q50’s Direct Adaptive Steering (or drive-bywire steering). While this technology has been standard on aeroplanes and spacecraft for decades, the Q50 is the first production car to incorporate it. Drive-by-wire steering is huge news in the automotive industry because it means that there is an electronic (not mechanical) connection between the steering wheel and the front wheels. In other words, a car manufacturer can completely do away with a whole bootload of mechanical components, such as a steering shaft, column, gear reduction mechanism and more. This is good news
the latest digital and smartphone technology.
for motorists because the number of moving parts is hugely reduced, which means less weight and better operational accuracy. Servicing requirements are also diminished. In fact, some experts claim that future by-wire systems won’t require any servicing at all. Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS) has other driver benefits, too. There’s no physical link between the road and the steering wheel, so jarring bumps or vibrations are non existent. This makes driving less tiring as it’s easier to keep a vehicle within the centre of a lane. Steering is also faster and more precise, and drivers can choose their own steering settings based on individual preferences and driving conditions. Safety is also enhanced, thanks mainly to the addition of Active Lane Control. Know the feeling when you’re tired and you drift out of your lane? That’s when Active Lane Control takes over, ‘magnetising’ the car to within its lane and reducing the need for the continuous steering input that would be required were there, for instance, strong crosswinds or minor camber changes in the road surface. The InTouch infotainment system is yet another technological wunderkind. It’s designed to be an extension of the driver’s digital lifestyle, so smartphone apps allow you to keep abreast of
Facebook activity, listen to your latest playlist, and even access your contacts, calendar and e-mails – all on a convenient dual touch-screen display. Finally, central to the relationship between the Q50 and its driver is the advanced intelligent i-Key, which could well save some marriages. Each of the two i-Keys stores the personal settings of its driver (all information is saved automatically and can easily be updated, or deleted, on the touch screens) so guarantees a finely tailored driving experience to whoever wins the right to take the wheel. In a nutshell, the i-Key allows the car to recognise the driver every time he or she climbs aboard: everything from favoured driving positions (seats, steering column, exterior mirrors) and climates, to navigation routes (including preferred short-cuts) and preferences
for communication, entertainment and information sharing. In fact, the system will even remember whether you prefer litres per 100 kilometres or miles per gallon, Fahrenheit or Celsius and an analogue or digital clock. And best of all, the Q50’s uniquely customised electronic systems – many of which form part of the car’s innovative Safety Shield – will always be perfectly tuned to its driver without the need to press buttons or scroll through menus. All in all, the car has 96 selectable settings across 10 functions and, depending on model, won’t just welcome its registered drivers aboard by name, but will also display photographs of friends and family on one of the dual touch-screens. It’s small wonder, then, that the Infiniti Q50 – a vehicle that represents the optimal syncing of car and driver – has been dubbed ‘the car that never forgets’. The Q50 is the first production car to feature Direct Adaptive Steering, in which electronics replace the mechanical links between
steering wheel and wheels.
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Coloured diamonds are shining bright, seducing buyers not only with their beautiful hues, but with their solid investment value. by Sharon Preston
Graff Diamonds has handled some of the world’s most magnificent coloured stones, including the Romance of Africa, a 102.11-carat fancy intense yellow cushion-cut diamond set with two pear-shape diamonds in a pave diamond shank.
hey are nature’s beauty, captured forever like a frozen flower, vibrant and alive. The rarest of gifts.’ Diamond specialist-jeweller Yair Shimansky’s description of coloured diamonds perhaps most succinctly sums up the current global fascination with these most elusive of gemstones. Yes, diamonds are a girl’s best friend… and these days, the coloured variety are an investor’s and private buyer’s best friend, too, increasingly being seen as more desirable than their clear counterparts. ‘Some natural coloured diamonds have more than tripled in value over the last five years, and are showing no signs of slowing down,’ says Shimansky. A large part of their value lies in their rarity – only one in more than 10 000 diamonds is a genuine, natural ‘fancy’ coloured diamond with an intense, equally distributed hue – but that’s not the whole story. Certainly, says Shimansky, the big coloured diamonds are fetching stratospheric prices. The stones are holding their value with collectors and investors for reasons ranging from rarity to the desire of wealthy investors to
diversify their portfolios with tangible assets as a hedge against volatile equity markets. But, he adds, this is one luxury product where the map doesn’t necessarily match the ground. ‘While a flawless red diamond is the scarcest stone you’ll find [just a one-carat red could set you back a cool US$1-million], it is the pink that are the most coveted,’ he says, explaining that the celebrity affinity for these rosehued beauties is what has earned them top rung on the popularity ladder. Among those celebrities blinkered by rose-coloured glasses is Jennifer Lopez, whose six-carat Harry Winston pinkdiamond engagement ring – given to her by former fiancé Ben Affleck – is worth over US$3-million. Enrique Iglesias also chose a rose when he proposed to Anna Kournikova – the professional tennis player sports an 11-carat pear-shaped pink-diamond engagement ring that is worth in the region of US$6-million. Victoria Beckham, too, is the owner of a magnificent pink – a 17-carat emeraldcut diamond that has pride of place among the many ‘engagement’ rings given to her by David Beckham. But, while the glamour set may try their
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Distinctive beauties from Graff Diamonds: pear shape and marquise pink and yellow diamond abstract ring (diamonds 14.12 carats) and pear shape pink and white diamond abstract ring (diamonds 17.46 carats).
very best to obtain the most spectacular pink diamond, their search is, for the most part, in vain. One of the finest pinks ever found is the whopping 23.6-carat diamond that sits in the Williamson Brooch, designed by Cartier and given as a wedding gift to Queen Elizabeth II. However, the Queen of England’s flawless pink falls over a carat short of the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction – an intense pink diamond weighing in at 24.78 carats. First sold by prominent US jeweller Harry Winston more than 60 years ago, it was held in a private collection until Laurence Graff OBE, owner of world-renowned Graff
Diamonds, bought it for US$45.6-million at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva in 2010. Now called the Graff Pink, its owner describes the stone as ‘the finest pink diamond I have seen in the history of my long career. It is so exceptionally rare, so magnificent, I doubt if there will ever be a pink diamond to compare.’ Graff owns a number of notable coloured diamonds, including the spectacular Wittelsbach Diamond, which he bought in 2008 for £16.4-million. Today, after repolishing, the fancy deep blue diamond weighs 31 carats. Another of his acquisitions is the Windsor Yellows, bought on auction in Geneva in
Yellow diamonds are a popular feature in designer jewellery, such as this beautiful ring from Elegance Jewellers.
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The Delaire Sunrise, 118.08 carats, is the largest square emerald-cut fancy vivid yellow in the world. Discovered at an alluvial mine in South Africa, Graff’s finest master cutter took over a year to cut and polish it.
1987. Formerly owned by the Duchess of Windsor, the pair of fancy yellow pearshape diamonds weigh 51.01 carats and 40.22 carats respectively. Graff also owns the largest square emerald-cut fancy vivid yellow diamond in the world. The 221.81-carat rough diamond was discovered at South African alluvial mine in 2008. Now cut, it weighs 118.08 carats and has been named Delaire Sunrise. None of these, however, quite match up to Graff’s Peacock Brooch, which is priced at US$100-million. It comprises 1 305 diamonds in all, including a number of valuable coloured diamonds that total 120.81 carats. The star of the show is the 20.02-carat pear-shape fancy deepblue diamond centrepiece, which can be detached and worn separately. There’s no denying then that the current obsession with coloured diamonds has put their investment value in a different league to white diamonds. But how do you value these stones? In contrast to white diamonds – where the entirely colourless are the rarest and clarity is the most important indication of the diamond’s value – with fancy diamonds, the greater the intensity of their hue, the rarer, and more valuable, the stone. Coloured diamonds are atomically and structurally identical to a clear diamond. Their colour is produced by chemical impurities or structural defects in the crystal lattice work of the stone, introduced when the diamond was formed millions of years ago. Nitrogen produces a yellow and brown colour, while boron gives the stone a blue hue.
Green diamonds are caused by natural radiation, while pinks get their colour from changes to the electron structure. Currently there are 27 officially recognised colours, including blue, black, brown, green, orange, pink, purple, red, yellow and white. Brown diamonds are the most common, followed by yellow diamonds, and the latter are only considered valuable if they are especially vibrant. The rarest colours are vivid yellow diamonds, saturated pinks, blues and greens, and reds. Of course, just like white gems, the larger the fancy, the more it is worth. The cut is also key and can influence the colour grade of the diamond and thus raise its value. If the diamond is large and very valuable because of its colour, the manufacturing process – the cutting and polishing – can take months as cutters work to get light through the stone so that it really lives. When it comes to costing, the finest fancies have no set price. Just like fine works of art, their true value is only determined when they’re sold at auction. Research shows that over the past 12 years, coloured diamonds have increased in value by almost 1 000%. The Pink Star, a 59.6-carat oval-cut fancy vivid pink diamond sold at a Sotheby’s Auction in Geneva last November for US$83.2-million. The Orange, a 14.82-carat beauty believed to be the largest fancy vivid orange diamond in the world, was sold by Christie’s in Geneva for US$35.5-million. At US$2.4million per carat, it was a world-record auction price for a diamond. And as this
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‘Fancies’ add a beautiful sparkle
PHOTOGRAPHS: GRAFF DIAMONDS, ELEGANCE JEWELLERS, SHIMANSKY JEWELLERS
to elegant engagement rings by
magazine went to press, a 13.22-carat fancy vivid blue was expected to fetch between US$21-million and US$25-million. The richest source of rare blue diamonds in the world is the Cullinan Mine, situated in the town of Cullinan, 40 kilometres east of Pretoria. The former De Beers Premier Mine, now owned by Petra Diamonds, just this year announced the recovery of a 29.6-carat blue. The mine’s illustrious history has also seen it produce some of the world’s most magnificent diamonds, including the Cullinan in 1905, the Niarchos in 1954, the Taylor-Burton in 1966, the Premier Rose in 1978 and, most recently, the Centenary, in 1986. With so many quality stones originating in South Africa, it’s no surprise that the country also has some top diamondspecialist jewellers. Shimansky has sold numerous famous diamonds to well-known stars, including a 47-carat emerald-cut diamond necklace bought by Hollywood actress Charlize Theron to celebrate her Oscar win in 2004. Yair Shimansky has also opened the Cape Town Diamond Museum next door to his flagship V&A Waterfront showroom, where visitors can view replicas of some of the most famous diamonds discovered in South Africa.
You’ll have to travel to The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, though, to see the world’s most famous blue diamond. Originally called the Tavernier Blue and weighing a staggering 112 carats, it was reportedly mined in India and taken to France by a merchant traveller, who sold it to King Louis XIV. The King had it cut it into a pear shape, nicknamed Le bleu de France. It disappeared during the French Revolution then, years later, resurfaced in the form of a smaller 44.50-carat gem that became known as The Hope Diamond. Reportedly cursed, it was owned by a number of prominent Americans before Harry Winston donated it to the Smithsonian. Also part of the gem collection at the Smithsonian is the famous Tiffany Diamond. The exquisite 128.54-carat fancy is one of the largest yellow diamonds ever discovered and was used in promotional material for Audrey Hepburn’s 1961 classic, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Hepburn was by no means the first to promote a fancy diamond. Marilyn Monroe shot The Moon of Baroda, a 24-carat pearshape canary yellow, to instant stardom when she wore it in a publicity photo shoot. For her efforts, she won an award from the Jewellery Academy, inscribed with the words: To Marilyn Monroe, the best friend a diamond ever had. With such a history of star appeal, it’s no wonder these dazzling beauties are so sought-after. They’re rare treasures from the earth indeed – and worth celebrating.
Shimansky Jewellers; while a 110-carat kaleidoscope of rare coloured diamonds adorn the US$55-million Hallucination timepiece by Graff Diamonds.
REFLECTIONS ON GLAMOUR Experts weigh in on how to showcase a coloured diamond to perfection: A ‘sculptural masterpiece’, Graff Diamonds’ exquisite
timepiece features a kaleidoscope of more than 110-carats of rare coloured diamonds. Chairman of Graff Diamonds, Laurence Graff unveiled the watch at the 2014 BaselWorld Fair in April this year. ‘For many years I have thought about creating a truly remarkable watch that illustrates our all-consuming passion for diamonds. The Hallucination has made my diamond dream a reality,’ he says. According to Yair Shimansky of Shimansky Jewellers,
complements natural fancy colour diamonds are those pieces that enhance rather than compete with the colour. For instance, a fancy yellow diamond will look its best set in yellow gold and enhanced with white diamonds, and a pink diamond will look its best set in rose gold with white diamonds surrounding it.’
Future heirlooms The Taunina name mixes the Sotho word for lion with an acronym for ‘No Income, No Assets’, and refers to how the company empowers women from disadvantaged backgrounds to become lions of their own destinies.
Taunina weaves an inspiring story in which social upliftment meets inspired artistry, creating world-class collectors’ pieces. by Kit Heathcock
ur age-old nostalgia and affection for our childhood teddy bears has given birth to a truly irresistible collectors’ item. The humble bear is transformed into a work of art and a family heirloom in the skilful hands of Taunina, the South African-based luxury atelier that has interwoven social upliftment with exquisite artistry. Its one-of-a-kind, hand-embroidered bears are finding their way into the hearts of discerning collectors the world over, who value the delicate hand-stitching, inspired designs and impeccable finishing that raise these individual bears to the level of artworks. Taunina is the realisation of a dream for founders Tracey Chiappini-Young and Karen Jansen who, with successful careers in finance behind them, wanted to give something back. But they wanted more than just a charitable job-creation project involving basic skills; they aimed to elevate the status of craft to art and build a luxury brand, creating a unique high-end product that would sell itself, invest its makers with self-esteem, earn them a regular income and empower them as artists in their own right.
From the beginning the idea was to aim for the top in quality. The pair sought out women from underprivileged backgrounds who already had the raw skills in embroidery, appliqué and sewing. The women underwent more than 18 months of training in design and understanding colours and fabrics – and they continue to enjoy weekly workshops where they share design inspiration and come up with creative ideas for new collections. The fully-employed team of 15 artists works strongly together, with the most skilful embroiderers mentoring less experienced members. Chiappini-Young stresses that working together in this way is an important element of their empowerment in the business. It will be the team who decides which of the 1 000 applicants to take into the Taunina family as new trainees next month and then works with them to develop their skills to the required level. ‘One of our star embroiderers today joined the business as a cleaner with no prior sewing experience,’ relates Chiappini-Young. ‘She was so intrigued and inspired that she taught herself
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Each Taunina bear travels in a gorgeous handmade hat-box with a unique passport bearing the teddy’s name and the artist’s details.
BEAR ESSENTIALS These unique and exclusive embroidered bears are not to be met with on every street corner. As a small luxury atelier, Taunina is very careful about who it partners with. ‘Initially we only sold directly through our own website,’ says CEO Tracey Chiappini-Young. ‘Then, in addition, we chose just two luxury retailers who resonated with our brand credibility, Selfridges in the UK and Barneys in the US.’ Taunina also occasionally collaborates with selected luxury brands. In 2013 London shirtmakers, New & Lingwood inspired the Taunina artists with its distinctive printed silks, and now has a bespoke collection of bears exclusively
Each one-off bear undergoes rigorous quality control before receiving its personal passport, with its name, details of the artist who created it and a special code, which the bear’s owner can use to follow the artist on the website. Customers are also welcomed to the Cape Town atelier, where they can meet the artists and see the bears being made. The Taunina philosophy sees these bears as part of a genuine social impulse to change the world. ‘The unique beauty of each collection piece lies in how it transforms the life of the woman who made it and establishes a lifetime connection between the artist and the purchaser,’ explains ChiappiniYoung. The bears not only make the world a more beautiful place with their delicate designs and colours, but make a difference to the whole family of the artist, appealing to discerning, sociallyconscious collectors, who themselves become catalysts for change.
available at its Jermyn Street store. Another once-off collaboration was with distinguished Zimbabwean silversmith Patrick Mavros, and this elegant collection can be found in his prestigious Fulham Road boutique in London. Customers can visit the Cape Town atelier or scroll through the collections in the online store to find the bear of their dreams. Bears can be shipped worldwide. Prices are processed in USD and range from $375 for the 26cm high Petite bear to $485 for the 34cm Classic bear, and $620 for the 40cm Studio size, though they may vary according to the fabrics used. As well as teddy bears, the Taunina artists create floppy-eared bunnies and a range of embroidered quilts, blankets and cushions. Taunina 3rd Floor Fairweather House, 176 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, Cape Town Telephone: +27 (0)21 461 7719 Email: email@example.com Website: www.taunina.com PHOTOGRAPHS: SUPPLIED
to sew, joining the sewing table in her breaks and being mentored by the artists.’ Now her embroidered bear designs go out into the world and she has a new sense of pride and self-esteem from being a recognised artist. As luxury items you’d expect that only the best materials would be used, so it’s no surprise that the list of fabrics resonates like a roll call of the most illustrious heritage houses: Liberty, Sanderson, GP&J Baker, William Morris. A new collection of bears made from luscious silk velvets sourced from Holland and the UK has just launched. These luxurious fabrics ensure that each bear is as sensuous and rich to the touch as it is to the eye. Chiappini-Young and Jansen would love to source fabrics in South Africa too but, not having yet found the quality that they require, are looking into having their own designs printed locally onto high-end linens.
