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upper

the luxury lifestyle and property magazine of Gibbs Gillespie | LONDON | BUCKS | HERTS | MIDDX

class

ISSUE FOUR | WINTER 2008

We search for the ultimate romantic weekend away in Ménage à deux pole position, Petra Ecclestone puts her foot down in fashion's fast lane in conversation with Raymond Blanc the exclusive Ferrari auction the finest local properties & more...


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Contents

winter collection 2008

PROPERTY 12 Property section

HOME & DESIGN 72 Garden inspiration

A selection of some of the finest properties currently available in your area from Gibbs Gillespie

Inspiration is personal but very often needs the skills of an experienced garden designer, landscaper or plantsman to unlock the potential of those ideas for a dream garden

TRAVEL 48 Ménage à deux As the nights draw in and the days grow colder, it’s time to luxuriate in our European winter rather than escape it. Four writers invite their partners to engage in the ultimate romantic weekend

HOME & DESIGN 60 The journey of GROHE Ondus Cream talks to Paul Flowers, Senior Vice President of Design, GROHE

62 Statues through the seasons Kate Orage of Haddonstone highlights how statuary can enhance any garden

FOOD 74 The constant masterpiece Sandy Byrne looks at the ever-evolving Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in conversation with Raymond Blanc

SPORT 81 My kingdom for a horse How Essex achieves the dream of John Holmes at Great Leighs Racecourse

87 The exclusive Ferrari auction, the dj and his dream car Nick Schaffer of Cream Magazines and Chris Evans journey to the very heart of Ferrari in Maranello, to witness one of the most prestigious events in the automotive calendar

FASHION 63 Pole position

TRAVEL 92 Ports of call with Petra Ecclestone, the younger Sunseeker London and daughter of the head of Formula 1, Sunseeker Charters is applying the determination she has inherited from her father as she puts her foot down in fashion’s fast lane

Sunseeker London is expanding its services to clients through a special association with Sunseeker Charters

cream. magazines

The Gibbs Gillespie ‘Upper Class’ Magazine is exclusively published by CREAM MAGAZINES LTD, 7b Cromwell Business Centre, New Road, St. Ives, Cambridgeshire PE27 5BG Tel: 01480 395048 Fax: 01480 396049 Advertising/Editorial Enquiries: Steven Hall Tel: 01803 849289 E-mail: steven.hall@cream-group.co.uk © Cream Magazines Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction is forbidden except by express permission of the publishers. The content of this magazine is believed to be correct but its accuracy is not guaranteed and does not form part of any offer or contract. Gibbs Gillespie cannot accept responsibility for any omissions or errors. The views expressed within editorials are those of the writers and not those of Cream Magazines Ltd.

4 | winter collection


Introduction

Paul Gillespie MNAEA

ore than ever, buyers and tenants are taking time to “shop around” to find their new home and according to Google 90% of buyers now do their initial research on line. So in response to a tougher marketplace we decided to invest heavily in making our own website one of the best in the business. It was time to take our website gibbs-gillespie.co.uk to a whole new level and make it work as hard as we do on the ground to promote our clients properties and encourage sales. Following a 12 month rebuild, every page on our new website has been completely redesigned to create a fresher, faster and easier to use website. You will find floorplans, expanded multiple colour photographs, local information, location maps, aerial views and a printable colour brochure for every property. Paul Gillespie says “In the month of September this year we saw an increase of 6% in the number of visits, compared to the same amount in 2007, indicating that whilst the market

M

Tougher Marketplace Drives New Property Website may be tougher, demand for prime property is ever increasing. So, as well as a dynamic multi office team, if you are looking to sell or let in 2008/2009, it is essential to use an estate agency that has an attractive, up to date and easy to use website. It also needs to be highly informative. Buyers and tenants want to know as much information as possible about a property before they take the time to see it in person.” The Gibbs Gillespie website gives buyers and tenants unparalleled access to a vast database of properties across Middlesex, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire allowing them to tailor property information to their exact requirements. One of the strongest features of our new website is the search facility. It enables buyers and tenants to choose properties within a set radius of their desired location, which helps to prevent unsuccessful search results and features more properties appropriate to the buyers or tenants needs. For the seller and landlord, this means that each property is automatically

marketed up to 25 miles from its location. The site also uses Microsoft Virtual Earth to give as much information about the area as possible. A map of the search area, including woods, golf courses, major road connections and train links, can be shown and combined with satellite imagery. We hope you enjoy using our new website as much as you will enjoy reading this issue of Upper Class. You can even view, download and subscribe to receive Upper Class directly from our website www.gibbs-gillespie/selling/our-upperclass-magazine. If you are thinking of selling or letting and would like a free valuation of your home for marketing purposes, then please contact your nearest Gibbs Gillespie office, where our staff will be delighted to help.

Paul Gillespie Founding Partner paulgillespie@gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

The Gibbs Gillespie ‘Upper Class’ Magazine is exclusively published by CREAM MAGAZINES LTD, 7b Cromwell Business Centre, New Road, St. Ives, Cambridgeshire PE27 5BG Tel: 01480 395048 Fax: 01480 396049 Advertising/Editorial Enquiries: Steven Hall Tel: 01803 849289 E-mail: steven.hall@cream-group.co.uk Printed by MPGi using vegetable based inks. MPGi is registered to ISO 14001 environmental standards and approximately 96% of the waste associated with this product will be recycled. The paper used on this product comes from sustainable sources verified by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification scheme.

6 | winter summer collection collection

© Cream Magazines Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction is forbidden except by express permission of the publishers. The content of this magazine is believed to be correct but its accuracy is not guaranteed and does not form part of any offer or contract. Gibbs Gillespie cannot accept responsibility for any omissions or errors. The views expressed within editorials are those of the writers and not those of Cream Magazines Ltd.


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gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

Harrow On The Hill, Middlesex THE EPITOME OF LUXURY LIVING Be impressed by the flawless presentation and magnificent views from this impeccably appointed residence. Absolutely immaculate both inside and out, this pristine home is set amidst delightful gardens and is enviably positioned within a private gated road. With exclusive finishes and fittings this property is a ‘must see’ for the buyer looking for a family home of distinct quality. Guide price £1,470,000

Accommodation comprises I I I I I I I I

Three reception rooms Bespoke kitchen Downstairs cloakroom Master bedroom suite Four further bedrooms Family bathroom Detached double garage Swimming pool and summer house

Harrow on the Hill Sales

020 8422 4422 email: harrowsales@gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

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gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire IMPRESSIVE RESIDENCE IN HIGHLY COVETED LOCATION Grand proportions, contemporary features and a premier address define this immaculate home. Set in elegantly landscaped gardens on a plot of approximately one third of an acre, this six bedroom detached home has been tastefully styled and fitted with high quality appointments and offers an abundance of space for the family. Guide price ÂŁ1,500,000

Accommodation comprises I I I I I I I I

Three reception rooms Kitchen/breakfast room Utility room Two guest cloakrooms Four bedroom suites Two further bedrooms Family bathroom Landscaped gardens, private drive, double garage

Rickmansworth Sales

01923 771771 email: rickmansworthsales@gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

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gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

Ickenham, Middlesex A RESIDENCE WORTHY OF ADMIRATION Grand proportions and a coveted address are the hallmarks of this exquisite family residence set on a plot of approximately half an acre. This exceptionally built home has been designed to offer an urban oasis of uncompromising luxury living with a stunning contemporary edge. Fitted out with premium finishes and state-of-the-art appointments this stunning property simply must be viewed to be appreciated. Guide price ÂŁ2,600,000

Accommodation comprises I I I I I I I I

Stunning reception rooms Bespoke kitchen with adjoining family room Study Five bedrooms Four beautifully appointed en-suite bathrooms Sauna, gym and entertainment suite Detached double garage Heated outdoor swimming pool

Ruislip Sales

01895 635555 email: ruislipsales@gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

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gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

Pinner, Middlesex SERENELY SET IN A PRIZED ADDRESS A six bedroom Edwardian detached home set in beautiful established gardens on undoubtedly one of the area’s most desirable roads. Flowing over three spacious levels, this property is impressive in both proportion and appeal and offers an exceptional opportunity to acquire a quality Edwardian home with many fine period details.

Accommodation comprises I I I I I I I I

Two reception rooms Kitchen/breakfast room with utility area Downstairs shower room Two bedroom suites Four further bedrooms Family bathroom Private drive, garage Beautiful established gardens

Guide price ÂŁ1,395,000

Pinner Sales

020 8866 2777 email: pinnersales@gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

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coming soon...

Our many thanks to Joanna Sinnott of Sky TV, the Ferrari F430 Spider was kindly supplied by Meridien Modena, 'Sonata' in Branksome Park, built by the Britannia Property Group is currently for sale via Tailor Made estate agents in Sandbanks.

cream.tv www.cream-tv.com

Paul Gillespie, Founding Partner at Gibbs Gillespie Estate Agents, enjoying the sunshine and fantastic location of Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire at the preview of Cream TV in late September


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gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

Pinner, Middlesex ELEGANT EDWARDIAN RESIDENCE Beyond the character-filled façade of this well presented Edwardian family home lies a superb blend of period charm and elegant interiors. Surrounded by prestigious residences in one of Pinner’s most highly sought after roads, this charming home is set over three levels and boasts generous proportions throughout and has delightful front and rear gardens. Guide price £1,425,000

Accommodation comprises I I I I I I I I

Two reception rooms Kitchen/breakfast room with utility area Downstairs shower room Two bedroom suites Four further bedrooms Family bathroom Garage via own driveway Attractive gardens/heated outdoor pool

Pinner Sales

020 8866 2777 email: pinnersales@gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

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gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

Pinner, Middlesex IMPRESSIVE STREET PRESENCE Enjoying a commanding elevated position in a highly sought after locale this resplendent family home has been meticulously refurbished to present a contemporary haven of sheer elegance. This exquisite residence with exclusive finishes and fittings is first class in every respect. Serenely set on an impressively spacious plot, this beautiful home makes an excellent proposition for families seeking quiet privacy. Guide price ÂŁ1,499,950

Accommodation comprises I I I I I I I I

Three reception rooms Study Stunning contemporary kitchen Utility room Two bedroom suites Three further bedrooms Double detached garage, security gated entrance Wonderfully secluded landscaped gardens

Pinner Sales

020 8866 2777 email: pinnersales@gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

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gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

Loudwater, Hertfordshire CHARMING RESIDENCE IN A PRIZED ADDRESS This delightful residence effortlessly balances character charm and contemporary style to create a home of unquestionable distinction. Perfectly positioned in the prestigious Loudwater Estate this immaculate home has been tastefully styled and fitted with high quality appointments. A stunning kitchen, magnificent conservatory and beautiful landscaped gardens all culminate in creating an air of elegance and sophistication. Guide price ÂŁ900,000

Accommodation comprises I I I I I I I I

Three reception rooms Utility room Magnificent conservatory Outstanding kitchen with integrated appliances Master bedroom suite Three further bedrooms Family bathroom Beautiful landscaped gardens, double garage

Rickmansworth Sales

01923 778778 email: rickmansworthsales@gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

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gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

Harrow On The Hill, Middlesex A FAMILY HAVEN OF GRAND PROPORTIONS Few residences match the grand scale and luxury on offer here. This exquisite home is set in its own desirably peaceful and private grounds of just under one acre in a prestigious location. This remarkable family home is a residence of unquestionable style and grace boasting elegant interiors and wonderfully generous proportions throughout. Guide price ÂŁ2,350,000

Accommodation comprises I I I I I I I I

Three reception rooms Study Kitchen/breakfast room Utility room Master bedroom suite Six further bedrooms Heated outdoor swimming pool Detached single and double garages

Harrow on the Hill Sales

020 8422 4422 email: harrowsales@gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

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gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

Watford, Hertfordshire AN ENCHANTING FAMILY HAVEN Defining the elements of timeless appeal, this unique c1842 converted barn residence combines generously proportioned interiors with original detailing. Set amidst stunning gardens of approximately one acre in a sought after and convenient location minutes from schools, shops and transport, this charming home truly is a residence of unquestionable style and grace. Guide price ÂŁ1,150,000

Accommodation comprises I I I I

I I I I

Two reception rooms Conservatory Kitchen/utility area Galleried master bedroom suite with lower lounge and dressing areas Two further bedrooms Family bathroom Beautiful landscaped gardens Detached double garage with separate gym and sauna

Rickmansworth Sales

01923 778778 email: rickmansworthsales@gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

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gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire AN EXCEPTIONAL EXAMPLE OF SOPHISTICATED LIVING An impeccably appointed residence set amidst stunning gardens within grounds of approximately one acre in the coveted private Loudwater Estate. Distinctive, elegant and deceptively spacious, this exceptional home provides a versatile floorplan across two superiorly appointed levels. Boasting a heated outdoor swimming pool, double garage and secure off street parking this wonderful residence must be viewed to be truly appreciated. Guide price ÂŁ1,550,000

Accommodation comprises I I I I I I I I

Three reception rooms Sleek ultra contemporary kitchen Breakfast room Utility room Downstairs cloakroom Master bedroom suite Three further bedrooms Beautiful landscaped gardens/heated outdoor swimming pool

Rickmansworth Sales

01923 771771 email: rickmansworthsales@gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

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gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

Chipperfield, Hertfordshire A DISTINGUISHED HOME OF REMARKABLE PROPORTION Distinctive, well presented and deceptively spacious, this exceptional home showcases a versatile floorplan across two smartly appointed levels. Situated within the picturesque village of Chipperfield on a large and enviable parcel of land, this contemporary home is set amidst stunning landscaped gardens and offers an abundance of space for the family.

Accommodation comprises I I I I I I I I

Three reception rooms Conservatory Kitchen and separate utility room Downstairs cloakroom Master bedroom suite with study area Four further bedroom suites Self-contained annexe Triple garage/numerous off street parking

Guide price ÂŁ1,000,000

Chipperfield Sales

01923 263500 email: chipperfieldsales@gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

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gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

Croxley Green Hertfordshire EXQUISITE DETACHED BUNGALOW Offering an abundance of space for the family, this delightful four bedroom chalet style detached bungalow is set within grounds of approximately half an acre. Situated on a quiet cul-de-sac just off The Green, this property is beautifully presented throughout and boasts superiorly appointed interiors and stylish contemporary finishes. Guide price ÂŁ1,100,000

Accommodation comprises I I I I

I I I I

Two reception rooms Kitchen/breakfast room Utility room, guest cloakroom Master bedroom with dressing area and en-suite Three further bedrooms (one en-suite) Galleried TV room Family bathroom Picturesque gardens, detached garage

Rickmansworth Sales

01923 771771 email: rickmansworthsales@gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

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gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

Pinner, Middlesex UNCOMPROMISING IN QUALITY AND STYLE This superb property ticks all the boxes and has been built to exacting standards, exuding quality, craftsmanship and sophisticated style throughout. Boasting meticulous interiors with sleek lines and luxurious finishes this stunning family residence is enviably set in a highly coveted location within secluded grounds approaching an acre. Guide price ÂŁ2,000,000

Accommodation comprises I I I I I I I I

Four reception rooms Games/party room Sleek ultra contemporary kitchen Utility room Master bedroom suite featuring lounge area and sauna Five further bedrooms Two bathrooms Garage with remote controlled door

Pinner Sales

020 8866 2777 email: pinnersales@gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

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gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

Pinner, Middlesex A TRULY INSPIRED RESIDENCE OF IMMENSE TASTE A perfect combination of grandeur and sleek contemporary tones blend to create an exquisite family haven in a prestigious address. Set amidst stunning gardens this property has been impeccably styled and fitted with high quality appointments to produce a home of unquestionable distinction in one of the area’s most coveted addresses. Guide price £1,875,000

Accommodation comprises I I I I I I I I

Impressive reception hallway Four reception rooms Kitchen and separate utility room Games room Master bedroom suite with balcony Five further bedrooms Two bathrooms Double garage, beautiful gardens

Pinner Sales

020 8866 2777 email: pinnersales@gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

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gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

Loudwater, Hertfordshire MAGNIFICENT CONTEMPORARY RESIDENCE A magnificent contemporary residence set within 0.75 of an acre of secluded grounds in the prestigious Loudwater Estate. Sleek, stylish and supremely spacious, this residence is simply without parallel. Peacefully nestled on the wooded fringes of Loudwater this outstanding home is first class in every respect and showcases unique design versatility with lavish signature decoration. Guide price ÂŁ1,600,000

Accommodation comprises I I I I I I I I

Grand galleried reception hall Five reception rooms Two utility rooms Kitchen/breakfast room Two bedroom suites Three further bedrooms Family bathroom Picturesque gardens, private drive, double garage

Rickmansworth Sales

01923 778778 email: rickmansworthsales@gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

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Pinner, Middlesex UNSURPASSED LUXURY Set in a premier enclave and boasting a wonderfully inviting ambience this outstanding contemporary residence is beautifully presented and ideally positioned. With a magical English country garden and an impressive frontage, this stunning residence leaves nothing undone in its quest for luxurious liveability. This truly is an exquisite home of remarkable proportion. Guide price ÂŁ1,350,000

Accommodation comprises I I I I I I I I

Magnificent galleried hallway Three reception rooms Kitchen and separate utility room Games room Master bedroom suite Four further bedrooms Two bathrooms Beautiful gardens, double garage

Pinner Sales

020 8866 2777 email: pinnersales@gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

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gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

Pinner, Middlesex

£1,650 PCM

Harrow, Middlesex

£1,450 PCM

Pinner, Middlesex

£925-£1,225 PCM

Harrow, Middlesex

£1,645 PCM

Pinner, Middlesex

£2,200 PCM

Harrow, Middlesex

£1,450 PCM

A superb two bedroom, two bathroom apartment with private courtyard. Pinner Lettings 020 8866 7866

A selection of stunning one and two bedroom brand new apartments. Pinner Lettings 020 8866 7866

An attractive four bedroom, two bathroom house in the heart of Pinner Village. Pinner Lettings 020 8866 7866

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A newly refurbished three/four bedroom house in a convenient location. Harrow Lettings 020 8426 1466

A stunning and spacious four/five bedroom house in a popular location. Harrow Lettings 020 8426 1466

A luxury two double bedroom ground floor apartment in a prestigious location. Harrow Lettings 020 8426 1466


gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

Ruislip, Middlesex

£4,000 PCM

Heronsgate, Hertfordshire

£3,450 PCM

Ruislip, Middlesex

£3,200 PCM

Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire

£2,595 PCM

Ickenham, Middlesex

£3,750 PCM

Nascot Wood, Hertfordshire

£2,500 PCM

A beautifully presented six bedroom, three bathroom executive house in a private road. Ruislip Lettings 01895 622884

An immaculate four/five bedroom detached house in a premier locale. Ruislip Lettings 01895 622884

An immaculate five bedroom, four bathroom detached house in a prestigious location. Ruislip Lettings 01895 622884

An attractive and brand new six double bedroom, three bathroom detached house. Rickmansworth Lettings 01923 773773

A beautifully presented four bedroom detached house in a popular location. Rickmansworth Lettings 01923 773773

A stunning four bedroom detached period home in a private road. Watford Lettings 01923 244701

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gibbs-gillespie.co.uk

PUT YOUR INVESTMENT IN SAFE HANDS At Gibbs Gillespie we understand that your rental property is a significant asset and that as a landlord your principal objective is to maximize the return on your investment, both in terms of rental income and capital appreciation. Nearly 20 years ago James Gibbs and Paul Gillespie founded Gibbs Gillespie Lettings to specialise purely in residential lettings and property management which now has hundreds of properties on its books. All the offices are bedecked in the corporate blue and silver, and have strikingly modern and glamorous layouts.

Uxbridge, Middlesex

£2,500 PCM

A beautiful three/four bedroom detached house situated in a prestigious cul-de-sac location. Uxbridge Lettings 01895 252542

We are serious about the business of letting property. Uniquely, we do not “tag it on” to our estate agency; it stands in its own right. Buy to let has added a new dimension, with investor landlords all over the world using Gibbs Gillespie Lettings, while the Company also deals with some very large property portfolios. Lettings has become increasingly regulated. The Company invests heavily in staff training for ARLA qualification. As lenders encourage market growth of the private rental sector, a lettings department is no longer a back office operation and key players must consider everything from their products and services to their branch environments. Gibbs Gillespie now has offices across Middlesex and Hertfordshire, employing nearly 40 people. The business has grown through hard work and perseverance. We remain the largest independent lettings agent in the areas we cover. Clients trust the solid nature of the company and relationships are at the heart of all we do.

Hillingdon, Middlesex

A well presented three double bedroom detached home in a sought after location. Uxbridge Lettings 01895 252542

£2,000 PCM

With the lettings market phenomenally busy, we are looking for more properties to meet the growing demand so please contact your closest Gibbs Gillespie office.