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Crafted to perfection Aston Martin’s new Vanquish Volante is a masterpiece of sculpted curves, from the carbon fibre-skinned body to the leather-trimmed interior.
Take innovative design, advanced engineering and faultless craftsmanship, add a bespoke personalisation service, and what you get is the characterful elegance that is Aston Martin. by Charleen Clarke and Florian Gast
t’s almost impossible to separate the name James Bond from that of Aston Martin. After all, Bond loves Aston Martins as much as he adores beautiful women and martinis. Almost… This is a car that epitomises luxury. It oozes elegance and enchantment – much like Mr Bond himself. But, unlike 007 – who has evolved from a suave man-about-town into a more real, raw character – Aston Martin has not changed the lavish personality of its quintessentially British brand. Throughout the company’s 101-year history, it has consistently produced a sports car that boasts the ultimate in bespoke luxury. This commitment to luxury is clearly evident at the company’s head office in Gaydon, Warwickshire, in the heart of the British Midlands. Comprising an office block, adjoining production facility and state-of-the-art design studio, its dynamic architecture is an embodiment of the quality design aesthetic that underpins the 4 000 sports cars produced here every year. From initial concept to final finishes, the production process
combines cutting-edge technology with traditional hand-craftsmanship. The fabrication of perfection can never be rushed, and it takes around 200 hours to produce each vehicle – just painting a single car is a painstaking 50-hour process. The results are superlative. The paint finish boasts an unrivalled lustre that has won accolades around the world – and puts this British automotive legend in a different league. Compromise is not part of the Aston Martin lexicon. When the designers of the Vanquish came up with a spoiler integrated into the bootlid, the production team had no choice but to invent a new technique for lacquering and polishing. It took months to perfect, but resulted in an industry first that is typical of this groundbreaking marque. The same dedication applies to every single component of the car – even though production-line ‘perfect’ isn’t part of the package. Take the interior, for instance, where leather comes courtesy of between six and nine hides and all stitching is done by hand. This level of hand craftsmanship means no two cars
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Crafted to perfection
MEASURING THE MILESTONES 1913: Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin found Bamford and Martin and start building their first car. They decide to call it Aston Martin after Martin has successful runs at the Aston Hill Climb in Buckinghamshire. 1915: The first Aston Martin, nicknamed ‘Coal Scuttle’ and powered by a 1389cc Coventry Climax engine, is registered. 1925 to 1926: The company closes but is subsequently rescued by a group of investors and renamed Aston Martin Motors Ltd. 1928: Aston Martin enters Le Mans for the first time; by 1933 it is securing all the podium positions and production car volume has started to pick up. 1937: By now the company is producing 140 cars – its highest pre-war volume. 1947: The dawn of the ‘David Brown era’, when the business is acquired by the English industrialist and production relocated to Hanworth Park in Feltham, Middlesex. The DB2 model enters production. Over the years, the company changes hands many more times. 1955: Production is moved to Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire. The site becomes home to the DB2/4, a car launched the year before. Some 15 000 cars are hand-built here. 1987: The company is purchased by Ford, which subsequently sells the business to a consortium of investors in 2007. 2000: A new era begins when German businessman Dr Ulrich Bez becomes Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. 2007: Design and production moves to Gaydon in Warwickshire while an official service and restoration division, Aston Martin Works, is created at Newport Pagnell.
are alike – and that’s part of the charm of buying an Aston Martin. It’s a work of art, not just a car. It’s a level of individuality that extends into the range of vehicles on offer, too. Aston Martin recognises that high-end buyers, willing to spend six figures on a car, shun the idea of buying something that feels mass produced. Which is why there are 3.5 million choices in the ‘standard’ Aston Martin range. If you’re not content to settle with one of these fine choices, then there’s Q. Much like 007 went to Q-branch whenever he needed a customised vehicle, car connoisseurs can go to Aston Martin Q to get the vehicle of their dreams. It’s a unique personalisation programme offering a tailored approach to luxury that is as simple as it is ambitious. With Q, an Aston Martin becomes a blank canvas that customers can transform
into a car that truly reflects exactly who they are. From the simplest colour change and trim amendment through to wildly ambitious one-off commissions, it inspires Aston customers to let their imaginations soar. ‘The service is a natural extension of what many of our customers have expected of us for many years,’ explains Dr Matthew Bennett, General Manager of VIP and Q by Aston Martin. ‘The process of creating and specifying a new Aston Martin can take some time – time that our customers rightly expect to savour. What Q by Aston Martin adds to that already exciting process is the freedom to think beyond specification sheets and options lists – to challenge the designers and engineers here at Gaydon to use their talents to produce something truly remarkable, and unique.’ The Q by Aston Martin Lounge, unveiled
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at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show in March, is now making its way to Aston Martin dealerships around the world. The new Beijing showroom, on the ground floor of the five-star Regent Hotel, has been the first to roll out a fully operational Q Lounge, featuring a selection of paints, leathers and veneers that customers can apply to their ‘blankcanvas’ car. The Q process has already resulted in some beautiful customised vehicles, two of which starred at the Beijing Auto Show in April. The Q by Aston Martin Rapide S creation was finished in a lustrous burgundy paint called Divine Red and featured an interior trimmed in an espressocoloured leather with a metallic finish. Other customised features included a wood veneer with a metallic pinstripe on the upper facia and door inserts, and
a worsted-wool suiting cloth featuring pinstripes in platinum and 24-carat gold. The Q by Aston Martin Vanquish Coupe, meanwhile, adopted an extreme sports theme. The exterior, painted in Meteorite Silver, boasted an eye-catching stripe of exposed carbon fibre running from nose to tail, over the bonnet, roof and boot lid. It was complemented by a vivid red interior, with more carbon fibre seen on the facia and gearshift paddles. Aston Martin Design Director, Marek Reichman and his team are intimately involved in the personalisation process. ‘Q by Aston Martin is really all about freedom. The freedom to work with us here at our Gaydon headquarters to create something really special. Something that uniquely demonstrates a customer’s attitude, their personality and their taste,’ he explains. ‘My team and I are excited to be leading
Heritage specialists offer a full and comprehensive restoration service, dismantling cars to assess every component, and using an archive of old patterns to remake interiors according to the original specifications.
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Crafted to perfection
the design inspiration innate in this service and, working closely with the engineering and manufacturing teams, and their suppliers worldwide, to be helping to deliver levels of personalisation that have not been widely available before.’ Another innovation not seen in the luxury car market before is fixed-price servicing, available on selected models more than four years old, including the DB7 Vantage, the V8 Vantage, the DB9 and the original Vanquish. This is the brainchild of the team at Aston Martin Works, the brand’s sales, servicing and restoration centre at Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire. Customers from around the world bring their cars here to be serviced, sometimes by the very technicians who built the car when Newport Pagnell was Aston Martin’s centre of production. At this facility, cars – and their owners – are pampered to the nth degree, with a dedicated service reception engineer to monitor the car’s progress through the Works. Cars can be collected from and delivered to any convenient location in Europe using purpose-built transporters, and the centre may even fly a team of expert technicians out to customers’ homes to service vehicles in situ. Each service is recorded in the car’s service history and features the sought-after Aston Martin Works service stamp – the ultimate sign of quality and craftsmanship. Aston Martin Works is also the maestro where restoration of vintage Astons is concerned. The company recently
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Badges may have changed over the brand’s 101-year history, but they’ve always branded characterful cars built to exceptional standards.
unearthed a treasure trove of old moulds, which means heritage specialists now have the original moulds for many vintage models at their disposal. The painstaking restoration process involves assessing each component, from engine and chassis to dashboard clock, and rebuilding anything that needs to be replaced to its original specifications. The leather department is key to this process. With just three staff, it’s tiny, but it’s offers comprehensive restoration of all interior leatherworks on vintage models, referring back to an archive containing original patterns for all models to ensure interiors are remade with total veracity. Witnessing this team
of master craftsmen at work is nothing short of inspiring. Re-assembled, repainted and retrimmed, a vintage Aston Martin emerges from the Works looking as good as it did when it first came of the production line. It’s all par for the course for a brand that is anything but ordinary. And while its seductive sports cars can now be as unique as you want them to be, they do still have something in common. As Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dr Ulrich Bez notes: ‘An Aston Martin combines three important elements: power, beauty and soul. Aston Martins are truly special – they always have been and always will be.’
The company’s purpose-built headquarters in Warwickshire reflect its commitment to innovation, creativity and
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The art of sound Handmade in Germany, Acapella Audio Arts’ Sphaeron Excalibur speakers are as pleasing to the eyes as they are to the ears.
At Thirteen Hof in Cape Town, music specialist Joachim Spelling elevates audio to the realms of art, displaying high-end sound systems that represent the pinnacle of audio engineering. by Richard Holmes
hey say beauty is in the eye of the beholder; that the perception of beauty is forever subjective. That is without doubt true, and it’s impossible for one person to tell another that a painting, photograph or piece of music is intrinsically more beautiful than the next. How we perceive beauty is entirely, and wonderfully, of our own making. Your opinion counts for no more, or less, than the person sitting next to you as you read this feature. However, consider the medium. For how you experience a piece of art surely affects your appreciation of it? Is a plastic imitation of Michelangelo’s David as impressive as the stony flesh standing in the Accademia Gallery in Firenze? Even better, consider the pages you’re holding right now. Imagine they were cheap newsprint, faded and smudged. Would the words be as easy to read? Would the images inspire you as much as they do? Surely not. For art is, to a large degree, defined by the way in which it is consumed. And it’s this means of appreciating the end that inspires Joachim Spelling each and every day, as he welcomes music-
lovers into his charming, idiosyncratic gallery and studio in the leafy suburb of Gardens above Cape Town’s City Bowl. Born in Düsseldorf and based in Berlin for many years, Spelling – together with his wife Ncumisa and their three-year-old son Karl – has called Cape Town home since 2005. He has decades of experience in the German audio industry and is, to his core, a music-lover. Not in a flippant, ‘what are your hobbies’ sort of way, but as an unabashed evangelist for the joys of experiencing music through the finest audio systems that the world has to offer. When he opens the iron gates at Number 13 Hof Street, the eponymous address for his Thirteen Hof gallery and studio space, Spelling greets guests with a ready smile and a warm handshake. This rambling Victorian building that once belonged to interior designer Ralph Krall is also his home, a space for family and friends. More importantly, it’s the perfect environment to showcase his love for music through the high-end audio systems that represent the pinnacle of audio engineering. Surprisingly though, despite the fact these are the finest audio set-ups money
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The art of sound
Designed and manufactured in Denmark, the Gryphon Mephisto Solo single-channel power amplifier is a piece of advanced audio engineering that includes 80 high-current bi-polar transistors and a 9 000W power output.
can buy, ego has no place at Thirteen Hof. While it’s easy to fall into the bigger-is-better trap of Wattage and technical wizardry, Spelling has a more philosophical approach to the remarkable sound systems showcased beneath the pressed ceilings. ‘You have to have a passion for music; otherwise you’ll never understand the fascination with these systems. The music is the first love. The real fan never looks on the component: you close your eyes, you don’t see the system, you just listen to the music,’ he says. And yet the systems themselves are, despite Spelling’s argument to focus on the music, works of art in themselves. Hand-carved wooden exteriors embrace the best valve amplifiers on the planet. Discreet blue lights blink silently from beneath the jet-black canopy of a Gryphon Audio amplifier, like a tethered racehorse waiting for the gate to fall. The amplifier – from one of the audio world’s finest brands – sits atop a marble slab, a suitable throne for a regal piece of equipment. Gryphon Pendragon speakers frame the room, towering at head height. In the world of high-end audio systems this is the pinnacle. It, quite simply, doesn’t get better than this. Stacks of vinyl albums line one wall – a jet-black Helmut Brinkmann turntable sits quietly to one side, like a polished millstone waiting to turn – while CDs cover the marble mantelpiece. Everything from Dvorák to Prince; Spelling’s passion for music is evident. Art adorns walls clad in luxuriant wallpaper, as a wide Chesterfield faces
the speakers, begging for you to take a seat. ‘The idea is to demonstrate the best in audio, and there are different technologies to that,’ explains Spelling. ‘In transistor technology, Gryphon Audio is the best, while Unison Research are famous for their valve amplifiers. So it’s a mix of old and new technology, and the idea is to combine the best of both worlds.’ But before clients even reach the stage of plugging in their own system, there are details to consider. A stable power supply is essential for the performance and longevity of high-end audio systems, and ‘the best solution is to have the audio system on its own circuit, to separate it from other appliances completely,’ says Spelling. Cables are another hot topic among audiophiles, and a simple power cable to connect amplifier and socket can cost upwards of R5 000. But good cables can’t save a sub-standard system, warns Spelling. ‘If the system doesn’t offer a good foundation, a good cable won’t make much difference. It can be a weak point, yes, but it’s not one of the components that deliver the music. A bad system never gets beautiful from a good cable.’ It’s a holistic view that’s typical of Spelling’s personalised approach to audio-system design; the notion that one size can never fit all. The perfect system for appreciating jazz won’t work for lovers of classical music, or for fans of vintage guitar-driven rock. ‘We try to combine components that give the best performance for the type of music
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Eclectic interiors at Thirteen Hof display some of the world’s most covetable sound products, including Unison Research’s Absolute 845 amplifier (left).
you like. It doesn’t make sense for me to compromise,’ explains Spelling. ‘In the best case, I’ll get to see what the room and space is like, what the acoustics are like. I then try to put together a system that will make that person happy.’ ‘Happy’ is a word he uses often, and it’s perhaps the raison d’être of the work Spelling now does in sharing his audio systems with discerning clients in Africa’s ever-growing luxury market. Of
course, happiness often comes at a price, and in the case of high-end audio, the costs can be considerable. To emulate the world-class system at Thirteen Hof will set you back in the region of R5-million. ‘It’s like everything in life. Quality is expensive, but always worth it,’ shrugs Spelling eloquently. ‘If you want to buy something to impress people, buy a Bang & Olufsen. People who buy my systems have to be music-
lovers; not many people understand this type of investment.’ One person who does is Klaus Stross. The German Consul in Cape Town has been collecting music in analogue and digital formats for more than 40 years, and says the purer sound of high-end systems such as Gryphon Audio transforms the experience of listening to music. ‘It’s like going from watching a movie on your mobile phone to watching it at the cinema,’ says Stross. ‘The Gryphon is outstanding. The company puts so much work into the system, and when it changes a component, it is spectacular. The Brinkmann turntable is also incredible. The way it is constructed; there’s so much precision engineering that you can only admire such an incredible piece of workmanship.’ And like many of Spelling’s clients, Stross sees his high-end audio system as a journey rather than a destination. ‘After six to nine months I know the system so well it’s time to upgrade. Technology changes and the precision of sound is completely different with upgraded components… but it always has to be a component that is friendly with your wife!’ laughs Stross. ‘Some people say you could have bought a car with the same money, but I don’t want to listen to the engine of my car!’ Stross is effusive in his praise for Spelling and Thirteen Hof, and certainly part of the appeal is the authenticity that Spelling instils at every turn. This isn’t a showroom where salespeople try to push you into purchasing a product. This is simply Spelling’s philosophy to
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The art of sound
audio industry in Germany for many years before relocating to Cape Town in 2005.