CONTACT US:

Harrow Pinner ■ Northwood ■ Rickmansworth ■ Ruislip ■ Uxbridge ■ ■

Uxbridge, Middlesex

£2,000 PCM

An extremely well presented four bedroom Victorian style house situated in the heart of Uxbridge. Uxbridge Lettings 01895 252542

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020 8426 1466 020 8866 7866 01923 824 444 01923 773 773 01895 622 884 01895 252 542


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Romantic Retreats:OTB

19/8/08

13:49

Page 48

MÉNAGE À DEUX As the NIGHTS draw in and the days grow colder, it’s time to LUXURIATE in our European winter rather than escape it. With glass in hand, logs BLAZING on the fire and a hint of perfume in the air, four writers invite their partners to ENGAGE in the ultimate ROMANTIC weekend


Romantic Retreats:OTB

19/8/08

13:49

Page 49

Duel purpose in the bedroom of the appartement aux Bouquets, Ch창teau de Bagnols, near Lyon PHOTOGRAPHER: Diver Aguilar STYLING COSTUMES AND MAKE UP: Natasha Lawes HAIR: Tom Kembery MODELS: Brian J @ Premier Models and Tatiyanna @ Storm

winter collection | 49


Romantic Retreats:OTB

20/8/08

14:13

Page 50

Château de Bagnols, Beaujolais or those of us bound in our daily lives to the stresses and strains of big city life, the idea of a weekend à deux in the country is about as romantic as it gets. The change of pace, the fresh air, the smell of cow dung on the breeze… So if you were to combine this desire for a rural idyll with a certain French je ne sais quoi and some haute cuisine and fine wine, then you’ve pretty much achieved a state of 21st-century nirvana. Château de Bagnols ticks all of those boxes. It is a magnificent 13th-century pile-turned-luxury hotel in the heartland of Beaujolais, 17 miles northwest of Lyon. 20 years ago it was discovered in a derelict state by the late publisher Lord Hamlyn’s wife, Helen, and for the past two decades she has been restoring it with love and affection, not a small amount of immaculate taste and, dare I say it, British restraint. It is a ravishing place to spend an autumn or winter’s weekend. So beautiful is this moated château that even if there weren’t excellent attentive service, fine food and a rather good wine cellar to draw from, you would still want to stay here. The Grand Salon has a magnificent Renaissance fireplace

F

ABOVE (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT): The Grand Salon and its enormous Renaissance fireplace; Aerial view of Château de Bagnols

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and trompe l’oeil decorations; the dining room has an even bigger Gothic fireplace – the largest in the country; and the library combines the convenience of a 40-inch plasma television screen with shelves full of books. The bedrooms are just as stunning – 21 of them, many with bravura four-poster beds, all with an array of antiques and exquisite taste. We stayed in the Croppet de Varissan (room 13), where the four-poster is hung with 19th-century toile and there is a Louis XV carved oak cupboard and a neo-classical walnut writing table – all set in a large, vaulted room that once served as a stable. The Michelin-starred food is very good, if slightly inconsistent; the wines are outstanding and naturally concentrate on Beaujolais and neighbouring Burgundy. A candlelit dinner in the Salle des Gardes featuring, for example, octopus carpaccio, mouth-watering pork chops seared in front of you, the creamiest peach and pistachio pudding, a couple of glasses of Clos Rougeard Saumur Champigny, rounded off with a coffee and a 1976 Armagnac, sounds about as gastronomically romantic as you ever need to be. And it was. To add to the heady mix

of architecture and gastronomy, the château’s staff are absolutely charming – friendly, unobtrusive and very knowledgeable about both the food and the wine. (I was particularly taken by trainee sommelier Jerome Viviant, who not only introduced me to some very interesting regional wines but also burst into involuntary laughter when my wife revealed she did not drink wine.) There is so much creative lounging to be done around the château, excursions are hardly necessary – although, if you wish, the hotel can arrange a wine-tasting trip to Château de Meursault in Burgundy. However, the central theme is to immerse yourself in the history of this beautiful building and wallow in the romance of it all. Graham Boynton Château de Bagnols (00 33 4 74 71 4000, www.bagnols.com), Bagnols, Rhône-Alpes. Double rooms cost from £310 per night, room-only. For wine lovers, The Ultimate Burgundy Experience package includes private tastings at Château de Meursault, helicopter transfer to Burgundy and two nights, B&B, in a Junior Suite, from £1,595 per person. ¦


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Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris n the luxury hotel front, Paris is having one of its habitual I’m-not-as-totallybeautiful-as-I-could-be convulsions. The Bristol is currently adding a palatial 26-room extension, the Crillon has just embarked on a dazzling makeover that will last 18 months, while at the Meurice, Philippe Starck has been busy revamping the public areas to release the hotel’s ‘warmer and more glamorous self’. My advice is to ignore such vain kerfuffle and head straight for the perpetually self-assured Hôtel Plaza Athénée, which is not just handy for the Grand Palais but also has a verve that sets it apart from rival palace hotels. Set in the heart of avenue Montaigne, which is tellingly twinned with Madison Avenue, the Plaza’s cascade of lipstick-red awnings and geranium-filled window boxes makes a striking case for living a full-colour life in a street that already glistens with playboy cars and fashion emporia. And here, it’s not only the couture that changes with the seasons – even the hotel’s pastry chef brings out an elegant little autumn/winter collection. This month, for example, the well-dressed Villeroy & Boch tea plate will be sporting a sensational vacherin paradisiaque (meringue, fruit sorbet, pineapple) and a wicked salambo façon pomme d’amour (roast apples, Calvados, choux pastry…). Such panache is continued in gilded bedrooms and restaurants that include Alain Ducasse’s three Michelin-star flagship, where diners sit on chairs clad in Hermès leather. Embracing the capital’s new-found craze for cycling, the hotel has introduced bright red bicycles that come with a matching helmet ‘to ensure safety without sacrificing style’. Or for something faster, just book the Royal Suite where guests are given free use of a Maserati Quattroporte.

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ABOVE (FROM TOP TO BOTTOM): The entrance of the Hôtel Plaza Athénée; The stunning view from the Terrace Eiffel Suite

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If romance is on the agenda, book a room after 1st December when the hotel opens a sweet little ice rink in its inner courtyard that is exclusively for guests. Have a twirl, then hit Le Bar where the bar itself is shaped like a big long iceberg, the walls are a funky mix of carved wood panelling and artworks styled after Claude Lorrain, and your bottle of Champagne arrives in a bucket filled with glittering blue ice. There is even a virtual roaring fire flickering in the corner, with a playful film of flames and smoke bursting over a glass screen. That may be an ironic take on the traditional coziness of winter, but the pleasures of this season remain very real. While summer is all about beautiful bodies, it’s the mind that now gets some attention as museums and galleries roll out their winter programmes. Slipping over to the Continent has never been easier thanks to Eurostar’s new high-speed rail services from St Pancras – Paris will be just two hours 15 minutes from London. Nigel Tisdall Hôtel Plaza Athénée 00 33 1 53 67 66 65 www.plaza-athenee-paris.com 25 avenue Montaigne, Paris. Double rooms cost from £440; see the hotel website for a wide range of packages. Eurostar, 08705 186 186, www.eurostar.com, offers rail travel to Paris from £42 return, or £119 return travelling in Leisure Select. For further information about cultural events taking place in the French capital, see www.parisinfo.com. ¦


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SOME BEDS CAN CHANGE THE WAY YOU SLEEP. ONLY ONE CAN CHANGE THE WAY YOU LIVE.

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Knoll is the owner of all the rights in the 250LC Barcelona® Chair. The Barcelona® Chair is a registered trade mark of Knoll.


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From the imposing gates, a mile-long wooded drive winds up to a stately run of battlemented sandstone. Inside, Glenapp has been restored to homely splendour

Glenapp Castle, Ayrshire p at Glenapp Castle, a suitably imperious baronial pile on the Ayrshire coast, they make a point of not putting up road signs to help visitors find it. Apparently, this is to ensure privacy – but what do they fear, a posse of Glaswegian day trippers seeking cream teas? “We only have 17 rooms,” explains its gentlemannered owner, Graham Cowan, “and we want the castle to be enjoyed exclusively by the guests staying with us.” That’s welcome news for anyone who makes it beyond Glenapp’s imposing gates, from where a mile-long wooded drive winds up to a stately run of battlemented sandstone. Shaped like a clenched fist with a thumb-like tower, this was once the home of the Inchcape family. After years of neglect and ownership by a succession of colourful characters, the castle was finally rescued in 1994 by the Cowans, who spent six years restoring it to a homely splendour that is commendably free of the blaring tartans and heritage memorabilia found in other Scottish castle

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ABOVE (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT): The turreted exterior of Glenapp Castle with 1954 Riley; The Drawing Room

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hotels. Here everything is far more tasteful – curling stones prop open doors, antlers are confined to the loo, while the cheese menu is a feast of Scottish produce where the names read like some Dickensian estate agents: Glazert, Wummle, Criffel, Aike t... Since opening, Glenapp has been garnering awards like driftwood rolls up on the nearby beaches, including, last January, a Michelin star. The real magic ingredient, however, is an abiding sense of space and privacy, thanks to its secretive location and generously proportioned architecture. There are two dining rooms with lofty decorated ceilings, you could fit a small tennis court into the regal Earl of Orkney suite, while the drawing-room windows offer mesmerising views out to Ailsa Craig, the 1,108ft-high island that rises out of the Firth of Clyde in a beautiful, isolated cone of granite. So what’s to do? Churchill stayed at Glenapp when he was planning the D-Day Landings with Eisenhower, and this is the sort of retreat where you might well go to

hatch plots, or just enjoy some high-quality time together. When you fancy a walk, ask to borrow Midgie, the Cowans’ delightful spaniel, which will take you on a scampering guided tour of the 36 acres of grounds with their splendid formal gardens. There are also beach walks, and nearby Wigtown is Scotland’s self-appointed ‘national book town’ – and home to the Bladnoch distillery too. A large dram and a good book… the perfect romantic formula. Nigel Tisdall Glenapp Castle (01465 831212, www.glenappcastle.com), Ballantrae, Ayrshire. Double rooms cost from £375 per night, including dinner, bed and breakfast for two. A midweek two-night Winter Short Break costs from £500 for two. The castle is closed at Christmas and from January 2 to March 16, 2008. Glasgow Prestwick airport, served by flights from Stansted and Bournemouth, is an hour away by car. The nearest rail station is Girvan; for services see www.scotrail.co.uk. ¦


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Gidleigh Park, Devon uried at the end of a long green tunnel of trees near Chagford, Gidleigh Park has quietly returned to the table of top great British hideaways after a fastidious makeover. Drawing inspiration from the hotel’s Arts and Crafts roots, new owners Andrew and Christina Brownsword have created a masterly 24-room escape filled with bespoke oak panelling and custom-made furniture inlaid with ancient bogwood. No expense has been spared, and the resulting atmosphere is timeless country house matched to 21st-century desires. Every need is anticipated, including heated dog kennels and a pantry stocked with flasks, rucksacks and complimentary snacks for walkers. Your earlymorning tea tray comes with warmed cups, the fruit in the fruit bowl is perfectly ripe (for once), the canapés are startling mouth-grenades starring figs, hazelnuts and wood pigeon. Outside, venerable trees do their stretches in the sky, the North Teign River tears along like a torrent of whisky and the Devon hilltops – as Ted Hughes (a Gidleigh-lover) put it – ‘bulge above the woods like the tonsured domes of monks’. All this is terrific, but the whole point of Gidleigh is that it rests

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beside wild and exhilarating moorland that can be savoured on self-guided circular walks from the hotel door. And up you must go, to wander with your love amid the uncaring tors and mysterious stone circles, to cross ancient clapper bridges and envy the free-spirited ponies wheeling beneath the clouds. Only then, thoroughly soaked and wind-blasted, will you feel truly entitled to return to enjoy big hot baths, a mighty wine list and a sublime menu created by Michael Caines. Gidleigh is so blissfully tucked away from the horrors of the real world, its website includes an entertaining plea for guests not to try to find it using sat nav. Being off-map is clearly a subliminal sign of class. Nigel Tisdall Gidleigh Park (01647 432367, www.gidleigh.com), Chagford, Devon. Double rooms cost from £480 including dinner, bed and breakfast for two. First Great Western (08457 000125, www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk) operates rail services to Exeter St Davids; one-way fares from London Paddington cost from £32 first class, £20.50 standard class. Transfers to the hotel take 30 minutes. ¦

ABOVE (FROM TOP TO BOTTOM): View to Gidleigh Park over its beautiful grounds; Relaxing drawing room


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450 Poggenpohl Studios Worldwide. Exclusive UK & Ireland Poggenpohl Kitchen Design Centres: Aberdeen Ascot - Berkshire Barnet - London, Hertfordshire Belfast Birmingham - now open Bournemouth Carlisle Colchester - Essex Dublin 4 Dublin 2 Dorking - Surrey Edinburgh Exmouth Gibraltar Glasgow Guernsey Guildford Harrods - now open Kilmarnock Kingston - now open Leeds London - Finchley Road NW3 London - Knightsbridge SW3 London - Pimlico SW1 London - Wandsworth SW11 London - Waterloo SE1 London - Wigmore St W1 Manchester - now open Oxford - now open Salisbury - now open Widnes - coming soon Wilmslow - Cheshire Worthing - Sussex For a brochure or contact details of your nearest studio please call 08000 683 606 or visit poggenpohl.co.uk

Pictured: +SEGMENTO FG369 Marsh Oak combined with VH478 Mineral Beige Satin Lacquer


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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The stunning views at the Riffelalp Resort, Zermatt; Aerial view of Ashford Castle; The Tchaikovsky suite of Hotel Astoria; Deluxe suite at Castello del Nero, Tuscany

Five more love interests

Hotel Gritti Palace, Venice Built in 1525 for the Doge of Venice, this Grand Canal-side former palace has all the over-the-top glitz, gilt and gourmet dining that a starry-eyed couple could ask for. High-ceilinged rooms drip with antique mirrors, Murano glass light fittings and sensual silks, and gondolas pull right up to the terrace. It was good enough for Clarke Gable… Hotel Gritti Palace (00 39 041 794 611, www.luxurycollection.com) grittipalace, Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, Venice. Doubles cost from £315, bed and breakfast.