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The Victorian villa on the corner of Hof and Kamp Streets is a well-known landmark in the Cape Town suburb of Gardens. Since Joachim Spelling and his family moved in, it’s also become a showcase for some of the world’s most high-end sound systems as well as a selection of South African art. 13 Hof Street, Gardens, Cape Town Telephone: +27 (0)21 424 7225 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Website: www.13hof.co.za
PHOTOGRAPHS: MICKY HOYLE/THIRTEEN HOF, ACAPELLA, GRYPHON, UNISON RESEARCH, THIRTEEN HOF
Joachim Spelling worked in the
music, art and life made real. ‘The idea was to do something without making any compromises. This had to be very authentic. This isn’t made for people to come and love the art or like the music. Thirteen Hof is about me and my opinions. You’re welcome to share this or be inspired, or to disagree. Either is fine.’ That applies equally to the art that adorns the walls. For while the focus is firmly on the audio systems and the music wafting from the Pendragon speakers, Spelling’s remarkable art collection is equally up for discussion – and for sale. Art fills almost every free space on the walls. Local artists dominate, with the likes of Anastasia Nikolsky, Alexander Lochenkov, Christiaan Diedericks, Verna du Toit and Vanessa Berlein a few of Spelling’s personal favourites. Each work is hung in the rooms of a suburban home full of life. And – like the music – the manner of appreciating the art influences the perception of it. Indeed, art and music are fine bedfellows, and even Flemming E. Rasmussen, the creator of Gryphon Audio, has his roots in the art world, with a degree in painting and graphic arts from the Jutland Art Academy in Aarhus, Denmark. At Thirteen Hof, both art and audio are elevated to a higher level. For lovers of music, in particular, there’s little chance you won’t walk away transformed and inspired. While the inherent beauty of music may well be in the ear of each listener, when it comes to the highend audio systems curated by Joachim Spelling, the means most certainly creates magic at the end.
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10 watches we love to admire 01
n The Constellation Ladies Co-Axial
27mm range includes dozens of dressy variations. All are presented in a tonneau-shaped body that’s elegantly compact at just 27mm in diameter, and all feature the Constellation’s characteristic ‘Griffes’, or claws, as well as distinctive, striking dials. This stainless-steel model has an 18-carat gold bezel set with 32 full-cut diamonds and shows off a beautifully patterned mother-of-pearl dial that offers a perfect contrast to the polished hands. www.omegawatches.com
Panerai Platino PAM 519
n Part of the Limited Edition Radiomir 1940 Chronograph Collection, this stylish
timepiece takes its design cue from the classic first Radiomir, released in the 1940s. A retro ivory dial in a platinum case works in concert with an elegant alligator strap to give a clean, vintage look and the screw-down flat, winding crown is complemented by polished chronograph push-buttons. www.panerai.com
GraffStar Grand Date
n This classic watch, available in
a number of luxurious options, honours Graff’s heritage in precious stones. The Grand Date Calibre 1 movement is made exclusively for Graff to exacting standards in Switzerland. Together with hours and minutes, it also displays the date in prominent numerals at the 12 o’clock position, the seconds are on a subdial at the 9 o’clock position and the 50-hour power reserve indicator is at 6 o’clock. www.graffdiamonds.com
beats the exceptional Cartier MC 9452 Calibre flying tourbillon, the first Cartier movement to carry the prestigious Geneva Seal. This new edition features an alligator-leather strap and a rhodium-finished, 18-carat white-gold case and dial, both set with brilliant-cut diamonds. The distinctive blue-steel, sword-shaped hands of the range are there, as is the trademark sapphire cabochon winding mechanism. The seconds are counted on a tracked scale followed by the rotating tourbillon. www.cartier.com
IWC Aquatimer ‘Galápagos Islands’
with a portion of the watch’s sales proceeds going to support the Foundation’s conservation work on the islands that inspired Darwin’s theories on natural selection. For 2014, IWC has released the Aquatimer ‘Galápagos Islands’, a robust stainless-steel diver’s watch encased in black vulcanised rubber. Pressure-resistant to 30 bar, it features IWC’s self-winding 89365 calibre movement and a quick-change strap system that exchanges the rubber bracelet for a stainless-steel one. www.iwc.com
n At the heart of the elegant Ballon Bleu range
n IWC’s annual Galápagos special edition honours its partnership with the Charles Darwin Foundation,
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Montblanc N. Rieussec
Montblanc’s Nicolas Rieussec Collection is inspired by the man who made the first patented chronograph in 1821 and features the first mechanical movement made in Montblanc’s own Le Locle factory. This limited-edition Monopusher Chronograph features the MB R100 Calibre, which has just one chronograph pusher, a rare configuration that’s nevertheless easy to operate. The case is 18-carat rose gold and the dial design is both classic and yet unconventional in that the sub-dials have rotating discs instead of hands. www.montblanc.com
Compiled and written by Richard Webb
The Master Grande Tradition Perpetual Calendar Eight Days takes its inspiration from JaegerLeCoultre’s Grand Complication pocket watch of 1928. It’s a showpiece of fine craftsmanship with all the components entirely handdecorated and -engraved. Available in a limited edition of just 200 pieces, it sets grained and silvered sub-dials on an ornately skeletonised and decorated movement, visible through both the front and back of the watch. The elegant case is white gold accented by blue champlevé enamel rings. www.jaeger-lecoultre.com
Hublot Classic Fusion Haute Joaillerie
n Watches don’t come more exclusive than this horological work of art, valued
at US$1-million. Only eight pieces have been made – not surprising when you consider that each flaunts a whopping 1 185 baguette diamonds and took a team of experts around four months to make. The 18-carat white-gold case, bezel, crown and strap all sparkle with diamonds; even the open-worked dial, designed to show off the fine mechanics of the Hublot skeleton tourbillon movement, is set with stones. It can’t help but make an impact. www.hublot.com
Baume & Mercier Clifton 1830
n Sure to delight purists, the Clifton 1830 is an
elegant, understated piece that evokes the classic Baume & Mercier watch of the 1950s. It’s driven by a mechanical hand-wound calibre, visible through the transparent sapphire-crystal caseback, and features a vintage, opaline-finished dial with a seconds sub-dial and gilt-riveted numerals, an 18-carat red-gold case and an alligatorleather strap. www.baume-et-mercier.com
Piaget Emperador Coussin Tourbillon Diamond Set Automatic Skeleton
n Combining the functional elements of an ultra-thin skeleton calibre with precision
gem setting is high achievement indeed. This exceptional watch features stunning paved baguette-cut diamonds around the rings, embracing the flying tourbillon carriage and the oscillating weight. More round diamonds are also set on either side, to bring this piece to a total of 19.8 carats. Beating at its heart is the Calibre 1270D, forming a truly remarkable complication in an ultra-thin 6mm cushion-shape. www.piaget.com
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10 cars we love to drive 01
BMW presented its first X5 SUV 15 years ago. Now the bestselling car in its class, the all new X5 comes standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission and EfficientDynamics technology to reduce emissions and consumption. Drivers can now also choose to personalise their vehicle with one of two ‘design worlds’, offering a whole new set of optional features and combinations for both the interior and the exterior. Choose ‘Design Pure Experience’ for more robust addons or ‘Design Pure Excellence’ for a more luxurious feel. www.bmw.co.za
Lexus IS 350 F Sport
Lexus seems to have a bright future if the Sport is anything to go by. The brand is making cars that are increasingly relevant and desirable. The profile is all aggressive creases and the coveted rear-wheel-drive handling makes best use of Eco, Sport and Normal drive modes. Smooth and composed, it absorbs bumps well and remains taut when pushed hard, too. www.lexus.co.za
n Wraith hints at something menacing and, indeed, this exquisitely made new
coupe has the boldest design and the most power of any Rolls-Royce to ever play host to the famous Spirit of Ecstasy. A car for the curious, the confident and the bold, it’s more contemporary and daring than previous models, living up to the maxim of co-founder Sir Henry Royce: ‘take the best that exists and make it better: when it does not exist, design it’. www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com
Aston Martin Rapide S
n Crafted from the lineage of 007 and
Sean Connery cool, this achingly beautiful four-door supercar barks its authority from the tail pipes, soon settling down to near silent progression in an intoxicating sensory experience. This is a driver’s car, and not one that you’d hanker to be backseat chauffeured in. From the powerful 5.9-litre V12 engine through to the exquisite Jaeger-LeCoultre clock and 1 000W Bang & Olufsen sound system, this is Aston Martin on top form. www.astonmartin.co.za
n Audi’s flagship gets more powerful motors,
clever assistance systems and new longwheelbase derivatives. One of the innovation leaders in the luxury segment, this is a technologically advanced, refined and superbly made car. Prized for lightweight aluminium construction and excellent comfort, the range boasts a wide range of engines, from the impressively economical 3.0 diesel to the masterful W12 6.3. Standard equipment is comprehensive and the cabin pure Audi class. www.audi.co.za
Opulent Living essence
Porsche Cayman GTS
■ When Porsche writes GTS on its
cars, expect something special – these three letters have been on the lips of racing enthusiasts ever since they were introduced in 1963. The Cayman GTS is the most powerful and fastest iteration of this mid-engine sports model, its 3.4-litre six-cylinder boxer engine propelling it from 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds. www.porsche.co.za
Compiled and written by Richard Webb
■ This outrageous metal origami replaces the much-loved Gallardo
and is instantly recognisable as nothing other than a Lamborghini. The revolutionary carbon-fibre and lightweight-aluminium supercar look positively aeronautical. 0-100km/h arrives in just 3.2 seconds as it blasts towards a top speed of 323km/h. Inside the cockpit, the fighter-jet feel continues with a high-resolution display of the variety of high-tech gauges that monitor this beast. www.lamborghini.com
■ With an appealing design and a real step-up in quality, the refined C-Class
owes much to the superb S-Class. Comfortable and enjoyable to drive, it’s every inch a premium car. The minimalist design gives you much more interior space – in fact, you’ll feel as if you’ve been upgraded from economy to business class. It’s that good! www.mercedes-benz.co.za
■ Few cars project presence on the road like the QX80. Fitted
with one of the smoothest torque-converter transmissions available, it shifts imperceptibly and offers ample space for the long-legged in all three rows. Fold down the second- and third-row seats and it reveals a huge luggage bay. And while this massive SUV is far from subtle, it’s full of luxury appointments. www.infiniti.co.za
Range Rover Sport
■ A cornucopia of chassis-control systems and some clever automotive
alchemy make the all-new Sport great fun to drive. The V8 petrol engine accelerates 0-100km/h in almost Bentley-hushed quiet, and although configured primarily for road use, you’ll barely notice when you take it offroad in impossibly difficult terrain. Unsurpassed by rivals off-road, it’s the most dynamic and agile Land Rover yet. www.landrover.com
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The Victoria Falls Hotel ∙ Zimbabwe
A view to remember For 110 years The Victoria Falls Hotel has stood on the very edge of the Zambezi Gorge and hosted royalty, celebrities and discerning travellers wanting to visit the majestic Victoria Falls nearby. This gracious Edwardian hotel is far more than a magnificent place to stay, it’s a timeless and coveted icon of Africa – much like the Falls it watches over.
sk for directions to the Falls from The Victoria Falls Hotel and the answer is simple. ‘Just follow this path and you’ll be there,’ points the hotel gardener. ‘It’s very close.’ Indeed it is. In fact, the large, manicured gardens around this splendid colonial hotel enjoy an unobstructed view of the iconic Victoria Falls Bridge and the spray that’s sent high up into the air when the Zambezi River plummets 108 metres
into the deep Batoka Gorge. From these gardens it’s an easy 10-minute stroll to the rainforest that blankets the top of the gorge opposite the mighty Falls – classified as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. You’ll hear the thundering sound of the crashing water long before you emerge from the trees to witness the breathtaking sight of it, and you’ll feel the spray that descends through the forest canopy like falling rain.
Opened in 1904, during the time that wealthy British colonial businessman Cecil John Rhodes was famously attempting to link the Cape to Cairo by rail, the early Victoria Falls Hotel was a simple wood and iron construction built to accommodate the influx of visitors the railway would deliver to this remote corner of Zimbabwe. It was the very first hospitality establishment to be opened in this now celebrated tourist destination –
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The hotel’s Edwardian-style décor extends into the en-suite bathrooms, where you’ll find the elegant fittings and glazed tiles reminiscent of the era – as well as luxurious Charlotte Rhys amenities.
no doubt why it occupies such a prime position overlooking the second and third of the zig-zagging gorges that carry the Zambezi downstream from the Falls. The railway line runs right in front of the hotel, down to the steel bridge – opened in 1905 – that crosses into Zambia. The Victoria Falls railway station, right outside the hotel, is still used by the daily passenger service to Bulawayo, and by cross-continental tourist trains such as luxurious Rovos Rail. Even from its early days, the hotel was reported to offer guests ‘every modern convenience and accommodation for about 40 people, with magnificent views of the gorge … and every modern luxury.’ Right up until the 1960s it was the only hotel on the Zimbabwean side of the Falls. Now there are many more – including its two sister establishments: The Kingdom at Victoria Falls, a family resort with a casino situated right next door; and Elephant Hills, which features a championship golf course on the banks of the Zambezi River about four kilometres upstream. Yet, The Victoria Falls Hotel remains the most prestigious establishment in town. Set under shady msasa trees – believed to be more than 100 years old, too - and surrounded by impeccably maintained lush gardens and lily ponds, the hotel has retained its original Edwardian charm and elegance while still offering guests all the modern amenities you’d expect from a luxury establishment. Recent upgrades and refurbishments, together with high service standards and warm hospitality, have ensured it preserves its status as one of Africa’s leading hotels. The grand hotel, with its deep, colonnaded veranda overlooking the garden, its high ceilings and large windows, offers guests a unique and nostalgic African experience. Most of the 180 en-suite rooms – including the presidential-style Livingstone Suite, four honeymoon suites, six executive and seven standard suites – come with views over the Zambezi gorge and the spray rising from the Falls. The décor is traditional, with
opulent Edwardian-style furniture in dark wood offset by natural fabrics in light earth tones. There’s an atmosphere of grandeur with whirling fans overhead, but all rooms also have air-conditioning, Wi-Fi and satellite television. There’s also an in-suite tea and coffee station should you not want to make use of the 24-hour room service offered. This sense of timeless elegance has attracted famous guests to the hotel from the very beginning. The first royal to visit – Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein – arrived just a few months after the hotel opened. Britain’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, together with the young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, took over the whole hotel for the Royal Visit of 1947. Movie stars Grace Kelly and Peter Sellers have stayed here, too, along with a lengthy list of political leaders, business tycoons and sports personalities. Together they have entrenched the establishment’s reputation for luxurious lodging, outstanding service, fine cuisine, and world-class facilities – not forgetting the stellar attractions in the area too. Top of the list, of course, is Victoria Falls – which is bigger, wider, higher and louder than anything the imagination can conjure. Standing at the edge of the gorge, the sound of the tumbling water is deafening – and the rain pouring down from the spray douses all who watch in wonder. Moving water is always captivating and hypnotic, but this much water on the move is simply mesmerising. Those watching the falls are strangely silent as they stare in awe at the power of nature at work. It’s not hard to understand why it’s a natural wonder of the world or a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are many enticing experiences offered around the Falls too – some relaxing, others adrenaline fuelled. A leisurely way to enjoy the area is by walking the rim of the gorge at your own pace, or booking a sunset cruise on the wide, flat expanse of the Zambezi upstream of the Falls.
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The dĂŠcor throughout the public areas and spacious guest suites is chic Edwardian and features plush fabrics in muted earth tones. Lazy overhead ceiling fans enhance the relaxed, colonial ambiance.
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The Jungle Junction, which serves lavish buffet breakfasts and dinners, offers some of the best views down towards Victoria Falls Bridge and the spray from the waterfall.
Those who prefer to let the adrenaline flow can take a white-water adventure trip below the Falls, or bungee jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge into the gorge below. There are helicopter and light aeroplane flips over the area, as well as game-viewing trips into Victoria Falls National Park and the Victoria Falls crocodile ranch. To get personal with wildlife, elephant-back safaris and walks with lions in nearby animal sanctuaries are on offer to tourists, too. Visits to local rural communities give a taste of life in Zimbabwe today, while steam train trips - from the small station right in front of the hotel - are a nostalgic trip back into the travel of yesteryear. That nostalgia is continued back at The Victoria Falls Hotel when afternoon tea, accompanied by traditional scones, jam and cream, is served on Stanley’s Terrace. Also the perfect location to enjoy a light lunch, an obligatory gin and tonic or dinner under the stars, it offers one of the best panoramas over the lawns towards the bridge and ‘the smoke that thunders’ – the fitting name locals give the Falls. Just inside is evocative Stanley’s Bar and various lounges adorned with
oversized paintings and sumptuous Edwardian pieces, as well as renowned restaurant The Livingstone Room. With its ceiling fans, warm candlelight and tables dressed in pure white linen, The Livingstone Room is reminiscent of a bygone era. Choose between the superb à la carte menu and the seven-course degustation menu, both accompanied by a fine selection of award-winning wines and liqueurs, then dance the night away as if it was the Roaring 1920s. If you prefer more African flavour in your evening’s entertainment, head outside to The Jungle Junction. Here you’ll find superb views of the Falls, a lavish buffet of African fusion fare and traditional dancers and choirs who entertain diners Zimbabwean-style. This poolside venue also serves sumptuous buffet breakfasts. Besides the large pool, the hotel offers all-weather tennis courts, complete with flood lights for night games. Other amenities of convenience within the hotel include a business centre, beauty and hair salons, and a curio shop. An enchanting little chapel, open since 1932, offers regular Sunday church services and a charming wedding venue.
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After a day exploring Victoria Falls, guests can relax beside the large pool, flanked by a deep, shady porch, or take a seat under a msasa tree in the large garden and simply soak up the view.
The Victoria Falls Hotel
PHOTOGRAPHS: THE VICTORIA FALLS HOTEL, SHUTTERSTOCK
Victoria Falls, ZIMBABWE Telephone: +263 (0)13 44751 Email: resoperationsmgr@ victoriafallshotel.com Website: www.lhw.com/victoriafalls
This combination of nostalgic location, sumptuous interiors, fine cuisine, excellent service and top amenities has meant The Victoria Falls Hotel has long been widely recognised as a world-class destination. ‘Such recognition is most welcome,’ says General Manager, Giulio Togni. ‘It confirms that our standards of service, cuisine and accommodation, as well as the ambience we try to create, are at a level that the most discerning travellers respect and appreciate.’
Victoria Falls is also a gateway for wildlife lovers wanting to experience Zimbabwe’s Zambezi National Park, neighbouring Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park and the Chobe National Park in nearby Botswana. Mostly, though, visitors want to savour their magical surroundings, for the experience of visiting The Victoria Falls Hotel coupled with the sight and sound of the Falls is the experience of a lifetime. n Keri Harvey
The Victoria Falls Hotel is a grand Edwardian-era hotel situated on the edge of the town and just a 10-minute walk from the Falls. Guests can fly into Victoria Falls International Airport – both South African Airways and British Airways offer daily scheduled flights from Johannesburg – or book a trip in on a luxurious cross-continental train.
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IMAGE COURTESY OF SABI SABI
IMAGE COURTESY OF MORE HOTELS
Southern Africa, East Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands is our territory. A dedicated team will book your dream holiday with hotels, lodges and resorts known for their quality and service. Unforgettable moments included. +27 (0)21 433 0526 firstname.lastname@example.org www.opulentliving.travel
Voyages of culinary discovery and sensory charm
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A luxury cruise isn’t the first place you’d look for a holiday with a gourmet focus. Of course you expect good food, but culinary adventure, too? At Oceania Cruises you’ll find a generous dash of foodie panache, with master classes in regional cuisine and onshore culinary discovery tours complementing a wide range of speciality restaurants. Add spacious designer staterooms and fine art, alongside the more usual luxury liner offerings, and you’ve got a journey that will truly delight the senses.
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The Terrace CafĂŠ (right) offers buffet lunches and dinners with panoramic sea views. The three Ownerâ€™s Suites (bottom) span the entire beam of the ship and are stylishly decorated with pieces from the Ralph Lauren Home Collection.
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magine exploring the Mediterranean, not just with your bucket list of landmarks at hand, fascinating though that is, but also with your palate and tastebuds, associating lemons with Amalfi, bourdetto fish stew with Corfu and gathering a cornucopia of vibrant vegetables from the markets of Marseille and Venice. Oceania Cruises encourages guests to do all this and more. And without losing sight of all the other indispensable elements of a luxury cruise, it has managed to spotlight the gourmet side of its voyages in a way that only enhances the whole experience. The atmosphere on board Oceania’s newest mid-size ships, Riviera and Marina, is described as country club casual, so don’t expect Las Vegas glitz and over-the-top spectacle. Though when you embark it’s clear that the word casual is deceptive – maybe rather interpret it as understated elegance, for there are plenty of signs of tasteful glamour: from the grand Lalique staircase in the reception to the custom-designed ebony Steinway in the Martinis lounge bar, where there is live piano music every evening. At Marina’s launch in 2011, Oceania unveiled two new speciality restaurants in addition to its already varied dining offerings, and these are in place on her younger sister ship, Riviera, too. When it announced Red Ginger, a few eyebrows were raised among the more conventional cruise community. The vibrant pan-Asian menu created by Ricky Pang from Nobu was a world away from the traditional, play-it-safe flavours typically embraced on cruise lines. However this adventurous foodie ethos was exactly what Oceania president Bob Binder was after, and he personally took a hand in the menu development, a reflection of his own passion for excellent food and wine. Jacques, a comfortable French bistro, is the creation of renowned French chef Jacques Pépin, who is the culinary director of Oceania Cruises. With an illustrious career that has included cooking for French presidents, several authoritative books on French cuisine and television shows both in France and the
US, including one co-starring with Julia Child, Jacques is a household name and his take on French food is approachable, authentic and never pretentious. This translates in the on-board restaurant to a favourite dish of Lyonnaise sausage with pistachios – using the genuine sausages from Lyons specially packed and delivered by air – alongside classics such as bouillabaisse, foie gras, Dover sole and tarte Tatin. Jacques plays more than just an advisory role, too, and is the star attraction on one of this year’s Signature sailings, where he presents master classes, lectures and culinary demonstrations and hosts specially designed signature menus. While speciality restaurants on board are included in the cruise price (be sure to book before the start of the voyage to reserve a table), for a supplement of US$95 an even more inspiring gustatory pleasure awaits. La Reserve is affiliated with Wine Spectator magazine and is an experience not to be missed for wine aficionados and serious foodies, offering special winepairing nights of seven-course meals, including such esoteric delicacies as an amuse-bouche of sea urchin panna cotta paired with Bouvet brut. In fact one of the hardest advance planning tasks you face before embarkation is deciding where to eat each night – whether to book Toscana, for Italian cuisine, or the Polo Grill steakhouse. Red Ginger is a must, as is Jacques, but you also need to sample the varied menus of the Grand Dining Room and leave room for a more casual al fresco meal at the Terrace Café. Culinary adventure goes further than just the enticing array of restaurants on board, however. Marina and Riviera are the only cruise ships in the world to have a fully equipped 24-station teaching kitchen on board, the Bon Appétit Culinary Center, where guests get hands-on tuition from master chefs in a wide selection of cuisines that reflects the cruise itinerary. The Turkish Arabesque class presents the culinary traditions of the Ottoman empire and teaches delicious local recipes, as does Beyond Ratatouille, which explores the magnificent variety of Provençal cuisine – and there are many more to
Jacques – named for well-known French chef Jacques Pépin – offers simple, classic French cuisine in a Parisienne bistro-style setting, while the Bon Appétit Culinary Center is a hands-on cooking school at sea.
Opulent Living 121
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Blackjack, poker and roulette are on offer in the Casino Bar, while the Canyon Ranch SpaClub (below) is a haven of pampering.
choose from. Each class teaches real skills and recipes that allow guests to take home more than just memories. The Bon Appétit Culinary Center also hosts guests on the Culinary Discovery tours: you can go ashore in Venice, browse the Rialto market for the freshest produce and fish, sample a meal on shore then return on board to cook up Venetian delicacies with the market finds. Life on board isn’t exclusively about food, however. There are art courses in the Artist Loft, so if you feel inspired by all the fine art works in the public spaces (Marina features a Joan Miró and a Picasso in the Casino Bar) you can go and explore your creativity under the resident artist’s guidance. To work off one meal before the temptations of the next, make your way to the top decks where there is a running track, a paddle tennis court, a putting green and golf driving cage, and a croquet lawn. There’s also the generouslysized, heated, salt-water swimming pool, surrounded by comfortable loungers and flanked by the Waves bar and grill as well as the irresistible Baristas coffee bar. Or repair to the Canyon Ranch SpaClub for a skilful Thai massage.
Private spaces, too, have been well thought out and designed for comfort. The Oceania philosophy, conceived by founder Frank del Rio, is a ship that feels like a home from home, with livedin touches of art books in the library and a personal art collection displayed throughout the ship. The standard staterooms are spacious (most are around 26 square metres) and have their own private verandas, granite and marble bathrooms and fullsize bathtubs. But it is in the butlerserviced suites that one really feels the luxury both of space and designer chic. The lavish Owner’s Suites feature iconic furnishings from the Ralph Lauren Home Collection, with interior design from Susan Bednar Long, and feel more like an upscale Manhattan apartment than a ship’s cabin. Spanning the whole beam of the ship (more than 185 metres), they encompass a large living room, bedroom and palatial bathroom, as well as a music room with piano and both indoor and outdoor whirlpool spas. You can also revel in the comforts of the Vista and Oceania Suites that owe their impressive interiors to celebrated New York designer Dakota Jackson. In the
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The top deck features a heated salt-water swimming pool as well as a paddle tennis court and putting green.
PHOTOGRAPHS: OCEANIA CRUISES
Oceania Cruises is represented in South Africa by Cruises International. Telephone: +27 (0)11 327 0327 Email: email@example.com Website: www.cruises.co.za
spacious Vista suites you can gaze out to sea over the prow of the ship and take in unfettered views of scenic coastlines and historical ports. Then work out in the private fitness room or simply indulge in the sensuous Bulgari products in one of your two whirlpool spas before ordering in-room dining from any of the speciality
restaurants – served by your butler in your own dining room. Altogether Oceania has put together an enticing menu of treats to delight both eye and palate, allowing guests to explore the world – and all the delights of regional gastronomy – in a leisurely and satisfying way. n Kit Heathcock
Oceania Cruises offers a wide range of itineraries in the Baltic, Mediterranean, British Isles, Alaska, Canada and the Panama Canal. Grand Voyages for 2014 include the 46-day Cape Town to Hong Kong Imperial Explorer. Marina and Riviera are both new ‘O’ class ships for 1 250 guests. Regatta, Insignia and Nautica, the smaller 684-guest ‘R’ class ships, are newly refurbished for the 2014 season.
Grand Dédale ∙ South Africa
Cape Dutch hospitality in a tranquil valley Have you ever dreamed of yourself as ‘Lord of the Manor’, sitting on the wide veranda of a stately home? At Grand Dédale you can top up your glass with wine made on the estate, breathe in the fresh country air and believe that all you survey is yours: the verdant valley filled with paddocks, vineyards and fragrant orange orchards, the grassy hogsbacks peppered with towering eucalyptus and venerable oaks, even the shadowy peaks of the distant mountains.
Sophisticated European interiors marry perfectly with the simple elegance of this historical Cape Dutch manor. Sit on the wide, wrap-around verandas and take in the sensational views from every angle.
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ituated at the end of a beautiful, long valley, at the foot of the scenic Bainskloof Pass, sits Doolhof Wine Estate. It’s 380 hectares of vineyard, forest and fynbos surrounded by three dramatic mountain ranges and with a river running through it. First settled in 1709, it was named Doolhof, the Afrikaans word for labyrinth, because the many hills and vales of the area allowed only one way in or out. It’s much the same today. Even though it’s just a few kilometres from Wellington and the attractions of the Cape Winelands, it’s position at the end of the cul-de-sac valley ensures utter seclusion from the outside world.
Grand Dédale, meaning ‘great labyrinth’, can be found in the farm’s original manor, which was beautifully sited to take in the best of the valley views. It was extensively renovated in 2009 and is now a showcase of traditional Cape Dutch architecture and exquisite European-style interiors. There are spacious lounges and tea rooms, libraries and conservatories, each decorated with luxury in mind. Every throw, trinket, cushion, wall hanging and painting coaxes you over for a closer look or touch. The exclusive country house hotel has just six bedroom suites, each a stylish, elegant delight. Extra-length king-sized beds provide the ultimate in comfort,
with 300-count bedlinen and allergy-free down duvets and pillows. Three of the rooms are upstairs in the loft space and have a communal lounge, perfect for groups to share as they can take over the whole floor. Downstairs there are three designer suites, each with private patios, lounges and dining areas. Bathrooms are a highlight, featuring ‘his and hers’ entrances, double vanity units with great gilded mirrors stretching to the ceiling, showers for two and huge, claw-footed bathtubs. If you’re hungry in the morning, you’re in for a treat as a continental buffet is set up on the veranda. Once you’ve worked your way from one side to the
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Plush designer bedrooms, gourmet meals on a terrace with amazing mountain views, a pristine pool and small spa centre will ensure you never want to leave the comforts of this exclusive country hotel.
to drinks (and wine), while attentive staff flit inside and out like little sunbirds attending to your every whim. For those who like to be active, the hotel has mountain bikes so you can follow the farm tracks through the valley. There are also numerous walking trails, some leisurely and some hardcore, either within the grounds or in the surrounding nature reserves. As you’re on a working wine estate, you can also sample the full range of Doolhof’s award-winning wines in the tasting room. Then head out to explore the rest of the famous Cape Winelands and sample more top wines. If that’s not enough to keep you busy, activities as varied as ballooning, trout fishing, quad biking and clay-pigeon shooting can be arranged in the area. But there’s so much to experience at Grand Dédale that it’s impossible to imagine leaving the tranquillity of the estate once you’ve arrived. n Robyn Hodson
Wellington, SA Telephone: +27 (0)21 873 4089 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.granddedale.com Grand Dédale is situated in the original Cape Dutch manor on the Doolhof Wine Estate outside Wellington.
PHOTOGRAPHS: GRAND DÉDALE
other, there’s a full menu of hot dishes to work through, too. If you’re are still hungry at lunchtime, you can ask the kitchen for a light snack, or, if ordered in advance, a basket packed with goodies to take out for a picnic on the estate. Dinner is a romantic table d’hôte affair out on the terrace-with-a-view or, if you prefer, within the comfort of your own private dining room. The kitchen leans towards locally sourced ingredients and it’s not unusual to find game (such as springbok and gemsbok) or fresh seafood on the menu. Like the eclecticism of the house and the Cape itself, the food also tinkers with tastes from Asia, Africa and Europe – so get ready for a distinctive culinary adventure. There is a small spa where various beauty and wellness treatments can be booked in advance, and a 15-metre saltwater pool to paddle in. Fridges at the poolside mean you can help yourself
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Victoria Falls River Lodge ∙ Zimbabwe
Charmed by the river Set on a bend in the mighty Zambezi River, Victoria Falls River Lodge enjoys an enviable location. Before it is the wide expanse of the river, and around it the wildlife-rich mopane woodland of the Zambezi National Park – while just downstream the Victoria Falls create the ‘smoke that thunders’.