Riffelalp Resort, Zermatt put it down to watching Dr Zhivago too often as a child. Snowy plains and the melting brown eyes of Omar Sharif are so inextricably linked in my mind that going away somewhere romantic means cosy bars and smouldering log fires, a hotel where you’re cocooned from the world outside by deep drifts of snow. The Alps are full of places like this, but if I had to choose just one it would be the Riffelalp Resort, set alone above the Swiss resort of Zermatt, with stupendous views of the Matterhorn. You reach it on a vintage cog railway, which winds slowly up the mountainside, into a magical world of glistening plateaux. From the station – well, more of a halt – a path winds away through the pine trees laden with snow. If you’re dressed for the occasion, it’s a lovely 10-minute walk to the hotel, otherwise jump on the snowmobile that picks up your luggage. The first guests came here in 1884, and it soon became a high-society haunt. Over the years its fortunes waxed and waned, definitely waxing again seven years

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ago, when it was re-invented as a luxury five-star hotel. Just one wing of the original building survives, housing the Nostalgia bedrooms. A better bet, though, are the larger, lighter Chalet rooms in the new building – the best with balcony views of the Matterhorn. All 65 rooms are decorated in traditional chalet style, with modern perks such as decent bathrooms and sound systems. If you just want to stay put, there are three restaurants, a spa (with both an indoor pool and a hot outdoor pool), billiards room and – a strange quirk – a bowling alley. There is also an in-house skihire shop. Drop down to Zermatt for an evening among the chic shops and bars, then catch the last train back up the mountain (11.30pm) where you will have the vast starlit skies and moonlight views of the Matterhorn all to yourselves. Joanna Symons Riffelalp Resort (00 41 27 966 05 55, www.riffelalp.com), Zermatt, opens for the winter on December 8. Doubles cost from £277 a night, half board.

Castello del Nero, Tuscany This 12th-century castle, between Siena and Florence, has suites adorned with antique four-posters, marble fireplaces and baths set beneath windows offering views over Tuscan hills. The art is so fine it’s protected by the Italian Fine Art Commission, the chef is renowned for his Tuscan specialities, and the spa is heralded for its unguents and oils. The castle also has its own frescoed chapel if you want to take the romance thing to extremes. Castello del Nero (00 39 055 80 64 70, www.castellodelnero.com), 7 Strada Spicciano, Tavernelle Bal di Pesa, Tuscany. Doubles cost from £308.

Hotel Endsleigh, Devon This isn’t grand, it isn’t fussy, it isn’t glitzy. It’s just one of the most tasteful, cosy English hotels, with everything a couple might dream of in a lover’s lair: enormous beds, open fires, capacious baths and 108 acres of grounds to wander about in. To gild the lily, dinners can be delivered to a private dining room.

Hotel Endsleigh (01822 870000, www.hotelendsleigh.com), Milton Abbot, Tavistock, Devon. Doubles cost from £250, full board.

Hotel Astoria, St Petersburg The most opulent establishment in Russia’s city of domes, the Astoria is surrounded by the grand architecture of St Isaac’s Square. The ancient ceilings soar and the walls glitter with gilt mirrors, although the furnishings are decidedly 21st-century. Treats include dual spa treatments, private excursions to the Hermitage and a caviar-and-vodka-style dinner for two, delivered by your own butler. Hotel Astoria (0800 9884040, www.thehotelastoria.com), 39 Bolshaya Morskaya, St Petersburg. Doubles cost from £240.

Ashford Castle, Co Mayo This 13th-century former home of the Guinness family is heaven for those whose fantasies involve turrets – lots of them. The castle is unashamedly old-fashioned, which, as well as quite a bit of chintz and chandeliers, means butlers, ghillies and chefs who understand the meaning of discretion and service. It is set in dreamy surrounds, too, on a 350-acre estate beside Lough Corrib. Ashford Castle (00 353 94 954 6003, www.ashford.ie), Cong, Co Mayo. Doubles cost from £250 full board.


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Paul Flowers, Senior Vice President of Design, GROHE

THE JOURNEY OF

GROHE ONDUS

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About Paul Flowers Paul Flowers, Senior Vice President of Design, joined GROHE in 2005. Previously Paul had worked across various household categories. Since joining GROHE Paul has led the introduction of key ranges such as the award winning Allure and Rainshower® ranges. Recently, Paul was featured on the prestigious ‘Europe 40 under 40’ list, which celebrates talent amongst designers and architects.

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What started the initial idea for design for GROHE Ondus? Ondus started as an exploration. At GROHE we had already established that people wanted a collection that would give them the flexibility to choose exactly what they needed for a bathroom environment. We wanted to introduce a range that would be bold enough to begin the journey of evolution in the bathroom.

There are three dimensions that encompass GROHE Ondus, can you tell us what each of these means to you? The GROHE values of quality, design and technology have been paramount, Ondus continues this. Performance Art ensures that the Ondus range consists of products that are not only beautiful to look at, but that also function to perfection. This is the difference between great design and styling. Sensual minimalism is a concept to evolve minimalism into an area that would be more human and more approachable. At a time when minimalism in the bathroom has become conventional and mainstream we set out to change this. We noticed that traditional minimalism is quite harsh, with sharp edges, this is not something you find in nature, where there are no right angles or true corners. Ondus brings an organic, softer and tactile element to the bathroom. Digital Revolution is about introducing new technologies into the bathroom environment. We wanted technology that really has a meaning and allows people to tailor their

water experience. The perfect experience is incredibly subjective. Ondus will allow people to create their own perfect experience with water. Digital is a totally new concept in the bathroom and rather a bold move. By bringing electronics in the bathroom, this brings with it an opportunity to really evolve this space. We have seen entertainment, sound, aromatherapy and lighting, well now is the time for the next step and GROHE are leading this transition. Digital will allow people to create their own perfect water flow. Smart memory functions allow individuals to replicate their favourite experience time after time. In a society where people are constrained by time pressures digital functions are a real asset.

Why GROHE Ondus? Ondus is a Latin derivative for wave, that’s certainly one of the sources of inspiration. Ondus is more than a collection from GROHE it’s a mission statement. It is indeed a commitment to truly innovate – that’s innovation in the bathroom environment, as well as injection of innovation into the industry. You’ll see new materials, new finishes, new technologies from a digital prospective, new production techniques even down to the way the water flows. Everything about Ondus has been a challenge, a new way of thinking and that’s what separates GROHE Ondus from everything else available on the market.

“People who are purchasing GROHE Ondus should really make a connection, they should fall in love with these products and over their lifetime I hope they will build a relationship, one, which continues to surprise and delight them. A fusion of simplicity and emotion takes Ondus forward, in this case it’s the concept of sensual minimalism, the whole design movement embracing a sense of nature”.

GROHE Ondus launched in Summer 2008

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STATUES THROUGH THE SEASONS Kate Orage of Haddonstone highlights how statuary can enhance any garden

lthough statuary has been part of our civilisation since the times of the Ancient Greeks and Romans, the 18th century aristocracyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s enthusiasm for the Grand Tour was responsible for a surge in demand for classically inspires statuary, a trend which has continued to this day. In the 18th century, statuary was often used to make a political statement or to show the erudition of the owner. Today charming garden figures are viewed more for their intrinsic ornamental value. Statues, with the right placement, can be enjoyed at all times of year. Even in the winter people will marvel at their snow-covered beauty and the summer light will accentuate the glorious detail in the warmer weather. During autumn the falling leaves will drape around the statues and when spring arrives the new colours of the daffodils will create an entirely new picture. Many statues have been designed so that they can be placed individually as a focal point whilst some complement each other as a pair. Statuary can also be used as punctuation marks in a landscape encouraging the visitor to explore the garden. Whatever the season, Haddonstone has a statue to provide interest in the garden.

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Renowned designs include rustic figures such as the Gardener and Shepherdess and classical forms such as Andromeda and Venus. Animalistic statues range from eagles and lions, to equine heads as well as herons. Other designs include replicas of works by illustrious sculptors such as Michelangelo, who created Brutus, and the statue of Byron by Edward Hodges Baily who sculpted the famous statue on top of Nelsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s column. Today, anyone wanting to enhance their garden with ornaments can choose between antiques or replicas that will soon acquire a weathered authentic appearance for just a fraction of the price. Foremost amongst the current manufacturers is Haddonstone with more than 40 statues, busts and figures as well as a range of contemporary, classical and traditional features from planters and fountains to balustrading and follies. A full colour 200-page catalogue or CD-ROM is available from: Haddonstone Limited, The Forge House, East Haddon, Northampton, NN6 8DB Telephone: 01604 770711 www.haddonstone.com info@haddonstone.co.uk

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Surrounded by a field of spring daffodils, the majestic Equine Head can create a superb focal point in a garden; Summer, one of a series of statues representing the seasons, stands gracefully holding a sheaf of corn; Cloaked in snow, Andromeda shows how statues can still be enjoyed in the winter months; Shown here in an autumn light, the Bust of Pan can enhance any garden


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POLE POSITION Petra Ecclestone, the younger daughter of the head of Formula 1, is applying the determination she has inherited from her father as she puts her foot down in fashionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fast lane. By Tamsin Blanchard

Brown stavelot wool jacket Grey les franges trousers Olive cashmere eau rouge coat Brown les franges trousers