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here’s something inexplicably soulful about watching one of Africa’s great rivers flow by. It may be the mystery of where its waters come from, the stories they hold from different places they’ve been, and the hope they carry to sustain life along the route they travel. It’s certainly a sentiment you feel swinging in a suspended pod in the open-air lounge of Victoria Falls River Lodge. The setting is mesmerising, and the Zambezi River running past hypnotic. Then a scene unfolds that is almost surreal. A small
herd of elephants calmly makes its way past the front of the lodge, the matriarch leading. They’re blissfully relaxed as they saunter by, seemingly enjoying the scenery. Perhaps it’s because this is an ancient route that they’ve trod for generations. When the lodge was built, it was purposely set back from the riverfront so as not to intrude on their right of way, and so harmony prevails. The first private lodge to be built in the Zambezi National Park, Victoria Falls River Lodge is surrounded by mopane woodland that is home to wildlife large
and small. On early-morning or lateafternoon game drives, guests can see buffalo, giraffe, lion, eland, waterbuck, kudu and, of course, elephants. A rare sable antelope standing majestically warming himself in the morning sun, head held high and horns tilted backwards, makes for a particularly unusual and memorable sighting. A vast herd of buffalo also has everyone aboard the game-viewing vehicle focusing cameras in their direction. The Zambezi River has evocative offerings, too. Sunrise and sunset cruises
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Air-conditioned tented suites are spacious and bathed in light. A wooden deck is the ideal spot to sit and watch the game go by, while the bathroom also has uninterrupted views over the surrounding wilderness.
aboard a boat that is reminiscent of a floating lounge gives new meaning to river cruising in Africa. Sofa-like cream-cushioned seating around the boat’s perimeter allows guests different perspectives of the surroundings. There may be snorting hippos or elephants bathing along the river banks, and the birdlife is prolific too. It’s a lovely, lazy way to soak up this ancient waterway’s special offerings. For the energetic, there are also guided bush walks from the lodge – as well as night drives into the massive 56 000-hectare Zambezi National Park to see nocturnal wildlife. Back at the lodge, comfort is the order of the day, and night. Tented guest suites are vastly spacious with generous kingsized beds draped in clouds of mosquito netting and complete with cosy throws for languorous siestas. The colours inside reflect the riverine forest outdoors, with splashes of deep sage alongside stone and slate hues. A lounge area with sofa and chairs is standard in all suites and there are also outside decks with hammock for guests to relax in the sunshine. Freestanding baths with views into the surrounding
forest offer natural theatre while soaking in the tub. Plus, there’s additional pampering available with spa treatments offered in-suite from a menu of decadent aromatherapy massages. The deck at the main lodge, with its infinity pool and views out over the enchanting river, always beckons, too – especially in the heat of summer. Another inviting option is to head for the lodge’s tree hide. It overlooks a waterhole, and patience always pays off as every bush dweller needs a drink of water during the day. This is also a place for solitude and reflection, to write a journal or pen thoughts that seem clearer in the bush than the city. Take along binoculars and wait to be surprised. Adrenaline addicts aren’t forgotten either. Bungee jumping, ziplining, canoeing, white-water rafting and helicopter flips over the Falls – and, of course, visits to see Victoria Falls from ground level – are all on offer and can easily be arranged at the lodge’s helpful tour desk. Elephant-back safaris require far less adrenaline as do the Victoria Falls Steam Train and Tram – experiences reminiscent of stepping back in time and experiencing a world when travel was savoured at a slower pace.
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The lodge’s location is magnificent, fronted by the river and backed by Zambezi National Park where buffalo and other wildlife roam freely.
Victoria Falls River Lodge
PHOTOGRAPHS: VICTORIA FALLS RIVER LODGE
Victoria Falls, ZIMBABWE Telephone: +27 (0)41 453 0650 Email: email@example.com Web: www.victoriafallsriverlodge.com
Then, when evening falls and the stars come out to dance in the sky above, dinner is served. Zimbabwean chef Marshall Petla creates Africa on a plate with flavours inspired by the land – and it’s a land of plenty. Not just for its bounty of food, but for its teeming wildlife and extreme natural beauty. Where better to start exploring than on the Zambezi, exactly where David
Livingstone did. It was he who named the spectacular falls after his Queen Victoria, while locals still call them Mosioa-Tunya, or ‘the smoke that thunders’, for the spray sent skywards when the Zambezi tumbles over a sheer precipice to create the world’s largest sheet of falling water. It’s a smoke you can see clearly from Victoria Falls River Lodge every day of the year. n Keri Harvey
This family friendly, tented game lodge is located on the Zambezi River within the Zambezi National Park. It’s a 45-minute drive from Victoria Falls International Airport, which is serviced by daily scheduled flights from Johannesburg, Windhoek and Harare. The lodge offers courtesy transfers to both the airport and the town centre.
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The Table Bay ∙ South Africa
Cape Town flavour seasoned with style Stunning views over Table Mountain, a light and airy neo-Victorian elegance and an enviable setting in the V&A Waterfront are the backdrop to an authentically South African experience at The Table Bay – especially with a new brasserie introducing a culinary adventure in local flavours to the hotel’s already accomplished repertoire.
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f it weren’t for the quality of light streaming in through the high arched windows, you might think yourself in Paris. Certainly, the old-world brasserie atmosphere, cast-iron tables and leather banquettes give the illusion of having been patronised by illustrious artists over many centuries. But step outside onto the patio or glance through the tantalising menu and you’re left in no doubt that this is Cape Town. Table Mountain is framed by the bustle of a working port and the excellent food looks to the French brasserie tradition only for inspiration as it showcases locally sourced South African ingredients with understated artistry and flair. This is the new Camissa Brasserie at The Table Bay, which opened in December under the direction of Executive Chef
Jocelyn Myers-Adams. It introduces a distinctive dining option to this venerable Waterfront hotel, which has long been renowned for its lavish breakfast spreads and decadent afternoon teas. As one of the first luxury hotels in the V&A Waterfront – opened in 1997 by Nelson Mandela himself – The Table Bay feels like the grande dame of this ever-popular precinct. Perhaps her air of ageless permanence comes from her elegant neo-Victorian architecture, which admits the best views in Cape Town through soaring conservatory windows. Taking tea in the airy lounge, this Victorian influence is clearly evident in the plentiful urns, lamps, button-back sofas and occasional tables – but there’s none of the heaviness associated with that period. It’s an ideal place to relax
and gaze out at the mountain – if you can tear your eyes away from the sumptuous array of tea-time treats laid out before you and the magnificent arrangements of indigenous South African flowers that adorn the space. The hotel’s wonderful location on the historical harbour breakwater creates a dilemma when it comes to choice of room: do you pick a view of the ocean or of the mountain? It’s hard to go wrong with either, though perhaps the iconic silhouette of Table Mountain wins for
The atmospheric Camissa Brasserie serves unpretentious dishes that take their inspiration from the Cape’s early settlers.
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archetypal Cape Town atmosphere. For a change of scene after luxuriating in the space and tranquillity of the elegantly old-world bedroom and soaking in the marble bath, all you have to do is wander onto the downstairs patio and watch the comings and goings of boats and ships. You can also take refuge upstairs on the serene terrace around the mineral-water swimming pool, where the adjacent Camelot spa offers plenty of therapeutic indulgence, from thalassotherapy to shiatsu and aromatherapy. Another attraction is the hotel’s feeling of security, embedded as it is in the heart of the V&A Waterfront. Guests stroll out day or night into a friendly and welcoming precinct of restaurants, shops, boat trips and leisure activities. An escalator connects the lobby of the hotel directly with the Victoria Mall, so nothing could be easier than to see a movie, shop for designer clothes or homewear, browse the craft markets or track down a gelato. Explore further afield with one of the hotel’s experienced chauffeurs, who
delight in showing a local’s view of Cape Town to guests, or take a fynbos tour to discover the unique Cape floral kingdom which culminates back at the hotel with a wonderful tasting menu that incorporates delicate fynbos flavours. Many business travellers also appreciate the location and luxury of the hotel, slightly removed from the traffic of the central business district but within easy access. The Table Bay also offers its own conference facilities, innovative teambuilding activities and business centre, plus the convenience of express early breakfasts served from 5.30am. However satisfying those early breakfasts, it is the main breakfast spread served in the Atlantic restaurant that is the stuff of legends. From oysters with champagne, to sushi, waffles, fresh apple and spinach juice, from a world tour of pastries to every cooked breakfast dish you could think of, it’s all available. If too much choice overwhelms you, repair to the lounge, where a smaller but still generous breakfast selection is laid out.
Relax by the swimming pool where you’ll find jugs of iced water, magazines and books, a warm Jacuzzi and a special poolside menu.
Now with the new Camissa Brasserie offering unpretentious but memorable lunches and dinners, accompanied by the best local wines, The Table Bay has brought a new, authentically South African flavour to its successful recipe for luxury and elegance – really living up to its reputation as the best address in Cape Town. n Kit Heathcock
The Table Bay
V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, SA Telephone: +27 (0)21 406 5000 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.suninternational.com
PHOTOGRAPHS: THE TABLE BAY
The Table Bay is just a 20-minute drive from Cape Town International Airport.
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Decadent afternoon teas are served in courses in The Lounge, where a towering window gives views over the harbour and Table Mountain.
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THULA SINDI Lace and net tea-length dress and scoop-neck dress with traditional shweshwe cotton-print hemline. Performers: Sabine van Rensburg and Jaimee Allen
‘A tale told in the clothes of languishing luxury, love and a little lavishness.’ Thus has the Thula Sindi brand been famously described and the designer, who hails from South Africa’s North West Province, has undoubtedly carved a niche for himself with his timeless, elegant couture made for the sophisticated modern woman. Sindi’s love for fine arts quickly turned into a passion for fashion, which he found ‘the perfect medium to mix colours, concepts and proportions’. After graduating from the London International School of Fashion (LISOF), he cut his teeth at textile company Vlisco and showed at South African Fashion Week under the Dutch brand in 2005. His own range hit the runway at Fashion Week in 2006 (a year in which he earned a semifinalist spot at the Nederburg Rare South African Fashion Finds competition). The designer of choice for what he calls ‘women of consequence’, his clients include tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams.
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LOIN CLOTH & ASHES High-neck afro top with cross V backward mullet detail, true waist tulip skirt over cigarette pants from the Village Collection. Performer: Jaimee Allen
‘Loin Cloth & Ashes was created to give women an alternative to the little black dress,’ says Anisa Mpungwe of her award-winning label that is primarily focused on creating strong silhouettes with a distinct African sensibility. With the motto ‘dare to be different’, the fashion brand, which is synonymous with natural shapes and easy-to-wear fashion, attracts independent women who are ‘driven and take pride in their appearance while showing off a quirky, mature sophistication’. Mpungwe, who studied at the London College of Fashion, was the first black woman to win the prestigious Elle New Talent Award (2008) and, in 2010, became the first female Tanzanian to showcase at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York. ‘I make clothes that create a statement while maintaining a timeless air of luxury and style,’ says Mpungwe, whose garments are defined by their hidden detailing, print, elegant edge, comfort and fit. Her flagship store is situated in Johannesburg’s trendy Maboneng Precinct.
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DAVID TLALE Shweshwe-print leggings with gathered sleeveless blouse and lamé collared shirt with shweshwe-print suit pants. Performers: Sabine van Rensburg and Mosuli Ntshonga
After winning the Elle New Talent Award in 2003 and being awarded Best Designer by the Sunday Times, Tlale’s career shot through the fashion stratosphere. In 2005, the Johannesburg-born designer was appointed Head Designer for Carducci Woman in South Africa and, two years later, was chosen as one of only four young South African designers to be selected to present their couture collections during Paris Couture week, an experience Tlale describes as ‘humbling and exhilarating at the same time’. Both daring and dramatic, Tlale’s is a brand which, with its unpredictable use of fabric, cut and colour, always defies convention. ‘Fashion is not for the faint-hearted and success doesn’t come overnight,’ says the hardworking designer who debuted at New York Fashion Week in 2009 and, in 2012, made history as the first South African to secure a standalone slot to showcase his collection under his own name at this prestigious event.
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AVANT APPAREL White duchesse satin, custom laser-cut appliqué dress with fine mesh detailing, raglan-style cap sleeve, pleated waistline and flared hemline with train from the Princess Peach Collection. Performer: Isobel Rossouw The design duo of Lauren du Plessis and Bailey Allison that is Avant Apparel has fast become one of South Africa’s favourite fashion houses. Du Plessis and Allison graduated from the London International School of Fashion (LISOF) in 2008 and, three years later, were approached by African Fashion International to showcase a range at Joburg Fashion Week. Citing as their fashion heroes the late Alexander McQueen (‘for his brilliant mind’), Elie Saab (‘for his iconic cuts’) and Zac Posen (‘for his ability to accentuate the body’), the pair describe their label’s ‘starting block’ as the desire to ‘enhance and experiment with the female form’. ‘We work towards creative mindfulness with every collection; be it capsule or runway,’ explains Allison. ‘Our aim is to produce garments that have depth and reflect our fashion philosophy.’ In both 2011 and 2012, Avant was nominated by AFI as one of only three of Africa’s Best Emerging Designers.
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MARIANNE FASSLER African wax-print silk chiffon shirt and hand-dyed tulle skirt. Performer: Jemma Nelson
Widely considered the first lady of South African fashion, Marianne Fassler’s career has been decades in the making and the iconic designer boasts a string of prestigious local and international accolades. Fassler famously declares that she is ‘not really interested in fashion per se. I am interested in my environment and the reasons people wear what they wear,’ she explains. Inspired by Chanel and Yves St Laurent – ‘the first French designers to break ranks and to relook the way people dressed’ – her uniquely African designs are perennially timeless yet always thoroughly contemporary. In 2011, Fassler was represented at the 10th Triennale at the Museum für angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany, and in 2010 she received the AFI Fashion Award for Exceptional Contribution to Fashion in Africa. Her studio, named Leopard Frock after her trademark love of animal print, is situated in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, where she mentors aspiring designers and artists.
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KLûK CGDT Spider mesh kimino-style kaftan with a duchesse satin border from the Blooming Marvellous Resort Collection; Prada Nylon twill box pleat pants with satin tuxedo stripe from the Bedtime Stories Collection. Performer: Saskia van Rensburg
A collaboration between Malcolm Klûk and Christiaan Gabriel du Toit, KLûK CGDT was born in 2005 when the two designers, both known for their impeccable style and uncanny understanding of the female form, resolved to bring South Africans the international boutique experience. ‘To take your most intimate ideas and offer them for others to share is one of the hardest things to do,’ admits Klûk, adding that it is every woman who is the design duo’s ultimate muse. ‘Fashion, for us, is an experience, not just a means of dressing the body,’ he says. ‘We believe clothes need to feel good as much as look good and we always add something on the inside just for the wearer, like a silk lining or a piped binding.’ While based in Cape Town, Klûk and du Toit also have a shop in Johannesburg and have showcased their designer fashion collections on catwalks in both New York and Paris.
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RUALD RHEEDER Gold paisley silk suit, navy/gold damask velvet coat and navy embossed velour pants from the Decadence Collection. Performer: Phelelani Ndakrokra and Jacobus Claasen
Intent on creating world-class fashion while continuously pushing boundaries, Capetonian designer and former fashion buyer Ruald Rheeder founded his eponymous menswear label in 2011 within the Young Designers Emporium stable. He now has a national presence in YDE and some 20 other boutique stores throughout South Africa. Later, after the success of the menswear line, and in response to popular demand, the Ruald Rheeder line of ladieswear was launched. Awash with voluminous silks and tactile velvets, his Decadence Collection was inspired by a fabric-buying trip to Paris and ‘pays homage to the man who still likes to dress up’. A devotee of Tom Ford, Rheeder believes that fashion ‘is very personal and differs from person to person, but being comfortable and feeling good are the most important factors.’ He cites the great Coco Chanel when describing his style philosophy: ‘Fashion changes, but style endures’.
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GAVIN RAJAH Erté-inspired hand-beaded bodice with silk organza ruffled skirt from the Couture Collection. Handbag from Lorenzi. Performer: Sabine van Rensburg
‘Superb craftsmanship coupled with luxurious fabrics and hand finishing for women with discerning tastes.’ This is how Gavin Rajah, a household name in South African fashion, describes his style philosophy. Continuously seeking new ways to bring his passion for traditional skills and crafts to the rest of the world, Rajah’s work has featured in everything from Vogue and Harper’s & Queen to London’s Sunday Times newspaper. He has dressed Naomi Campbell, Beyoncé, Jodie Kidd, Tina Turner, Paris Hilton, Celine Dion and Cameron Diaz, among others, and he is represented in 11 countries globally. ‘I am inspired by the trajectory of great designers’ careers and the lessons they learned along the way,’ says Rajah, an entrepreneur who has also ventured into homeware. Rajah cites Didier Grumbach, President of the French Federation of Fashion, as a mentor and calls his employees ‘the true heroes’ behind his brand.
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STEFANIA MORLAND Velvet and layered black-net full-skirted dress with cropped jacket. Performer: Jemma Nelson
‘I believe in fashion as a channel of intuitive expression. Everyone has a style identity unique to their own personality – it’s an extension of their inner creative selves.’ So says Stefania Morland, whose namesake high-end fashion store and studio, which opened its doors in 2005, has succeeded in evolving while still staying true to its original ethos. Morland, who grew up in various towns, from Johannesburg to Virginia, established herself as a fashion stylist in Cape Town 24 years ago and only later branched into design. ‘Opening the Stefania Morland shop was a spur of the moment decision – one I am so glad I made!’ says the award-winning designer, who describes her style as ‘classic; never over the top’. In 2010, Morland’s winter collection was judged most aligned with Audi’s ‘Vorsprung’ philosophy: progressive, sophisticated, luxurious and sexy. Today, the Stefania Morland boutique is considered a fashion landmark on Cape Town’s trendy Kloof Street.