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She has teamed up with Edward Sexton, the established Savile Row tailor who helped Stella McCartney when she started out and who designs suits for her father. o be honest, I was expecting a brat. A spoilt brat. And while she is pretty matter-offact about the whopping great gold Rolex dangling loosely round her wrist, happily confiding that, no, it wasn’t a present, she bought it for herself just because she really liked it, Petra Ecclestone seems far more grounded and focused than most 19-year-olds. She has tried photography at school, and even did a bit of modelling on the catwalk for Alberta Ferretti and Julien Macdonald. ‘I wasn’t that keen on it,’ she says, pulling a face. She has always wanted to be a fashion designer. And while her friends are all away enjoying their gap years travelling the world, Petra Ecclestone is impatient to get on. She has decided that it is time to begin her career in earnest, so much so that she has jumped right in at the deep end with a collection of ultra-luxurious, understated clothing for men. ‘I know what I want to do,’ she says. ‘I prefer to be in charge of things rather than have someone else tell me what to do. I’m quite ambitious and like to be hands-on.’ There is no getting away from the fact that any other young fashion designer working on their first collection would not have their HQ in a fabulous little mews house in South Kensington, west London. Nor does every young designer have the menswear buyer from Harrods beating a path to their door. But then few young designers have a father as rich and powerful as Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula 1 king, who is estimated to be worth £2.5 billion. Petra is his younger daughter, and it would be easy to dismiss her as just another

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LEFT: Petra Ecclestone at the Form offices in South Kensington

dilettante, dipping her toe into the glossy world of fashion. But Petra is not content to live off her trust fund. She has a steely business brain and a single-minded determination to succeed. Form (from Formula 1, of course) is a brand, the seed of her own fashion empire, with womenswear, kidswear, a fragrance and an advertising campaign to follow. ‘I believe if you are going to do something, do it really completely, or just don’t do it at all. I am really driven,’ she says. ‘I get it from my dad.’ Not surprisingly, Formula 1 is in her blood. ‘I was one or two years old when I went to my first race. My mum, Slavica, would take me and my sister. It would just be fun – it was like a family away from home. I would watch the race in my dad’s tour bus or on TV. Sometimes I would go into the grandstand. Before the race is the most exciting time. The build-up, the nerves and tension – there’s such a rush. I’d go into the pit lane, the cars would be there and I’d go up to my favourite driver and wish him good luck. It has such glamour and excitement. I don’t think there is any other sport like F1.’ Her young mind was filled with her father’s stories of the glamorous British driver James Hunt smoking by the side of the pit stop, and with visits to their house by the Brazilian triple-champion Ayrton Senna, a close family friend and the last Grand Prix driver to be killed while driving a Formula 1 car. ‘He was such a kind person, so down-to-earth. There was such a charm about him. When he smiled, he made the whole room smile with him.’ These are the sort of men she has grown up with, the men she

had in mind when designing her collection. Although she has the unflinching confidence of youth, she is not so naive as to think she can do all this on her own. She has teamed up with Edward Sexton, the established Savile Row tailor who helped Stella McCartney when she started out and who designs suits for her father. She started working on the collection in September, and moved into the mews studio in December. ‘Before, I was working in the basement of my dad’s office. He said everyone has to work their way to the top. So he put me down on the bottom.’ Ecclestone recalls watching her father’s suits being tailored by Sexton when he came to the house early in the morning before Bernie left for the office. ‘My dad’s suits are incredible. He [Sexton] is the most amazing tailor, in my opinion. He is such a perfectionist.’ Then there is her mother and best friend, the Croatian ex-model Slavica. ‘My mum has really good style. I take her advice when I’m getting ready.’ Later in the day, Ecclestone will be picking her mother up from the airport from a shopping trip to New York. ‘She loves New York because everything is cheaper out there now; she loves to bargain and save money. She says everything is so overpriced in London.’ Slavica also has dresses made by a handful of designers including Giambattista Valli, Guy Laroche and Azzedine Alaïa. Mother and daughters are friends with Alaïa, a designer Petra cites as another influence. ‘I love Azzedine Alaïa – the structure and the body shape; he makes everyone’s body look incredible. That’s what we are trying to do with Form, using slick lines that contour

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Ecclestone recalls watching her father’s suits being tailored by Sexton when he came to the house early in the morning before Bernie left for the office.

the body.’ Alaïa is another workaholic. ‘He gets up at five or six in the morning and works all day – it’s like my dad.’ And for a teenager, Ecclestone is surprisingly knowledgeable about the fashion industry, reeling off the names of designers she admires such as Rick Owens, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Hermès. ‘I’m learning, watching Edward. Every day there’s a new challenge. I’ve learnt more in the past five months than I could in 10 years at [the design college] Saint Martins.’ She has just returned from her first visit to the fabric fairs in Paris. ‘There are so many new fabrics coming out, such as bamboo and cashmere – you would never think that would have happened 20 years ago.’ She has been busy sending samples back and forth – the knitwear to Scotland, the cashmere pieces to Italy – refining and honing them, and is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her own zips, complete 66 | winter collection

with her logo, a laurel wreath, discreetly placed on the end. Ecclestone is catering to a man who wants to look smart but relaxed. ‘There is a larger niche in the market for menswear – it’s either too formal or too casual and we’ve put the mark right in between. It’s about real luxury, taking time, and about quality.’ Her prices will also be at the luxury level, reflecting the deliciously soft fabrics she is working with. Ecclestone wants the collection to be easy to wear, from the cashmere tracksuit bottoms to the leather jacket that her father has tried on and liked. ‘I don’t think it will just appeal to F1 fanatics. The F1 heritage isn’t that noticeable – it’s just in the lines, the shoulder pads and stuff. It’s quite subtle. We didn’t want to use bright red, or team colours. Christian Louboutin is known for the base of his shoes and we wanted Form to be known for the lines and the streamlined effect.’ So I stand corrected. Petra

Ecclestone is terribly well-balanced – a hard-working, determined young entrepreneur. She is all too aware that people will have preconceived ideas about her. ‘The press see me as an It girl, but I’m not like that at all,’ she says. ‘I hardly go out. I stay in with my boyfriend and I spend time with my family.’ She goes home twice a day and is a sucker for her mum’s cooking. ‘I try to keep out of the limelight as much as possible. The press are always going to write something bad, so I don’t see the point of going out and getting wasted for them to see it. I think people are shocked when they see the collection. They think, “She’s just putting her name to something and it will be tacky”, but they are pleasantly surprised by how hard-working I am, and by the way Form has come together.’ It is true that her dad has helped her out and set up a pre-filled bank account for her. But she has been put in charge of looking after her

own budgets and paying her own invoices. ‘The obvious thing would be for me to do ladieswear and put pink frothy crystals on it, but that’s not what I want to do. I want to surprise people. Obviously, I want to prove people wrong. I’m not just my dad’s daughter.’

Menswear inspired by the heritage of Formula One www.formclothing.co.uk

ABOVE: Brown nappa leather turn eight jacket, Cream roll neck jumper, Brown campsa trousers


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cream. LAUNCH EDITION SPRING/SUMMER 2009

of the coast

In April 2009 Cream Magazines is to add Cream of the Coast to their portfolio of property lifestyle magazines.

The launch edition of this exclusive luxury lifestyle property magazine will showcase a selection of some of the ďŹ nest coastal and waterside homes currently available from high proďŹ le estate agents and developers across the UK. As you would expect there will be an editorial base to match. The very exclusive and targeted Cream of the Coast property lifestyle magazine will have both a UK and European distribution package, and more information on this prime distribution is available on request.

Should you be interested in any aspect of this magazine kindly contact the Cream Magazines Sales Director Steven Hall on 01803 849289 or 07734 452002, email steven.hall@cream-group.co.uk Cream Magazines, 7 Cromwell Business Centre, New Road, St. Ives, Cambridgeshire PE27 5BG. Tel: 01480 395048

www.creamofthecoast.com


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Best single room interior - Design and Decoration awards

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arden G inspiration

Inspiration is personal but very often needs the skills of an experienced garden designer, landscaper or plantsman to unlock the potential of those ideas for a dream garden.

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he Plantation near Weybridge and has been working with clients for many years converting their aspirations into award winning reality. They have an enviable record of quality and reliability and have evolved a highly personalised and professional landscape design and construction service that includes all the skills necessary to meet their client’s expectations. Over the past 15 years, some 21 medal winning gardens have been built by our team of skilled professionals at RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows including a number of coveted Gold Medals. As active members of the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) the company has collected no less than 8 BALI National Awards and 5 Principal Awards over the past 10 years. The Plantation can undertake a simple makeover, or design and build an entirely new garden to create stunning views from the home or to provide the outdoor room for the family to relax beside a water feature or to enjoy an atmospheric luncheon party on the new garden terrace surrounded by gorgeous plants and the scent of beautiful aromatic flowers. Anything is possible with the right ideas and inspiration. The team at the Plantation is enthusiastically led by general manager, Kevin White, and supported by his senior project managers Paul Cook and John Culpin. All have been with the company many years and have a wide range of experience. They will happily 72 | winter collection

arrange a consultation meeting to assess the client requirements and to help develop ideas. Many clients know exactly what they require and just need help with the installation based on sketch drawings but for more comprehensive schemes it is usual to produce a detailed garden design to illustrate the plan and to provide a specification for pricing the works. The Plantation design service is tailored to the individual scheme requirements and can incorporate either a full master plan or concept sketches along with full planting plans, irrigation and lighting schemes as necessary. With their sound horticultural background and extensive construction knowledge, the Plantation has the proven ability to turn inspirational plans into a reality, through effective and well organized professional management. The Plantation are also happy to quote to construct schemes designed by independent designers and can provide client references for projects costing £10,000 to £250,000. Sustainability and the environment are hot topics and the Plantation pride themselves on their ability to design and implement sustainable garden schemes. This includes recommending the choice of wood, stone and compost products from sustainable resources. Irrigation, lighting and security systems have also become an integral part of garden schemes and need to be stylish as well as practical. At our own specimen plant nursery called The Plantation on Woburn Hill Road leading from Chertsey into

Weybridge, Mark Higley the nursery manager looks after the five acre site which has been developed to include a stylish presentation of contemporary and architectural plants which are capable of inspiring the most enthusiastic gardener. The Plantation stock is generally of a size not available at most garden centres and includes trees and shrubs, bamboos and grasses, topiary and palms. The plants have been personally selected by Kevin White from a number of established nurseries in Italy, Holland and the UK and include many mature exotic and Mediterranean specimens. A selection of pots, containers, bark mulch and composts are available for sale and a quality range complementary products are to be introduced later this season. As many of the plants are too large to easily handle and transport, the Plantation offers a delivery service and, using the skills of our experienced installation team we can offer a planting service that ensures your investment will be enjoyed for years to come. Being based at the nursery amongst quality and stylish plants is a constant source of inspiration for the Plantation designers. The big advantage for their clients is that they can visit the nursery and see the actual plants being proposed for a garden scheme and be personally involved in the selection of the key specimens that will truly reflect their garden dreams and aspirations. Attention to detail is a vital ingredient and personally selected plants can make a real difference

to the success of a project. For larger schemes, additional quantities may be required and strong relationships with the most reputable growing nurseries across Europe means that additional quantities of plants can be obtained within two weeks. It is also possible to arrange accompanied personal trips to the fabulous nurseries in Pistoia, Italy for clients who seek further inspiration! The Plantation was proud to supply the superb Olive and Vine Trees that were central to the Fetzer Wine Garden gold medal winning gardens at the RHS Chelsea show in 2005 and 2007. At this years Chelsea flower show in 2008 The Plantation constructed and supplied the plants for the award winning Gavin Jones Garden of Corian ® and plans are already under way for our 2009 show garden. The Plantation is open to the public and trade Monday to Friday from 8am-5pm and on Saturdays from 9am-5pm. Anyone is welcome to visit and browse around the range of plants and enjoy the environment at any time or alternatively staff will be happy to personally guide shoppers around the nursery.

Please visit The Plantation or call 01932 833866 to speak to one of our team of plant specialists. Kevin White can also be contacted via The Plantation or is available on 01932 833844 to discuss any garden projects.


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Inspiration

for your garden

Chelsea Flower Show 2008

Our own well managed and unique nursery called The Plantation on the edge of Weybridge, Surrey, offers our clients the opportunity to find inspiration for their garden. From garden design and construction, to plant supply and installation, whatever your requirements you will receive an award winning service.

GARDEN PLANT CENTRE T: 01932 833866 E: sales@theplantationnursery.co.uk W: www.theplantationnursery.co.uk

DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION T: 01932 833844 E: kevin@gavinjones.co.uk W: www.gavinjones.co.uk

The Plantation, Woburn Hill, Addlestone, KT15 2QG 1/ 2 mile

off Juntion 11 M25. On A317 road to Weybridge.


Le Manoir:Cream of Surrey

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THE CONSTANT

MASTERPIECE Sandy Byrne looks at the ever-evolving Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in conversation with Raymond Blanc

ime marches inexorably on and it’s now some 24 years since a young, inspired Frenchman happened upon a mellow, stone manor house in deep Oxfordshire and decided that this was the place in which he could realise his dream. Raymond Blanc looked upon Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in the tranquil village of Great Milton as ‘the fulfilment of a personal vision, a dream that one day I would create a hotel and restaurant where my guests would find perfection in food, comfort, service and

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welcome.’ These words were uttered many years before this interview and now he says ‘Anyone with a vision who is able to come near to realising it is lucky, whether it’s planting a tree or building a city.’ Today he has achieved close proximity to his own vision, and if the mistress of Le Manoir is evolution, Raymond Blanc is its past master. Yet he remains vigilant in driving his creation ever forward, with new bedrooms, logo, brochure, website and book all in the offing. ‘I want to make Le Manoir a modern classic that is rooted in tradition, but that

never follows fashion,’ he tells me. Not simply an hotelier of vision and a chef of many believe no less than genius, he is a best-selling author, TV celebrity, designer, gardener, good friend to many and is generally held to produce some of the finest food in England. It’s a lot to live up to, and Raymond Blanc shows not the slightest sign of wavering from his original dream, or any diminution of the energy that has always underpinned the creation of his masterpiece. Some say he’s obsessive, driven: to RB as he is known universally at Le Manoir

it’s simply the desire never fading to give generously of his heart and very romantic soul to the provision of pleasure for others. RB arrived from France at the age of 28 to work at the Rose Revived, an Oxford restaurant which he took over when its chef fell ill. Famously and as is well-documented, he was winning adulation and awards in no time before opening his own restaurant, ‘Les Quat’Saisons’ in Summertown, Oxford. Here too he rapidly picked up accolades including Michelin stars as notice was drawn to the brilliance of the


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ABOVE: The wide expanse of green lawns sets off the mellow stone of Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons LEFT: Raymond Blanc is never happier than when sampling the home-grown produce of Le Manoir's kitchen gardens

young and entirely self-taught chef. In 1984 his eyes fell on the beautiful ancient house which is Le Manoir, internationally lauded and acclaimed today and a visit to which, for many, is the ultimate indulgence and treat. 20 years of two Michelin Stars, countless awards and thousands of column inches later, RB still greets every guest, interviewer or interested party with barrages of enthusiastic words about whatever is new and in progress in the house or the garden. Passion spills out of him in torrents as he guides you to the

next project in his herb garden, the latest artist whose work he tirelessly and generously showcases in the hotel, the design of yet another fabulously romantic bedroom. The secret, one might say, of RBâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success, is the ability to continuously evolve, to be aware of the needs and desires of the contemporary guest and to realise that these change as time goes on. He is never either bored or boring. The indefatigable energy carries him through authorship of many books, the recent television series â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Restaurantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and endless

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Le Manoir, truly romantic and even more so with floodlit house and gardens at sunset

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travelling as guest chef in glorious locations all over the world. He opened four Le Petit Blanc brasserie restaurants which have since been re-branded as Brasserie Blanc and doubled in number. He directs a highly successful cooking school in Le Manoir’s own professional kitchens taught by expert chefs, at which on the several occasions I have attended people have perhaps the best fun of their lives. Recently he’s even designed a range of wine glasses in conjunction with Spiegelau, a prestige wine company, in the belief that most glasses are ‘created for appearance, but for me the most important factor is performance. Design and shape have a significant impact on the way the wine tastes.’ Such matchless attention to detail is his hallmark: he once told me that his team at Le Manoir are allowed to make one mistake, but only one. When a hotel and restaurant reaches a level of such acclaim

expectations are rightly sky high and there’s no excuse for any kind of slipshod service or mistakes with the food. Prices reflect the confidence Le Manoir enjoys that this is exactly what will be provided. Following the recent TV series, ‘The Restaurant,’ RB took me to meet winners Jeremy and Jane in November 2007 at their restaurant in partnership with himself, Eight at the Thatch, the day before it was due to open. He describes Jane as ‘a person with great strength, an intellectual and a perfectionist.’ A matter of months later though the couple is leaving to establish a business nearer their original home, but as Series Two goes into production RB’s enthusiasm for the project remains undimmed as well it might, for the programme was unmissable. No Simon Cowell he; RB nurtured and encouraged the competitors and of Jeremy and Jane, he says ‘The past year has been very

rewarding… I was delighted we were able to give them the chance and they gained the experience and confidence to start a new business. I enjoy the challenge of doing the programme again and there are a lot of changes from the first series.’ While he sees no reason why others should not also aim for the stars, maybe he doesn’t realise how the extent of his own talents so far outreaches those of lesser mortals. It’s characteristic of RB that he believes so strongly in people that he’s prepared to offer such opportunities and to put his own name alongside theirs. So as he embarks on the search for the next TV restaurateurs, what of progress at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons? ‘There is a lot going on, as ever,’ he says. ‘I am always thinking I am going to simplify my life but there is so much happening. I still adore cooking in the kitchen and also the design side of Le Manoir. It is a place that has a heart and soul ¦


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LEFT: The scent of lavender on the path approaching the house is intoxicating BELOW: Christmas is a magical time at Le Manoir with many festive meals, concerts and events taking place in the house and ancient church next door

and everything my fantastic team puts into their work reflects that.’ He also has been working on a project very dear to his heart, a small book called ‘Tastes From my Life’ (published by Transworld). The book contains elements of autobiography, being a series of anecdotes and reflections on food but is also philosophical: something that is the essence of the man who has been driven by ideals all his life and, at its centre, is his mother, Maman Blanc. ‘Everything I know about food is rooted in my childhood (he was born in

Besançon in France) and in Maman Blanc’s understanding of food: her respect for the soil, for the hedgerows and the animals used for food, in its cost and in the connection of old values with progress and the future of food.’ In the book, among stories that are by turn amusing, joyful, rewarding and sad, are also two chapters which look at the direction food is taking towards the future. ‘What will we be eating tomorrow, where we are going?’ It is perhaps just this ability to combine the creativity of his present with respect

for the future that has enabled this fabled chef to be the absolute epitome of evolution in his own creation, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

‘Everything I know about food is rooted in my childhood (he was born in Besançon in France) and in Maman Blanc’s understanding of food’

¦

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Aztech Timber Products have gained an enviable reputation for top quality design and construction, with a particular emphasis on conservation area and listed building work. As each design is bespoke to your needs youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find the Aztech conservatory, orangery or extension will seamlessly fit in with your property.

the natural beauty of wood Aztech Timber Products also offer a full range of traditional vertical sliding sash windows and contemporary casements to suit every home, in a variety of finishes and materials. The range of doors includes residential feature entrance, french, stable, patio and bi-folding options. Everything we produce is backed up by our comprehensive customer care charter.

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Great Leighs:Cream of the Eastern Region

19/8/08

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MY KINGDOM FOR A HORSE T How Essex achieves the dream of John Holmes at Great Leighs Racecourse

ABOVE: Jimmy Fortune wins the fifth race on Escape Route on the opening day

wo weeks after Aintree on April 20th the racing world finally saw the opening of the long-awaited Great Leighs Racecourse in Essex. Named after a village just north of Chelmsford, the humble origin of its title will in no time be eclipsed by its reputation as the ground-breaking racecourse that is the first brand new one in the UK in over 80 years, and one of only three that are floodlit. Entrepreneur John Holmes is the driving force behind this exciting launch that will have widespread repercussions for tourism in Essex, and not only in the racing sector. As he remarked at the time of opening, ‘It’s been a long hard journey…’ and of him, The Times’ Julian Muscat observed, ‘It required an entrepreneur like John Holmes to deliver Britain’s newest racetrack. Great Leighs is a racecourse for the 21st century consumer.’ So, clearly a visionary, Holmes would have had to cleave to his dream against all odds to achieve the far reaching ambitions of Great Leighs, a project so expansive that it’s taking place in phases, each one of which might have defeated a lesser imagination. Located on 430 acres of land at the former Essex County showground,

just minutes from both Stansted Airport and Liverpool Street Station (27 minutes from Chelmsford), the £40 million venue is certain to attract vast numbers of visitors, race-goers and others alike. As trainer John Gosden said at the time, ‘No expense has been spared on the horse facilities at this exceptional track,’ but Holmes’ vision extends further, to include all manner of other attractions at this multi-purpose marvel. VIP packages at Great Leighs sold out fast, and little wonder. Along with superlative standards of safety and state of the art race track, future plans include a grandstand of unprecedented sophistication and facilities to please the most discerning guests. Along with all this comes innovation in the experience of racing that is bound to be regarded as the gold standard for the future. The all-weather, floodlit track means racing no longer need depend on the seasons or the weather and there’s a whole different atmosphere in racing on a floodlit winter night. More than this, Great Leighs will eventually offer wide-ranging entertainment packages, with its various bars and restaurants remaining open way after the day’s

or evening’s racing is over and the inevitable and superbly appointed corporate and conference facilities. Then there’s the first ever sports betting hall in Essex, which is also opening for Formula One, cricketing and football events (among others). Outdoor events, concerts and a host of exciting ideas are planned as this extraordinarily versatile environment develops. Part of the innovative appeal of Great Leighs racecourse itself lies in the design and layout of the eight-and-a-half furlong oval track, and it’s been confidently predicted that its configuration will do much to raise the profile of all-weather racing. The sport that is such a great leveller, appealing as it does to a huge range of people from all backgrounds and ages, will thus achieve an even wider audience than ever before. Those who imagined they’d have to take a day off work can now contemplate not so much ‘a day at the races’ as an evening, with an excellent dinner thrown in for good measure. Great Leighs seems bound to become the centre of excellence for trials for worldwide all-weather venues. On-site racehorse training (of which more later) will make the sport even more accessible and

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RIGHT: Action from the first race meeting at Great Leighs BELOW: Horses line up at the 10 furlong-race start