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ABIGAIL BETZ Long-trained layered-silk wedding dress with houndstooth jacket. Diamond necklace by Shimansky Jewellers. Performer: Sabine van Rensburg
Abigail Betz’s eponymous label has made great strides since its humble beginnings in Cape Town, including winning numerous fashion awards as well as a nomination for the Marie Claire Prix d’Excellence de la Mode Fashion Awards in 2007. Well known for her classic yet opulent designs, particularly in the wedding industry, Betz has even diversified into jewellery design with a recent partnership with De Beers Diamonds. Asked to describe her style DNA, she says, ‘An Abigail Betz piece, regardless of trend or season, will always be known for its sheer romance, exclusivity, exquisite use of cloth and meticulous attention to detail, specialised hand-dye work, perfect fit and timeless luxury.’ Having showcased in Paris, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou and a recipient of the Smirnoff International Fashion Design Award, she is the darling of South African brides-to-be and also boasts an international client base in Canada, Japan and Austria. She credits her current obsession with ‘combining technology and fashion in a way that has never been done before’ as the impetus behind her most recent work.
FASHION IN THE SPOTLIGHT SHOWCASING SOUTH AFRICA’S TOP DESIGNERS
Award-winning photographer Fiona MacPherson was commissioned to work alongside Opulent Living’s Creative Director Florian Gast on the five-day shoot with Zip Zap Circus School performers.
Anyone who has watched Hollywood’s screen queens glide down the red carpet at the Oscars, or rubbed shoulders with fashionistas at premier horseracing events, will know that a large part of fashion’s global appeal is in its enormous entertainment value. Certainly, when Kate Middleton arrived at Westminster Abbey in April 2011, most of the more than two billion TV viewers were waiting more for the unveiling of her Sarah Burton-designed dress than for the ceremony in which she would wed the future King of England. No one knows the spectator appeal of fashion better than the creators of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, New York’s largest media event and the first stop on an international fashion circuit that provides an unparalleled level of brand exposure and the ultimate opportunity for designers to connect with a global audience. When the first New York Fashion Week was staged in 1943, it’s primary aim was to focus media attention on American rather than French fashion. With World War II at its height and Paris fashion shows cancelled, American fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert saw an opportunity to showcase US designers, who were largely ignored in favour of their French counterparts. She organised an event she called ‘Press Week’ and invited journalists to travel to New York instead. It was a huge success, and saw fashion publications such as Vogue (normally filled only with French designs) feature more American innovations. Over the years, the event went from strength to strength. Shows were held in hotels and warehouses throughout the city until, in 1994, they moved to the famous white tents of Bryant Park, behind the New York Public Library, where they remained until 2010, when they relocated to the Lincoln Center. Today, twice a year, the world’s fashion
luminaries descend upon New York for an eight-day, eight-night, four-runway event. Since 2007, Mercedes-Benz has been the title sponsor, finding a fit for its philosophy that standards are set by those who innovate and show leadership in their respective fields. The event has since grown to encompass the fashion capitals of Milan, London and Paris, as well as numerous other centres across the world, including in South Africa – with more than 30 fashion weeks currently sponsored by Mercedes-Benz. The South African incarnation of the event, owned and hosted by African Fashion International (AFI), showcases not only top, influential designers but also emerging talent, and creates a regional and global platform for local brands to take their businesses to the next level. AFI founder and Executive Chairperson, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe says she was motivated to promote local designers when she realised what an important role the fashion and clothing industries can play in supporting and developing small businesses within South Africa. She believes ‘it is only a matter of time before we have South African designers exporting to big fashion houses and retailers overseas: their unique designs set them apart and make them stand out.’ Dr Moloi-Motsepe’s sentiments are shared by the designers who clamber for a spot on the runway at the influential Johannesburg and Cape Town events, as well as at MercedesBenz Fashion Week Africa, a trans-seasonal show held every October that provides a platform for premier African and heritage designers to present their fashion businesses to global markets. Says award-winning designer Stefania Morland, who recently presented at AFI’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town,
Visit the Opulent Living website to find out more about what happens when fashion meets circus and acrobats don couture. The five-day production that resulted in 10 magnificent shots has been translated into a short film that captures the spirit of the ambitious project. View the film, as well as 10 behind-the-scenes videos, on www.opulentliving.co.za.
‘South Africa’s fashion industry is extremely diverse, every Fashion Week sees a whole new range of up-and-coming designers.’ Malcolm Klûk and Christiaan Gabriel du Toit of KLûK CGDT, a South African fashion success story with a burgeoning international clientele, say South African fashion has evolved in the 13 years they have been a brand. ‘We love what comes from home, and know we still have a long way to go. We love AFI for the market they see African fashion addressing. We as Africans have our own pressures and challenges that are different to the international model and this industry should be channelled accordingly.’ ‘South African fashion is in such an exciting period with an industry that is soaring and talent that is undoubtedly world-class,’ says Capetonian Ruald Rheeder, who had his reputation as a fashion heavyweight cemented by showing at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. With retail growth up, he believes the local market is finally embracing 100-percent South African design. ‘It is remarkable to see how far we have come as a country and the immense gap fashion has filled in South Africa. South African designers are headlining international catwalks and product lines are sold internationally. People are starting to turn to South Africa for fashion direction and I am positive that South African fashion will achieve global status in the next few years. Naturally, this is vital to the success of a growing fashion economy.’ Marianne Fassler, South Africa’s first lady of fashion and a driving force in the local industry, is also passionate about the future of South African fashion. With her eye for African culture and history, Fassler’s whimsically creative designs exude a unique sense of Africa and are a hot favourite among both local and international consumers. Her
Winter 2014 Collection, for instance, explores the graphic element in African ornamentation. Fassler is a firm believer in sustainable design and works specifically with women who are single breadwinners in her efforts to keep growing the sector. ‘South Africa is a great source of inspiration for me,’ she says. ‘My patriotism and love of my country is reflected in everything that I do. I even use only South African music in my shows and have done so from the very start.’ Visionary design, then, is what South African fashion is all about. Both Fassler and Dr Moloi-Motsepe confirm this. Says the latter: ‘Fashion can be faddish or fashion can be forever. When fashion is forever, it’s known by sophisticated construction, elegant execution and a forward-thinking timelessness.’ It’s hardly surprising that these are also qualities that define Mercedes-Benz. Indeed, this luxury brand isn’t merely the product of its engineers, it’s the product of its fashion designers and their experiments with silk, cashmere, banana wood and other exotic materials. And it’s for this reason the German car maker has become inexorably tied to couture. According to the company’s fashion manifesto: ‘Great designers and great automakers alike know that innovation isn’t simply a matter of coming up with the latest gimmick, nor is leadership simply a matter of heading in a given direction. True innovation has immediate impact and lasting value; true leadership opens minds to possibilities, and one finds just as much on a Mercedes-Benz showroom floor as one does on a MercedesBenz Fashion Week runway.’
If fashion is entertainment, what better way to showcase its pleasure principle than at the circus? In a groundbreaking first, Opulent Living chose young performers from Cape Town’s Zip Zap Circus School to model the very latest creations of South Africa’s top fashion designers for its 10th-anniversary edition’s 20-page photo feature. A safe haven for children from around the greater Cape Town area, the non-profit Zip Zap Circus School was founded in 1992 by husband-and-wife team, Brent van Rensburg and Laurence Estève. Youth development and social upliftment are at the centre of Zip Zap’s mission, which is apparent in its various social outreach programmes, including an alliance with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Cirque du Soleil’s social arm, Cirque du Monde. ‘The philosophy of inspiring young people, offering them opportunities to “dare to dream” and helping to build a culture of peaceful coexistence in South Africa shines through everything we do,’ says Van Rensburg. Over and above the social aspect, the school also caters for ‘ordinary’ children aged seven and up. For children who do not have a stable or secure home environment, Zip Zap’s welfare residence offers subsidised living with a family atmosphere. An old factory space in Salt River, Cape Town, is being transformed into the Zip Zap school, office and living quarters, combining all circus aspects and needs under one roof – and enabling even more youth to be exposed to and part of Zip Zap’s contagious circus magic! www.zip-zap.co.za
Styling by Nico Styling/Bird on a Wire, hair & make-up by Colleen van Rensburg/Bird on a Wire, accessories NicoEtc, production by Wild Spaghetti.
Azura Benguerra Island ∙ Mozambique
A magical experience
Tracing the shoreline on Benguerra Island in Mozambique’s Bazaruto Archipelago, this intimate beach resort is set among rustling palms with Indian Ocean views that stretch forever. Here at Azura Benguerra Island, natural beauty and barefoot luxury come together in an atmosphere of perfect calm. Spacious suites stretch onto the beach with private pools and salas that create a personal island retreat within an island retreat, the hushing ocean its natural soundtrack. It’s tropical nirvana for honeymooners and families looking to escape to an unspoiled wilderness with every creature comfort.
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Azura Benguerra’s secluded Presidential Villa (below) and family-friendly Villa Amizade (right) reflect the colours of the ocean and have beach salas (bottom) for relaxation close to the water’s edge.
s the sun rises, it embraces Benguerra Island with long, outstretched arms of tangerine light. It may be early, but the sun is awake and its rays dance on the ocean to welcome the day. A walk across the beach at dawn takes you to an enchanting beach sala. All is still and, steaming morning coffee in hand, it’s easy to hear voices drifting across the ocean back to shore. A traditional white-sailed dhow is heading out for a day’s fishing and skims the water like a sea butterfly. The fishermen are discussing their plans and will drop anchor outside the Bazaruto National Park where Azura Benguerra Island resides. There they’ll fish for their supper and maybe guests’, too. It’s a simple and timeless way of living according to the ebb and flow of the tide. For everything on Bazaruto is in harmony with the sea. So too at Azura Benguerra Island, which is surely where Robinson Crusoe would
have wished to land. A turquoise ocean washes onto perfect white beaches and there’s warm sunshine all year round, along with tantalising cuisine and vibrant local culture. Local islanders built Azura and share their colourful culture with the guests they serve. It’s a special marriage and a unique opportunity for both a decadent and authentic Mozambican island experience. While Azura is conscious of having the smallest environmental footprint, with a lodge built with sustainable, reclaimed materials and featuring solar heating, there is no compromise on luxury – from personal service to chic suites and innovative cuisine. The unspoken motto here is that every guest’s stay is special, and this is seen in the smiling attentiveness of staff. A Mozambican butler-host will be your personal attendant throughout your visit. He’ll gladly sprinkle your stay with romance, set up sundowners at the beach
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PHOTOGRAPHS: AZURA RETREATS
sala, or orchestrate a private dinner at the ocean’s edge. At Azura it’s rare to dine in the same setting twice, so expect the unexpected – including a decadent picnic on a secluded sand island, if you like. Menus are dictated by what’s freshest from land and sea, with seafood featuring prominently. Here the weather is balmy all year, so meals are designed to be light, flavourful and satisfying. If you choose, private in-villa dining is also an option. By far the most difficult thing at Azura Benguerra Island is choosing what to do during the day because there’s such an enticing array of activities offered both on shore and off. Imagine finding ancient Arab pottery on a sand dune walk, or a delicate pansy shell on an island that only appears at low tide. If you follow a walking trail, you can spot birds and crocodiles in the freshwater lakes inland, or visit the local community and glimpse their different lives. If you prefer to be in azure, tepid waters, go scuba diving and look for turtles and dolphins, rays and eels. Or go deep-sea fishing for marlin, sailfish and tuna; saltwater fly fishing is an option, too. Then there’s snorkelling at the world-renowned, aquarium-like Two-Mile Reef, where you can expect to see an underwater world of wild colour in both coral and sea life. In between pansy shell hunting and croc spotting, guests slip back to their villa and into a cool pool with a wide-angle sea view. All 17 villas have private pools with decks and daybeds, as well as enchanting beach salas where you can recline in comfort under a canopy of pulled thatch. Inside, they’re adorned in washed ocean blues and greens, with organic-chic furnishings such as driftwood lamps and pebblemosaic inlays. King-sized beds are dressed in white Egyptian cotton and draped with mosquito netting, and all suites are fitted with fans and air-conditioning, mini bars and beverage-making facilities. Families will especially love the twobedroomed Villa Amizade with the TV, DVD player and sound system in the sitting area along with a selection of games to keep children entertained.
Taking a dhow trip at sunset is a serene way to end the day, before enjoying a decadent evening back at the resort.
For the ultimate in luxury though, head to the three-bedroomed Presidential Villa, which enjoys a secluded location away from the main lodge and just footsteps from the beach. It comes with its own butler-host and private chef and features a large infinity pool as well as a fantastic treehouse where you can enjoy the afternoon breezes and the panoramic views to Bazaruto Island. To kick back without leaving the resort, the African Spa takes pampering seriously and all treatments use only natural African ingredients – from marula oil and aloe to rooibos and wild sage. Treatments can be in-suite on request, too. There’s shopping as well, at the lodge’s The Trading Store. For most, though, the ultimate relaxation is on Azura’s 40-foot dhow, sailing like the locals under a billowing white sail, but with sundowner in hand to celebrate another perfect day in Africa. n Keri Harvey
Azura Benguerra Island
Bazaruto Archipelago, MOZAMBIQUE Telephone: +27 (0)11 467 0907 Email: email@example.com Website: www.azura-retreats.com The luxury Azura Retreats group also includes Azura Quilalea Private Island, in the Quirimbas Archipelago near Pemba.
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Delaire Graff Estate âˆ™ South Africa
The jewel of the Winelands Acquired in 2003 by Laurence Graff OBE, the magnificent Delaire Graff Estate has been transformed over the years into one of the most prestigious destinations in the Cape Winelands, rated in equal measure for its views, wines, hospitality and contemporary art collection.
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rriving at Delaire Graff Estate, it’s impossible not to be impressed by the scale and perfection of its indigenous gardens or contemporary Cape Dutch-inspired eco-architecture. Yet all of this fades into the background when confronted with the glorious wraparound views from this unique vantage point on the crest of the Helshoogte mountain pass between the famous wine-growing regions of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. The ultimate spot to appreciate the view is from the pin oak-shaded terrace of the flagship restaurant, preferably with
a glass of estate wine in your hand. Winemaker Morné Vrey’s elegant, terroirdriven wines have gained momentum and recognition, winning significant awards along the way, and the recent launch of a new flagship Graff Diamonds store – a first for Africa – has taken this Cape gem to glittering new heights. Throughout the property, understated yet utterly glamorous interiors reveal a dazzling level of craftsmanship and attention to detail. The hotel’s 10 private lodges each have a heated infinity pool, lounge, kitchen and marble bathrooms
stocked with Aromatherapy Associates products. Two of the lodges are much bigger with two bedrooms, a guest cloakroom, a large central lounge and dining room, and a full-sized pool. Future plans include expanding the offerings to include a privately staffed villa to meet the needs of multi-generational families and travellers who want a level of privacy and freedom that can only be assured when checking into an exclusive-use property. Estate executive chef Christiaan Campbell oversees a collection of constantly evolving gourmet menus at both the
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Ten sumptuously decorated lodges, each with their own heated plunge pool, provide guests with sweeping views from their elevated, mountain-top setting.