Great Leighs is entirely committed to the rights of horses to enjoy a fulfiling life and there can be little doubt in the spectator’s mind that the horse flying round the left-handed circuit is as excited as anyone by the sheer power of adrenalin on a race day charged with an electric atmosphere offer opportunities to those new to the sport who may never have contemplated the possibility of horse ownership before. And while its versatility will draw many from outside the racing world, horses are, of course, Great Leighs’ raison d’etre. Of particular note and to the great credit of John Holmes and all involved, is the very high emphasis placed on the safety and welfare of the horse. As Holmes describes it, Great Leighs is ‘a completely new destination where safety will take precedence.’ In a sport as fast and thrilling as racing there are high risks and the British Horseracing Authority exists to minimise them, setting and policing the highest standards for equine facilities and veterinary care. Great Leighs is entirely committed to the rights of horses to enjoy a fulfiling life and there can be little doubt in the spectator’s mind that the horse flying round the left-handed circuit is as excited as anyone by the sheer power of adrenalin on a race day charged with an electric atmosphere. John Holmes has worked in close cahoots with the BHA and says ‘I’d like to thank the BHA for their encouragement, advice and support which has been unflagging.’ But at Great Leighs the fun and 82 | winter collection

excitement is not taken for granted. The very stringent requirements set by the BHA are exceeded – for example in the use of Polytrack as a synthetic surface chosen for its proven safety record, and its bend radius of 135m, the widest and gentlest bend on any left-handed circuit in Europe. In addition, Great Leighs employs up to twice as many as the minimum number of vets required by BHA regulations, and has horse ambulances in position to reach any incident rapidly. Treatment areas are in the secure race-day stables and in the paddock area as well. If it’s beginning to sound as if all the attention is on the horse (which is the proper way round when all’s said and done), the visitor’s needs and comforts are hardly to be neglected and everything to make the day or evening’s experience a special one has been thought out to the last detail. In the start-up phase, the fantastic Dutch-designed Emperor Stand close to the winning post and paddock areas is arguably the most sophisticated of semipermanent stands in the world, and was first used at the K Club for the 2006 Ryder Cup. Design was by the internationally acclaimed company, De Boer, global leaders in the design and manufacture ¦


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Tower Basin in Tinoco Stone

Ellipse Bathtub in Ivory Premium Stone

Flooring and Steps in Halil Limestone

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Bespoke Stonework: Limestone Gallery Architects: Studio Dar Building Company: Symm & Co Photography: Chris Gascoigne

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ABOVE: John Holmes (centre) with Philip Freedman (left), owner of the first-ever winner at Great Leighs, Temple of Thebes, and Steve Fisher, Managing Director of Great Leighs’ partner bookmaker Stan James BELOW: Race-goers at one of the preview evenings enjoying the champagne lawn

of semi-permanent buildings for large-scale spectator events. With spectacular views all round the track, the stand when complete will superb facilities for VIP and corporate entertaining, with restaurants, bars, a sports betting hall and bookmakers all under the same expansive roof. Then there are the stunning hospitality boxes with generous five-metre terraces. All planning and design has been undertaken with the comfort and enjoyment of all-weather and evening racing as well as daytime events in mind. Owners and trainers benefit from the use of The Oak Room, a superbly appointed lounge in the Weighing Room building, enjoying panoramic views of the parade rings and just a short walk from the Grandstand. Being fed and watered in whatever manner pleases the race-goer is part of the philosophy of Great Leighs, whether you prefer your bubbles in lemonade or champagne, a three course slap-up dinner or a picnic. All you need to do is go and enjoy. Dress code is

relaxed, ‘smart casual’ being the usual order of the day, though we know ladies in Essex enjoy the opportunity to put on the style and where better than at the races? Future plans include the Phase Two development of a cigar-shaped grandstand 160 metres long, and faced in steel and glass, with space for 10,000 race-goers on five levels. There seems little if any limit to John Holmes’ vision and imagination and he’s already amply proved his ability to realise it. At the rear of the new stand will be a stand-alone function for seven-day-a-week use, having access to all its bars, restaurants and night club via a spectacular glass atrium. The plan has been acclaimed for new standards in rural design by the Commission for Architecture and Built Environment. Indeed, sympathetic regard for its rural context and the environment has been central to Great Leighs’ planning philosophy, and the training facilities at neighbouring Moulsham Hall Farm are in tune with this. The extra space afforded by this acquisition allows John Holmes to fulfil his dream of on-site racehorse training and equestrianism. Along with a 135box complex, the centre offers grass and all-weather gallops, menages, horse-walkers and an equine swimming pool. All in all then Great Leighs looks set to stride confidently onwards and upwards, advancing racing into the 21st century and with little doubt that the name of John Holmes will be regarded as synonymous with its progress.

Great Leighs Racecourse Moulsham Hall Lane Great Leighs Chelmsford Essex CM3 1QP Tel: +44(0)1245 362412 www.greatleighs.com

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THE EXCLUSIVE FERRARI AUCTION, THE DJ AND HIS DREAM CAR Nick Schaffer of Cream Magazines and Chris Evans journey to the very heart of Ferrari in Maranello, to witness one of the most prestigious events in the automotive calendar here are few events in a car enthusiast’s calendar likely to create as much anticipation and excitement as the yearly “Ferrari Leggenda e Passione” auction, held by leading international auction house, RM Auctions (in association with Sotheby’s). Showcasing such ultra rare lots of prestige marques as the 250 California Spyder, it is no wonder that the latest auction appealed to all members of the car collecting fraternity from across the globe. However, it was only a privileged minority of car collectors and Ferrari enthusiasts who were able to attend, with a bank balance to match their enthusiasm. For many attendees, the two-day event not only included the auction, but also the opportunity to tour the Ferrari manufacturing plant and testing track in Maranello, witness the final stages in the Mille Miglia race; finally, an invitation to a cocktail reception with the opportunity to get close enough to touch the exhibits. The proceedings for the two day long event commenced in fitting style with a welcoming speech from Rob Myers, CEO and Founder of RM Auctions at the Pista di Fiorano racetrack, the testing ground for the Ferrari Formula One team. Myers then invited attendees to witness some of the auction-bound cars, showcased on the track. When multimillion pound cars are due to go to auction the following day, one might expect that their showcase would entail a gentle parade around the track to give spectators the opportunity to admire their beautiful aesthetics and to hear their engines purr. However, instead the intention of this showcase was to demonstrate the cars’ speed and racing potential. Although these cars are works of art, one cannot forget that they were designed as racing cars; many spectators who would go on to purchase one to add to their prized automobile collection, had very

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For many attendees, the two-day event not only included the auction, but also the opportunity to tour the Ferrari manufacturing plant and testing track in Maranello

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Chris Evans bidding from the front row; Interior of 1961 Ferrari 250GT; Exterior of 1961, Ferrari 250GT SWB California Spyder

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THIS PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Enjoying the sophistication of a thoroughbred; Interior of a 1962, Ferrari 250GT/L Berlinetta Compet IZIONE; Auctioneers commanding the attention of bidders; From left: Black 1961, Ferrari 250GT; Silver 1962, Ferrari 250GT/L; Blue 1950, Ferrari 166/195

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The vehicular diversity on show was a joy to behold; most of the cars were truly one of a kind... real intentions of putting them to the test on a racetrack. Regardless of their destiny, as either a splendid feature in a museum exhibit or as a champion on the racing track, the passion and enthusiasm from my fellow spectators indicated that those prancing horses would continue to be adored for many years to come. The pristine cars were not the only things to have been revved; by now, attendees were positively bursting with excitement for what the event had to offer. The evening promised more delights, with an invitation to visit the Ferrari headquarters, where the exclusive nature of this event was again demonstrated by the large number of security personnel and police waiting to greet us at the main gate. It was here at the Ferrari factory, that we would witness one of the final stages of the Mille Miglia race, described by Enzo Ferrari himself as â&#x20AC;&#x153;the worlds greatest road raceâ&#x20AC;? (Mille Miglia, 2008). Every year, the race is open to cars that competed in the original Mille Miglia from 1927 to 1957. The combined value of the almost 400-strong assembly of cars involved is incalculable. As the drivers and their co pilots carried out final checks for this stage of the race, it was clear to see how seriously this competition is taken. The vehicular diversity on show was a joy to behold; most of the cars were truly one of a kind, and as each headed to the starting line, it was crucial to take in as much of their individual detail as possible. After bidding arivaderci to the competitors, all spectators were then transported back to the Pista di Fiorano race track, which was due to stage the auction the following day. Here, we were treated to a lavish cocktail reception and given a real opportunity to peruse the exhibits. The cars were all on display for the purpose of inspection by potential buyers. There were many people examining individual lots, some of whom were accompanied by industry experts, providing advice on where best to invest their money. Suitably well armed with information, and prepared for the following dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s auction, attendees THIS PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Jacques Swaters stands to accept a round of applause to acknowledge his lifetime contribution to motor racing and Ferrari; The Prancing Horse, a symbol which embodies the power and beauty of a Ferrari; Auctioneers receiving telephone bids on individual lots; 2004 Ferrari Enzo

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The distinctive engine notes of all individual cars played like a symphony to the expectant crowd

ABOVE: Drivers preparing their BMWs, 328 Roadsters for the Mille Miglia, inside the grounds of Ferrari

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were chauffeured back to their accommodation. For the purpose of auction, the Ferrari headquarters in Maranello were home to some unique Ferrari memorabilia, previously owned by Jacques Swaters. Swaters was born in Belgium in October 1926; a former racing driver, Swaters has been heavily involved in motor sport and the automotive industry for the majority of his life, taking part in the 1951 German and Italian Grand Prix among many other races. Along with another Belgian, Charles de Tornaco, Swaters went on to establish Ecurie Francorchamps, which is a racing stable predominantly linked to Ferrari. On the day of auction, Swaters’ memorabilia were the first items to be put under the hammer. Considered one of the largest and most valuable Ferrari memorabilia collections in the world, their individual sales promised to be interesting to say the least. The collection ranged from a 1930’s typewriter bearing a Ferrari inventory plate, to a 1980 Ferrari “Pinin” prototype, which is the only four-door Ferrari ever made. The “Pinin” prototype was la pièce de la résistance and after much attention, was eventually sold for £214,832. Now in his 80’s, Swaters sat in the front row to experience the abundance of interest in his collection, and also offered to sign some of the items for the successful bidders. The auctioning of Swaters’ collection sufficiently wet the appetites of all those in the room; as the gavel fell on the last of Swaters’ items, the anticipation grew for the unveiling of the stars of the show. One by one, the thoroughbreds were driven onto centre stage for the commencement of the bidding. The distinctive engine notes of all individual cars played like a symphony to the expectant crowd. The first lot was a 1972, Ferrari Dino, 246 GT, one of less than 3800 cars of this model ever produced. The Dino was originally designed as a tribute to Enzo Ferrari’s late son Alfredo. As Ferrari’s first venture into mid-engine technology, this car provided a fitting start to an auction that boasted a veritable feast of automotive history. Just over halfway through this exclusive line up, a Nero black, 1961, Ferrari 250 GT, SWB California Spyder stole the show. Many aficionados consider this to be one of the most beautiful and functional cars that Ferrari have ever produced. The California Spyder combines a 3.0 litre, V-12 engine