A glamorous, Asian-themed reception area greets guest to The Lodge, while there’s plenty to delight shoppers at both the glittering new Graff Diamonds store (top, right) and at 100% Capri, the Italian linen fashion and lifestyle boutique (below).
winery restaurant and Indochine, located at the Lodge and Spa. Campbell’s passion is seasonal food that reflects the very best of locally grown, ethically sourced ingredients with a strong emphasis on organic produce. As much as possible of the kitchen’s daily requirements are picked from the estate’s own biodynamic greenhouse and vegetable gardens. Dining at Indochine is defined by head chef Virgil Kahn’s exciting pan-Asian cuisine, expertly paired to a short, sharp list of wines, cocktails and craft beers. The restaurant spills out onto a terrace with views of Table Mountain in the distance. Indoors, a whimsical aerial art installation by Lionel Smit and Andre Stead, recently augmented to feature over a thousand perspex swallows in flight, enhances the dining experience. Breakfast, included in the room rate, is served either in Indochine or in the privacy of your lodge. It’s a memorable feast of locally sourced gourmet ingredients,
from fresh fruits and organic yoghurt to an array of charcuterie, followed by an expertly cooked hot breakfast. This is not the time to avoid carbs. The homemade granola bursts with roasted nuts, seeds, dried fruits and estate honey, the toast is made with freshly baked bread, and to forego the pastries, each an exquisite creation, would be madness. In the Spa’s four treatment suites, all is calm. Natural light filters through soft curtains and doors slide open to reveal the sky and mountain views. The handson therapists are adept at tuning into individual needs, delivering resultsdriven skin and body therapies that are worthy of the price tag. Anti-ageing, non-surgical facelifts, using Swiss Perfection products from La Prairie, accelerate the skin’s cellular regeneration with active plant cells. Essential oil-rich Aromatherapy Associates balms and oils nourish and hydrate skin in indulgent rituals that may include exfoliation, a
wrap and massage finished off with a warm compress. The Spa has just invested in brandnew technology to offer diamond-tip microdermabrasion facials, a minimally invasive technique that uses the polishing effect of diamonds to make skin glow. A diamond-tipped wand glides painlessly over the face and décolleté, gently resurfacing the skin while removing dead cells. A rejuvenating solution of peptides is then sprayed on to boost cell function. A course of four to six weekly treatments is recommended to give you a youthful smoothness and radiance, but even one treatment will provide an immediate improvement in skin tone and texture. Another addition is a hard-working LED technology-led facial utilising coloured light energy to boost circulation and stimulate collagen and elastin production. There’s also a smart new lounge at the Lodge and Spa, which offers a discreet spot to relax post-treatment, or at any
time of the day, with a loose-leaf tea or freshly pressed juice. Graff’s personally curated art collection has been a life-long passion. While the focus here is on contemporary South African art by iconic and young, emerging artists, you’ll also find works by William Kentridge, Lionel Smit, Dylan Lewis, Deborah Bell, Sidney Kumalo, Durant Sihlali, Cecil Skotnes and Stephane Graff in the interior and exterior spaces. Graff also recently acquired the sought-after original of Vladimir Tretchikoff’s ‘Chinese Girl’, and this painting, beautifully rendered in deep colours, is currently displayed in the entrance of the winery. On entering the winery, with a traditional peach-pip floor under foot, visitors are confronted by the stone-clad façade of the Graff Diamonds store. Like a perfectly designed jewellery box, it begs further investigation. The opulent interior, designed to show off the unique one-of-akind jewels, collection pieces and watches
designed by Graff Diamonds in London, has the same distinctive Indian rosewood panelling, marble and chandeliers as other Graff Diamonds stores around the world. The 100% Capri store, as light and breezy as the range of designer Italian linen fashion on display, will soon see the addition of a homeware collection from the same brand. The wine tasting lounge has everything you may need to fully appreciate an exploration of South African wine, from beautiful glassware and corkscrews to inspiring and informative books on the subject. Everybody has their favourite wine, whether it’s the latest vintage of the food-friendly Delaire Graff Coastal Cuvée Sauvignon Blanc or the Laurence Graff Reserve 2009, the only Cabernet Sauvignon to achieve a five-star rating in the 2013 Platter Guide. The Elements Tasting brings a new dimension to appreciating the nuances of the wines with a stellar line-up of bite-sized tastes,
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Indochine (below) serves Asian-inspired dishes under an installation of perspex swallows in flight. At Delaire Graff Restaurant thereâ€™s fine art to admire indoors, and a magnificent view outdoors.
Delaire Graff Estate
Stellenbosch, SA Telephone: +27 (0)21 885 8160 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.delaire.co.za
a Bacchus trophy in the Taj Classic Wine Trophy 2014 competition. Over the past decade, Delaire Graff Estate has certainly come of age, from the well-established Keith Kirsten-designed gardens to the exceptional service defined by a razor-sharp attention to detail. Since the opening in 2010 of the lodges, most will agree that the bar has been raised for luxury travel to the southernmost tip of Africa. n Jane Broughton
PHOTOGRAPHS: DELAIRE GRAFF ESTATE
each a culinary manifestation of the wine to which it is paired. Shucked oysters with tomato essence are paired with Delaire Graff Sauvignon Blanc, while pork rillette rolled in smoked beef dust with prune puree is a fine match for the Delaire Graff Botmaskop. The 2010 vintage of this wine won two trophies in the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Awards 2013 for Best Red Blend and Best Red Wine Overall, while the 2012 vintage has just been awarded
Delaire Graff is located in the heart of the Cape Winelands, just a short drive from the town of Stellenbosch, well known for its historical architecture and many art galleries. Franschhoek is also within easy driving distance. The estate is about a 40-minute drive from Cape Town International Airport.
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Alexis Preller Gold Primavera Sold R 966 280, May 2013
The market leader for South African Art, Furniture, Decorative Arts & Jewellery JOHANNESBURG | 011 728 8246 | 079 367 0637 | email@example.com | www.straussart.co.za CAPE TOWN | 021 683 6560 | 078 044 8185 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.straussartonline.co.za
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Contemporary coastal living Camps Bay, Cape Town Set on the sought-after Atlantic Seaboard with 360-degree views from its granite-tiled rooftop deck of the magnificent Twelve Apostles mountain peaks and the rocky bays and beaches of the city’s western coastline, this contemporary home oozes understated opulence with a winning combination of sophistication and practicality. Seamless flow from the interior to a sheltered terrace with a built-in barbecue and rim-flow pool makes entertaining a breeze. Indoors, this immaculately presented house is wonderfully light and airy, with generous proportions and quality finishes to complete the modern lifestyle. The sleek white kitchen is custom-designed with superb storage and top-end Gaggenau appliances. Cleverly divided into two areas, the main kitchen is behind a central island area with a wok burner – ideal for Asian cooking with friends – and adjacent to this is a drinks counter with wine fridges below. Both gas and electric cooking For more information contact
options have been installed for gourmet cooks, and the generous dining and living area is open plan
Pola Jocum +27 (0)83 261 0116,
to the kitchen with gleaming honed tiles throughout. The living area has views of mountains and
sea, and chic storage for a television. A stylish master suite, three additional en-suite bedrooms,
Nadine Jocum +27 (0)72 230 1947,
plus a self-contained apartment and staff quarters make up the accommodation offering. There’s
also triple garaging as well as parking space for a further five cars.
Chrys Mammous +27 (0)72 470 5252, email@example.com SEEFF CAMPS BAY
The perimeter of the property is excellently secured with a top security system, motion sensor beams and four CCTV video cameras, making it possible to relax without a care in the world once
Telephone: +27 (0)21 438 1055
home. The popular Camps Bay beachfront and the bustling promenade with its boutique stores
Website: www.seeff.com Web ref: 312929
and excellent restaurants are a short walk away, and the city and V&A Waterfront are a mere 10
Asking price: R19.9 million
minutes’ drive. All in all, it’s a dream coastal property to enjoy year-round.
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Luxury seaside villa Camps Bay, Cape Town Camps Bay, the cosmopolitan playground for the rich and famous, is prized for its palm-fringed beach and its world-class restaurants, cafĂŠs and bars. Its luxury villa-style homes offer a relaxed lifestyle all year round and the area is home to those seeking an executive lifestyle as well as to families who love its proximity to both the sea and the city. This brand new, luxuriously appointed villa, situated in a quiet cul-de-sac in the Glen, offers spectacular beach and mountain views, and is within easy walking distance of the beach. Set in an enviable location, the triple-storey home spans 1 000 square metres and is beautifully appointed with bespoke furnishings throughout, centralised air-conditioning and sound systems, as well as underfloor heating. A private lift allows access to all levels and makes maximum use of the dramatic setting. Opening up to glorious 360-degree views of mountain and sea, the living area comprises a series of free-flowing spaces that connect seamlessly: from a beautiful built-in bar, through to a comfortable television lounge with stackable glass doors, leading to spacious terrace with a built-in barbecue and a glass-walled pool next to a Jacuzzi. The open-plan kitchen, fitted with Whirlpool appliances, has beautiful views no matter which way you turn, and the
For more information contact
entire living area is a sophisticated yet relaxed space to entertain friends.
Lyn Pope +27 (0)82 575 1999,
Each of the five en-suite bedrooms is individually decorated and fitted with mood lighting. The
basement houses a wine cellar with a spacious wine-tasting area and a dining room for special occasions, as well as a playroom that can be used as a cinema. In addition, the property has a self-contained garden guest suite. To complete the offering, there are a total of four garages (two
Rochelle Serman +27 (0)72 239 4449, firstname.lastname@example.org SEEFF CAMPS BAY Telephone: +27 (0)21 438 1055
belonging to the guest suite) and four additional parking spaces. Thereâ€™s also staff accommodation
Website: www.seeff.com Web ref: 313407
that connects to the main villa but has its own separate street entrance.
Asking price: R35 million
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For more information contact Ingrid McFarlane +27 (0)83 658 4267, email@example.com SEEFF KENILWORTH Telephone: +27 (0)21 794 5252 Website: www.seeff.com Web ref: 319644 Asking price: R24.9 million
Old-world glamour Upper Kenilworth, Cape Town This elegantly proportioned and gracious home is one of the few of its kind remaining in the treed suburb of Upper Kenilworth. Set in a secure, gated estate, itâ€™s ideally suited for large-scale entertaining, and perfect for the expanding needs of a large family or an executive lifestyle. From its elevated position, the house enjoys expansive views over the neat, manicured garden and swimming pool and out towards Somerset West and the Helderberg mountains. An impressive courtyard fronts the classical faĂ§ade of the home, which features architectural detailing of period brickwork, shutters and custom-designed wooden windows. Inside, the spacious and elegant living room with a welcoming fireplace leads through to a beautiful conservatory. A formal dining room that comfortably seats 12 has wooden floors, mocha-coloured walls, high pressed ceilings, large sash windows and a crystal chandelier. The family room is ideal for informal family gatherings as it also has a fireplace and is adjacent to the kitchen, while the conservatory is another option for relaxed and informal entertaining. Additional rooms include a billiard room as well as a work-from-home study and guest cloakrooms. A modern, gourmet kitchen has ample storage, including plenty of space for cookbooks, plus quality built-in ovens and a central island featuring a gas hob. A separate scullery and laundry leads off the kitchen. Upstairs, the large main bedroom suite is in serene shades of white and grey, with an en-suite bathroom that features spacious vanities and a central bath beneath a chandelier, as well as a separate dressing room. There are another four generously large en-suite bedrooms, some spacious enough for four-poster beds. In addition, there are four garages with extra parking for up to four cars, and superior staff accommodation that has its own separate access. Excellent security is also a given in this sought-after estate.
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Architectural symmetry Sandhurst, Sandton, Johannesburg Nestled at the end of a private road, this iconic Louis Louw architect-designed home has striking
For more information contact
marble flooring, high ceilings, skylights and solid iroko or African teak woodwork, all of which
Corinna Lowry +27 (0)82 652 8891,
make the perfect backdrop for an extensive collection of paintings and sculpture.
Generous reception rooms flow on to two extensive entertainment areas through sliding doors, and both the informal lounge and billiard room have beautifully crafted bars, one with a wine cellar. The dining room seats 20 guests with ease and the server looks on to a fountain with
George Papadopoulos +27 (0)84 454 1834, firstname.lastname@example.org SEEFF SANDTON Telephone: +27 (0)11 784 1222
water gently flowing over marble tiles. The impressive study has floor-to-ceiling cherry wood
Website: www.seeff.com Web ref: 288724
fittings and overlooks a koi pond at the entrance, while a full gym is situated off one of the
Asking price: R39 million
entertainment patios, and there’s a television and home theatre room. The fitted kitchen is well thought through for entertaining with walk-in cold storage and freezer rooms, a pantry, scullery and laundry. The kitchen flows into an informal dining room that opens on to the garden. Five spacious bedrooms each have en-suite marble bathrooms, but the master suite is superb. It has its own lounge with sliders opening on to the balcony overlooking the immaculate garden. There are ‘his’ and ‘hers’ fitted dressing rooms, each leading into its own luxurious bathroom. An adjoining study with cherry wood fittings completes the suite. Four staff rooms, garaging for seven cars and additional parking makes this a most substantial property. Sandhurst is highly sought-after for its proximity to the Sandton Central Business District and the Gautrain. Known for reaching record prices, the area is an excellent investment.
2014/05/12 6:15 PM
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To re-think space and be truly innovative, you don’t just need in-depth expertise and uncompromising design, quality and craftsmanship. Everything we do at bulthaup is based on the lasting values that drive us to go the extra mile, to think outside the box – the values of passion and consistency. bulthaup is proud of its history and builds on the traditions and values of previous generations of the family. After all, there is no future without a past. bulthaup b3 The universal bulthaup b3 design system offers everything you could wish for from a complete kitchen: unusually versatile solutions for the equipment of the perfect kitchen, but also for functional and aesthetic modifications to rooms that go way beyond the kitchen workspace. bulthaup b1 bulthaup b1 means room-height architecture, proportional coherence, seamless design and flowing transitions from surfaces to edges. The deliberately minimalist appearance facilitates a matchlessly perfect design, allowing the typical features to make the difference: bulthaup b1 is sleek, harmonious and aesthetically perfect. It is clear from each plan that this is a bulthaup product. And true to the motto “as little as possible and as much as necessary”. bulthaup b2 Based on the philosophical origins of every living space – the fire and water point – bulthaup has developed bulthaup b2, an open and mobile kitchen that can be added to and put together to suit the individual. It embodies the “kitchen workshop” in its original interpretation – in a unique combination of workbench, tool cabinet and appliance cabinet. Living Kitchens (Pty) Ltd, Media Quarter, 47 Somerset Road, Green Point. Cape Town, 8005. Tel. +27 (0)21 419 5445. email@example.com www.livingkitchens.bulthaup.com New Showroom Opening Kramerville Johannesburg October 2014
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For more information contact Marie Durr +27 (0)83 269 8608, firstname.lastname@example.org Janine Stevenson +27 (0)73 168 4749, email@example.com Shelley Kruger +27 (0)83 700 9001, firstname.lastname@example.org SEEFF CONSTANTIA Telephone: +27 (0)21 794 5252 Website: www.seeff.com Web ref: 311868 Asking price: R35 million
To the manor born Upper Constantia, Cape Town Set on two acres above the Constantia Winelands, with magnificent views towards the fynbos-clad slopes of Silvermine Nature Reserve and over the False Bay coastline, the classical proportions of this extensive family home maximise its elevated setting to the full. Designed by renowned architect, Richard Honikman, it was built to exacting standards with exceptional finishes throughout. Impressive wrought-iron entrance gates give way to a sweeping driveway leading to a feature fountain and welcoming forecourt. Highlights include a double-volume entrance hall with a curving staircase leading to five luxurious en-suite bedrooms, high ceilings and generous proportions, and features such as airconditioning and underfloor heating, a surround-sound audio system and hidden projectors and drop-down screens, all of which contribute to an immensely comfortable lifestyle. A deep all-weather veranda overlooks a sparkling pool and offers the ultimate setting for outdoor entertaining and alfresco living. Reception rooms lead to the bougainvillea-covered terrace where one can sit back and relax on loungers and sofas and take in the breathtaking views. The meticulously maintained lawn and landscaped garden cover 8 115 square metres and include a chipping and putting green. This is an ideal home for all generations, with space for everyone, whether itâ€™s a young family A sweeping staircase leads from the double-volume entrance hall
suit their business needs as well as the demands of older children completing their studies.
to an accommodation floor with
Additional features include garaging for 10 cars and an extra eight parking spaces, a managerâ€™s
five en-suite bedrooms.
wishing to enjoy a rural lifestyle close to the city, or those seeking an executive home to
cottage and superior staff accommodation.
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Georgian-style elegance Hyde Park, Sandton, Johannesburg Tucked away down a discreet panhandle in Hyde Park, this elegant Georgian-style home sits on
For more information contact
over an acre of immaculate, mature garden with rolling lawn and magnificent trees and bird life. A
Corinna Lowry +27 (0)82 652 8891,
floodlit tennis court is hidden behind a border of flourishing Iceberg roses, there’s a large pool, and
a gazebo and wooden deck form the backdrop to the lovely rose garden and its peaceful fountain. The light-filled, double-volume entrance hall and reception area opens on to the extensive patio, as do both lounges, plus the study. The formal lounge features an Adam-style mantelpiece with
George Papadopoulos +27 (0)84 454 1834, email@example.com SEEFF SANDTON Telephone: +27 (0)11 784 1222
a gas fireplace, and crystal chandeliers adorn the dining room, formal lounge, study and main
Website: www.seeff.com Web ref: 316423
suite. As an added feature for comfortable alfresco living in all seasons, the draw-down awnings
Asking price: R17 million
surrounding the patio provide protection from the weather when needed. Wooden sash windows add classic detailing to the home. Upstairs, the main bedroom suite flows on to an unusually large balcony overlooking the garden, and also features an Adam-style gas fireplace, plus a spacious and fitted dressing room, and large, well-finished bathroom. There are three additional bedrooms, two further bathrooms, and an upstairs laundry room for added convenience. Three garages and three staff rooms complete the picture, with superb security, including six cameras and monitors, beams throughout, and electric fencing surrounding the entire property. This home couldn’t be better placed: it’s a few minutes from the exclusive Hyde Park Shopping Centre, just down the road from Hyde Park High School, and is on the Gautrain bus route. It’s also just a 10-minute drive from the Sandton Central Business District and the Illovo Business District.
The deep, undercover patio fronting this elegant home provides the perfect setting for year-round entertaining and gives access to a large, mature garden.
2014/05/12 6:13 PM
Beautifully positioned within the forest, this Asian-style home has Zen-like outdoor areas and generously proportioned bedrooms and living areas.
Asian-inspired resort living Zimbali Coastal Resort, Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal Commanding a prime position among the protected milkwoods within Zimbali’s exclusive forest estate is this character-filled home with beautiful views over the manicured golf course. A strong Asian and Balinese design aesthetic has inspired the design throughout, but particularly the creation of spacious, undercover outdoor spaces that integrate seamlessly with the indoor areas. The glass front door leads into a protected courtyard that gives access to the pool and the undercover outdoor entertainment area. A compact kitchen, informal television lounge and dining area combine to form one wing off this courtyard, while two spacious guest suites with high ceilings and sumptuous bathrooms create another wing. The Zen garden is a tranquil delight and provides a natural barrier between the home and the fairway. The first floor has a sunny north-facing elevation that provides for a perfectly positioned main bedroom and spacious en-suite bathroom, both with doors that open up completely to the wraparound patio to give a sense of serene, tree-top living. Next door, there’s a meditation area For more information contact
that attracts the morning light and also opens up onto the forest – making it a perfect place
Andreas Wassenaar +27 (0)82 837 9094,
to reflect and prepare for the day. A second TV lounge separates these rooms from another
generously sized bedroom and en-suite bathroom. There is also a large double garage that leads
Sally Edlmann: +27 (0)79 773 6431, firstname.lastname@example.org SEEFF DOLPHIN COAST Telephone: +27 (0)32 586 0170
directly into the home and three additional parking spaces. Zimbali is 25 kilometres north of Umhlanga and 10 kilometres from the new King Shaka International Airport, and is an award-winning residential and golfing estate that spans 425
Website: www.seeff.com Web ref: 311993
hectares of pristine indigenous coastal forest – which explains why the guiding principle of
Asking price: R9.5 million
development here is to ‘live in harmony with nature’.
2014/05/12 6:13 PM
Seeff Property Services was founded in 1964 by Geoffrey Seeff. 50 years of age is a deﬁning milestone in anyone’s life and is certainly an equally momentous landmark in the life of an organisation. Since taking over the reigns of the company in 1984, I am most proud when looking back and reﬂecting on what we have been able to achieve as a company and to be a part of celebrating this auspicious occasion. While Seeff has evolved in both stature and size over the years, I am equally proud to see that we have done so whilst being able to remain true to the family values on which the company was originally founded - those of integrity, passion and commitment...the same values that have given rise to the core values that deﬁne us today. As we know, any organisation is only as strong as its people and I would personally like to thank all those licensees, agents, staff members, partners and of course, clients that have touched our brand in some way and who over the past 50 years have helped to build it into the undeniable success that it has become today. Let us all celebrate this special year and as we look back at what we have been able to achieve, also look conﬁdently to the years that now lie ahead.
Samuel Seeff, Chairman
2014/05/12 7:19 AM
Magical Valentine’s concert Valentine under the Stars™, a spectacular outdoor musical evening held at The Castle of Good Hope in February, wowed Cape Town romantics with its magical blend of classical and pop love songs.
uests young and old gathered in the cobbled courtyard of Cape Town’s historical Castle of Good Hope on Valentine’s Day for a night of romantic music under the stars. Another special event on the social calendar created by Opulent Living Experiences, and presented by Old Mutual, the beautiful summer’s evening saw music lovers swaying in tune with a varied programme of pop and classical tunes from the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and four outstanding soloists. Brandon Phillips conducted the orchestra, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, presenting all-time favourites from The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady, Beatles’ classic ‘Yesterday’, and getting everyone off their seats to dance to ‘The Blue Danube’ waltz. Leading international operatic tenor, Colin Lee joined the orchestra for a stirring rendition of ‘You are my heart’s delight’, before swapping genres to sing pop-rock ‘If’ accompanied only by the piano. Singer-songwriter Nash Reed wowed concertgoers with her powerful voice, singing an emotional cover of the Evanescence hit ‘Bring me to life’ as well as Elton John’s popular ‘Your song’. Classical pop singer Selim Kagee sang,
among others, his hit single ‘Cry for Love’ before joining Nash for ‘Something Stupid’. Adding to the evening’s delights was classically trained 19-year-old violinist Donné de Kock, who gave a passionate performance of Freddie Mercury’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Concertgoers could choose between two ticket options. All guests enjoyed a complimentary glass of bubbly on arrival, while those in the VIP circle were treated to a selection of fine drinks and delectable food throughout the evening, and were able to mingle with the stars of the show.
Opulent Living events
 Louis Heyneman of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and Ettienne Koekemoer.  Angels looked after VIP concertgoers.  Annette Schöldgen, Nicholas Mangeya and Franck Rynart.  Natascha Hauk and Volker Thunert.  Nash Reed wowed audiences with her beautiful voice.  Iain Hamilton gets angelic attention.  The official concert programme.  Violinst Donné de Kock.  Opulent Living’s Florian Gast with Judith Seekopp and Achim Strauss.  Sabine Thomas, Janine Barnard and Marina Cottino pose with an angel.  Barbara Lenhard of Opulent Living with conductor Brandon Phillips and performers Colin Lee and Selim Kagee.  Romance was the star of the show.  The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra filled the summer’s evening with music.
A Grand night out Cape Town’s movers and shakers gathered at the Grand Café & Beach in Granger Bay in April to support a charity dinner and auction held in aid of the Grand Africa Foundation.
balmy, late summer evening saw guests gather in the spirit of giving on the deck of this popular beachfront restaurant. With the evening generously sponsored by Amarula, glasses of the cream liqueur were on offer as aperitifs, before guests moved indoors for a three-course dinner, prepared by resident chef Sir Greg Baverstock. Auctioneer Iain Banner then called for bidding to begin. Lots on offer included artwork, travel experiences and some rare bottles of single-malt whisky. The evening played out with a live performance from popular Johannesburg
10  Paul and Sue Main of Grand Africa.  Craig Stack and partner.  Francois and Nerine Pienaar.  Pamela and Anthony George.  Opulent Living’s Florian Gast and Barbara Lenhard.  Fashion designer Malcolm Klûk with Amarula model Venantia Otto and Barbara Lenhard.  Pierre Jacobs and Martin Hare.  Jillie and Ian Hunter.  Artist Claire Soffietti and Samir Shasha.  Vanessa and Andre Lammers.
house band Mi Casa as guests danced the night away. All proceeds from the auction went to The Grand Africa Foundation, a registered non-profit organisation founded by Grand Africa CEO Sue Main to raise funds for a variety of charities. These include Wild is Life, Sabrina Love Foundation, The Sunflower Fund, Endangered Wildlife Trust, MAD Charity and Dance for All. Says Main: ‘Being able to afford luxury is a privilege and to recognise this privilege is not only to remember those who are less privileged, but also to reach out to make a contribution.’
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[01 and 11] The stylish Crossover range was the star of the show.  John Authard with Barbara Lenhard of Opulent Living and Maarten Peutz.  Asmaa Tamni, Tziona Kerton and Rick Bomer.  Asier Espel, Vice President of Coalesse parent company, Steelcase.  Carl and Laura Schlettwein.  Coalesse’s Serena Borghero.  Paul Duncan and Opulent Living’s Florian Gast.  Richard Andrews and Lene Roux.  Genevieve Putter.  Canapés were by Malika van Reenen, executive chef at The Cape Grace.
A new take on the work day International furniture brand, Coalesse launched its new Crossover range for office and home in South Africa at an elegant cocktail evening in Cape Town’s design district in February.
eading Cape Town architects and designers gathered in Woodstock to preview Coalesse’s innovative work-furniture range, available in South Africa through Inspiration Office. General Manager, Lew Epstein explained the brand’s philosophy about the new work day, where work-life boundaries are collapsing and there’s a growing trend for
people to work from home. This has led to a progressive range that can cross over between office and home, meeting space and social space. The resulting clean, slick pieces – designed in collaboration with international design heavyweights such as Patricia Urquiola and Scott Wilson – impressed all with how functional, beautiful and comfortable they are.
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SA icon returns home South African artist Vladimir Tretchikoff’s iconic painting ‘Chinese Girl’ was unveiled by the original model at a glittering fundraising event at Delaire Graff Estate in the Cape Winelands in late November.
rt lovers were invited to a spectacular event at Delaire Graff near Stellenbosch to mark the return of Tretchikoff’s famous painting to South Africa. It was unveiled by Monika Pon-su-san, who posed for the painting in 1952 after meeting Tretchikoff when she was working at her uncle’s launderette in Sea Point. Said to be one of the most reproduced and recognisable paintings in the world, it was acquired by chairman of Graff Diamonds, Laurence Graff OBE, at an auction at Bonhams in London earlier
in 2013, and will now form part of the estate’s renowned art collection. ‘It was the first piece of art that made an impact on me, and I believe ignited my interest and passion for art,’ said Graff. ‘My decision to buy it was immediate.’ Guests were treated to insights from Tretchikoff experts, followed by a delicious four-course dinner and a charity auction. Proceeds raised went to Graff Diamond’s charitable foundation For Africa’s Children Every Time (FACET), which provides grants to education and health charities in sub-Saharan Africa.
08 07  Keith Kirsten and Catherine Timotei.  Keith Kirsten, Monika Pon-su-san and Stephan Welz of Strauss & Co unveil the painting.  General Manager of Delaire Graff Estate, Johann Laubser.  Tretchikoff biographer Boris Gorelik.  Saskia van Heerden and Christiaan Krige.  Tanja Mackay-Davidson, Monika Pon-su-san and Tracy Leigh Paulucci de Calboli.  Opulent Living’s Barbara Lenhard and Florian Gast with Yegas Naidoo.  Riason Naidoo, Director of Iziko Art Collections (SA National Gallery and Old Town House).
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Image from Chefs who share - the ART of gving 2013
The grand charity event happens again. 11 September 2014: A black-tie dinner event featuring 14 award winning chefs from South Africa plus 7 internationally acclaimed chefs from overseas and 7 top sommeliers working together. The chefs team up in trios to create individual menus for groups of only 36 people each! The proceeds of the ticket sales and the art auction go a 100% to two established charities who support underprivilliged children: MAD Charity â€“ Make a Difference and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
14 of SAâ€™s top chefs together with 7 acclaimed international chefs will create culinar y wonders for one night only!
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An evening created by
A glamorous running Fast horses, high fashion and top wine were the order of the day at the 153rd running of the prestigious L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate at Cape Town’s Kenilworth Racecourse in January.
ne of the premier events on the Cape Town social calendar, the 2014 Queen’s Plate, sponsored by Franschhoek wine estate, L’Ormarins, drew a glittering array of guests, all arrayed in elegant blue and white according to the occasion’s strict dress code. Stakes were high both on and off the course, with the
country’s best thoroughbreds competing for the coveted trophy (won this year by local colt Capetown Noir), and fashionistas vying for the generous best-dressed prizes. A day of lavish entertainment played out with a line-up of local musicians that included Locnville, Louise Carver and Zebra & Giraffe.
 Best hat competition winner, Kim Grey.  Nicci and Beezy Bailey with Aldo Domeyer.  Donna Downie and Gaynor Rupert.  Natalie Becker and Opulent Living’s Florian Gast.  Best dressed woman competition winner, Cindy Neill, with Liezel van der Westhuizen.  Siv Ngesi.  A vintage BMW from the Franschhoek Motor Museum at L’Ormarins.  Tracey McGregor, Jackie Wiese and Tara Osborne.  Janez Vermeiren, Jacob Wiese and Nicky van der Walt.
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 Barbara Lenhard and Florian Gast of Opulent Living, official media partner for the event.  Hein Koegelenberg and Hanneli RupertKoegelenberg.  Eben Sadie, Takuan von Arnim, Tanja and Stuart Mackay-Davidson.  Auction trustee Wendy Appelbaum of De Morgenzon.  Olive and Anthony Hamilton-Russell.  Norma Ratcliffe, May de Lencquesaing and Hannes Myburgh.  Auction trustee Mike Ratcliffe of Warwick Estate.  Guests enjoyed memorable views from the heli-pad at Delaire Graff Estate near Stellenbosch.  Anastasia Volgemut.  James Benoit and Thierry Vallet of AfrAsia Bank.  Ryk Neethling, Nerine and Francois Pienaar and Florian Gast.  Martin Gebers, Teresa Forrester, Charloom and Johann Laubser.  Ingrid Kebble, Veronique Susman and Rose Jordaan.  Celebrity chef Margot Janse of The Tasting Room.  Charles Banks, Alan Pick (back) and Mini Banks.
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A showcase of SA wine The inaugural 2014 AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction, an exclusive invitation-only event held at Delaire Graff Estate in March, raised a staggering R7-million for education in the Cape Winelands.
select group of 250 local and international guests gathered in a grand marquee on Delaire Graff Estate to bid for 40 lots that came under the enthusiastic hammer of auctioneers Iain Banner and Paul Myson. On offer were rare wine collections and
once-in-a-lifetime wine-tasting, gourmet and travel experiences that together raised just over R7-million. This global showcase of South African wines was hosted by The Cape Wine Auction Trust, established by industry heavyweights Michael Jordaan, Ken
Kinsey-Quick, Wendy Appelbaum and Mike Ratcliffe, to further education among less-privileged communities in the Winelands. It was supported by high-profile wine-industry personalities, headed by May de Lencquesaing of Glenelly Estate, who curated the lots and were responsible for inviting guests. The auction was accompanied by a gourmet feast from Oumaâ€™s Pantry, prepared by celebrity chefs Margot Janse, Christiaan Campbell and Neil Jewell, and paired with some top South African wines. Proceeds will go to local charities The Pebbles Project, MAD Charity and The Click Foundation.
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The art of performance Audi launched its elegant new A8 to a select group of South African consumers in May with The Art of 8, a stylish event that showcased the luxury model in a pop-up restaurant hosted by a celebrity chef.
he launch of the new Audi A8 saw the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg become a glamorous restaurant that celebrated art in all its forms. From the chic styling of the new Audi model to the delicious cuisine of award-winning Michelin Star chef JeanChristophe Novelli (who flew in from the
UK especially for the evening), the event was a feast for the senses. New Audi brand ambassador Chiano Sky sang her mix of jazzy pop, Novelli demonstrated the fine art of creating his dishes and Audi’s flagship A8 showed off its power and class to the 300 guests – who included 10 Cape Town guests invited by Opulent Living.
 TV presenters Leanne Manas and Simba Mhere were the MCs for the evening.  The glamorous Art of 8 hostesses.  Singer Chiano Sky.  Opulent Living’s Barbara Lenhard with Esther Francis and Ryan Searle of Audi South Africa.  UK-based celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli.  Ballet dancers show off the star of the show, the new Audi A8.  The Sandton Convention Centre hosted the stylish event.  Franck Rynart, Dave and Dimi Hardwicke, Barbara Lenhard, Nicholas Mangeya, Vicky Pappadopoulos, Florian Gast, Kim and Iain Banner.  Guests take a closer look at the new model.
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Published on May 19, 2014
Published on May 19, 2014
THE coffee-table magazine for the finer things in life. Southern Africa & Indian Ocean Islands Edition.