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with exceptional handling, designed specifically with touring and everyday use in mind. This rare car (chassis number 2377 GT) boasted yet more credentials; it was sold to Hollywood Movie Star James Coburn by Jacques Swaters, shortly after filming wrapped for “The Great Escape”. In fact, around that time, Coburn, Steve McQueen and James Garner were known to be fond of testing their cars’ abilities on the winding mountain roads of Hollywood (RM Auctions, 2008, p212). Keeping a relatively low profile up until this point was radio DJ and TV presenter, Chris Evans. Sitting in the front row, Evans had successfully bid on some of the Ferrari memorabilia auctioned earlier on in the day, but there was little indication that he was soon to be responsible for making this a record breaking auction. Reported by the Sunday Times rich list (2008) to have an estimated wealth of £45 million, Chris waited for interest in the 1961 Ferrari to heighten before putting in his first bid. There were determined competitors both in the room and on the telephone line; that which followed can only be described as a test of nerves for the bidders involved. The bidding for the California Spyder had already shot over the car’s estimated sale value, yet the bids continued to rise. Inevitably, as the stakes got higher, the number of bidders reduced; Mr Evans was left in a battle with one other bidder. As the price continued to rise, the last men standing needed increasingly more consideration time. At one point, Chris asked if it was possible to “have a beer and think about it!”. The auctioneer replied, “Mr Evans, we will get you a whole case!”. Determined not to miss out on this rare opportunity, Evans held his nerve and successfully purchased the car with a winning bid of £5,571,106, setting a new record for the most expensive vintage car ever bought at auction. This just topped the sale of a 1962, Ferrari 250 GTO, sold by Sotheby’s in 1990. Other noteworthy sales during the auction include a 1971, Ferrari 512M sports racing car, which sold for £1,655,251, a rare 1962, 250 GT Lusso “Comp”, sold for £871,185, and a 1971, Ferrari GTS/4 Daytona Spyder with a sale price of £762,286. With total sales on the day reaching a near £23 million and many items far exceeding their estimated sale value, this auction has provided little support to some financial analysts, who hypothesised that the worldwide economic slowdown has curtailed the spending habits of the world’s rich and famous.

There were determined competitors both in the room and on the telephone line; that which followed can only be described as a test of nerves for the bidders involved

www.ferrari.co.uk

RIGHT: Competitors manoeuvre into position for the final stage of the Mille Miglia race

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PORTS OF CALL WITH

SUNSEEKER LONDON AND SUNSEEKER CHARTERS Sunseeker London is expanding its services to clients through a special association with Sunseeker Charters

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S

37 Metre Tri-Deck

unseeker London is synonymous with providing clients the ultimate experience in buying a Sunseeker motor yacht. Sunseeker London, with head office based in Mayfair has offices and Platinum Award winning after sales and service points strategically located along the Cote D’Azur including, Cannes, Monaco, La Napoule, and Beaulieu. Other offices are located in Greece, Turkey, Egypt, St. Lucia and the Channel Islands. Sunseeker boats are renown for building the world’s finest luxury motor yachts and Sunseeker London successfully sell to a client base worldwide. With order books increasing year on year Sunseeker London currently has more than 4,000ft worth of

Sunseeker craft on order. Sunseeker has been designing and building sportboats, offshore cruisers and luxury motoryachts for over 40 years and has built an unrivalled reputation for the quality, design and performance of their products. Style is evident in every aspect of Sunseeker craft, regardless of age. Every boat is designed to combine a perfect blend of elegance and performance that never fails to meet the expectations of the world’s most discerning buyers. Sunseeker, simply the very best in marine design and style has become the choice of champions, celebrities and film makers. It’s played a significant role in three consecutive James Bond movies to date

with a fourth, Quantum of Solace, currently in production. Buying a Sunseeker is a statement of personal success – a lifestyle decision. A Sunseeker is a head-turner in any port, a boat that’s guaranteed to draw attention to you as an owner and your guests. Whether it’s time afloat visiting and exploring distant ports or simply relaxing in the privacy of a quiet anchorage, there is quite simply no more elegant way to do it than on a Sunseeker motoryacht from Sunseeker London. Sunseeker London and Sunseeker Charters are worldly acclaimed for tailoring unforgettable voyages perfectly suited to customers every whim and desire.

This attention to detail granted only through this unique relationship between Sunseeker London and Sunseeker Charters allows clients or prospective clients to experience a Sunseeker yacht knowing that they are in the knowledgeable and experienced hands of a dedicated professional team.

8 BLISSFUL DAYS

Day 2 Port de la Rague – Port Grimaud Following a sun-kissed breakfast on the aft deck, you will head out of the Cannes area and towards the world-renowned destination of St Tropez. En route, you will stop to anchor for lunch off Bastide Blanche. This highly exclusive beach is accessible only by boat and is, therefore, relatively quiet and exclusive. This will also give you the perfect opportunity to have a swim and relax in the sun. After a delicious lunch and a relaxing afternoon, the skipper will weigh anchor and head towards Port Grimaud, where you will be berthing for the night. Port Grimaud, made up of canals and bridges, is often likened to a miniature Venice. You will have time to enjoy a cocktail on the aft deck as the sun sets, before your car arrives. Tonight, you will be enjoying the famed nightlife of St Tropez – about 15 minutes away by road. Your evening will be based in the Byblos Hotel – noted as the night spot in St Tropez. A table will be reserved for you at the hotel’s famous restaurant ‘Spoon’. Later, you will go to the hotel’s exclusive night club – ‘Les Caves du Roy’. Party for as long as you like – a car will collect you to return to your Sunseeker, whenever you are ready.

Day 3 Port Grimaud – Îles d’Hyères (Île de Port-Cros) After an exciting night’s partying, you will be relaxing today in the beautiful and peaceful scenery of the Îles d’Hyères. Known as the Golden Isles, these islands seem a million miles away from the glitz of the Côte d’Azur. They are epitomised by white sandy beaches, wooded landscapes and a relaxed pace of life. Île de Port-Cros – a car-free national park – is one of the smaller islands in the group. The afternoon will be spent at the anchorage in Port-Man, where you will be able to enjoy the views, sunbathe and swim in the crystal-clear water, at your leisure. In the evening, you will be taken by tender towards Port-Cros, where you will be dining. Here, there is a seafood restaurant called ‘L’Anse du Port’, supplied by local fishermen and rated very highly in this area. Tonight, the vessel will remain at anchor in this magical location.

are able to hire bicycles for the day. There are several cycle tours along the dusty paths which cross the 9x2km island. Enjoy this ecological haven and the magnificent views which it affords. When you are ready, you will be collected by tender and taken back to the Sunseeker motoryacht, where you will be served lunch. The afternoon will provide you with the opportunity to relax in these idyllic surroundings and perhaps take to the water for some snorkelling. This evening, the vessel will head into Port de Porquerolles, where ‘Wild Cat Blues’ will be berthing for the night. From here, you will be met by transport from ‘Le Mas du Langoustier’ – the island’s only luxury hotel and restaurant – where you will be dining this evening. Later, you will return to the marina.

Thanks to the new partnership with Sunseeker London, which boasts a network of four offices on the south coast of France, Sunseeker Charters now offers a spectacular eight day cruise in the South of France. Here’s an itinerary to make anyone long for the sun… Day 1 (from 12 noon) Port de la Rague On arrival at the vessel, you will be welcomed on board by your skipper and crew, with a chilled glass of champagne. Once you have had the opportunity to settle into the wonderful Sunseeker motoryacht (your luxurious home for the next seven days), the skipper will give a short safety briefing, before the boat heads out of the marina. You will spend the afternoon exploring the nearby coast and then at anchor, where you will be able to swim, enjoy watersports and eat lunch. As the sun begins to fade, your luxury motoryacht will head back into Port de la Rague. Here, you will have the opportunity to relax on the Sunseeker, with a cocktail, before being collected by car and taken to the fabulous ‘L’Oasis’. This is a gourmet restaurant, well known across the French Riviera and awarded two Michelin stars.

Day 4 Île de Port-Cros – Île de Porquerolles Today, you will be visiting the largest island on the Îles d’Hyères: Île de Porquerolles. Once you reach Île de Porquerolles, you will be taken by tender onto the island, where you

For further information please contact: Charter enquiries – Email: katie@sunseekercharters.net, Tel: 01202 682 890 Boat Sale enquiries – Email: info@sunseekerlondon.com, Tel: 0207 493 3441

Day 5 Îles d’Hyères – Port Pierre Canto, Cannes Today, you will say a fond farewell to the tranquillity of the Îles d’Hyères, heading northeast towards St Tropez. Your vessel will anchor off the beach and you will be taken ashore by tender to ‘Nikki Beach’ – the notorious restaurant – for lunch. ‘Nikki Beach’ is known as a hot-spot for celebrities, the rich and beautiful. Lounge by the pool, before enjoying a delightful lunch. Back on the boat,


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you will head east towards Cannes. Tonight, you will berth in Port Pierre Canto in the suburbs of Cannes. This location is ideal for dining at the popular ‘La Baioli’ – if you wish to dine out again. Alternatively, following today’s lunch ashore, you may wish to dine on board this evening. Later, you will be escorted to the nearby ‘Palm Beach Casino’, where you can try your luck. Day 6 Port Pierre Canto – Beaulieu Today will begin with a leisurely cruise along the Îles de Lérins – Île St Honorat and Île St Marguerite – and the Cap d’Antibes. For breakfast, you will be able to anchor in a suitable, sheltered bay. After breakfast, your Sunseeker will head eastwards along the coast, passing Nice. For lunch, the vessel will anchor in the beautiful bay of Villefranche.

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Lérins Islands, Cannes

Remain here for as long as you wish, before heading further east, around Cap Ferrat and into the marina at Beaulieu. Beaulieu, which lives up to its name, is well worth a visit to soak up the ambience of times gone by. Protected from the cold north winds, blowing down from the Alps, Beaulieu-sur-Mer is often referred to as ‘La Petite Afrique’ (Little Africa) and has one of the mildest climates along the Côte d’Azur. The town’s quaint shops line the two main streets, and the open-air market sells local produce. Frequented in the past by royalty and members of the aristocracy, Beaulieu today continues to be a high-class village, in true Mediterranean style. The luxurious properties, beautiful parks and gardens, as well as the extravagant limousines which you will come across in Beaulieu, all remind you that this is the heart of the Côte d’Azur. Tonight, you will be dining

at the reputable ‘African Queen’. This restaurant is recommended for its great atmosphere and is frequented by celebrities. It is ideally situated in the port. Day 7 Beaulieu – Fontvieille You may wish to explore the upmarket resort of Beaulieu a little more, before departing. On leaving the marina, there are several nearby anchorages where you can stop for lunch and a swim. After lunch, enjoy the exhilaration as you cruise over to Fontvieille/Monaco where you will spend the night. After all of this relaxation, why not venture up to the Grimaldi Royal Palace and explore the boutiques of Monte Carlo? Coulthard and McCulloch’s ‘Columbus’ (in Monaco) is a great place to visit for its cocktails, which you can enjoy on the

34 Metre

beautiful terrace. There are so many fantastic places and restaurants to visit in Monaco that the itinerary could run into volumes. However, there is a reservation for you tonight at the wonderful ‘Quai des Artistes’ restaurant, situated on Monaco’s harbour. After dinner, you may be tempted to visit Monaco’s famous casino. Your last night will certainly be one to remember! Day 8 (from 12 noon) Fontvieille – Port de la Rague After your night out in Monaco, you will begin your final journey back to Port de la Rague. The cruise will take about an hour. On return to the home berth, you will be bid a fond farewell by the crew and collected by car for your transfer to the airport. Tempted?


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