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Produced in International Media Production Zone


LOWE & BEHOLD The captivating results of one man’s unique access to JFK

HIRST LOVE Qatar welcomes one of the world’s most divisive artists

BEEST IN SHOW On safari in the Masai Mara to witness nature’s finest sight

THE BROTHERS GRIN It’s all smiles for Spanish siblings the Rocas at the world’s best restaurant


Managing Director Victoria Thatcher Editorial Director John Thatcher Advertisement Director Chris Capstick Editor Leah Oatway Contributing Editor Hazel Plush Senior Designer Adam Sneade Designer Andy Knappett Illustrator Vanessa Arnaud


Sofia So Good

Production Manager Chalitha Fernando

Get to know one of Hollywood’s most successful female directors in a rare sit-down chat

Advertisement Manager Rawan Chehab

Forty Six

Advertisement Manager Sukaina Hussein

Up Close & Personal The fascinating story of one woman’s fight to save her late father’s incredible images of John F Kennedy

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Thirty eight

Sixty six

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton feature in a new UK photo exhibition

Jeremy Morris tells AIR how he handles the pressure of running a family business

Discover the explosive power of London designer Jake Phipps’ latest creation

Experience the thrill of the Great Migration on safari with Laura Binder

Twenty Three

Thirty four


Seventy Two

A soon-to-be released Bremont watch captures an important chapter of history

Divisive artist Damien Hirst prepares for a retrospective in the Middle East

AA Gill’s quest to find out just what’s so great about the Roca brothers’ food

Olympic weightlifting living legend Pyrros Dimas shares his life lessons learned





Art & Design



What I Know Now

Fifty four

Motoring Vintage glamour is the order of the day at the Goodwood Revival Tel: 00971 4 364 2876 Fax: 00971 4 369 7494 Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from HOT Media Publishing is strictly prohibited. All prices mentioned are correct at time of press but may change. HOT Media Publishing does not accept liability for omissions or errors in AIR.

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Find out why. Scan the code. Or visit


September 2013


I’m delighted to welcome you to the September edition of AIR, Gama’s in-flight magazine. I hope you’ll enjoy learning more about our global business aviation group and the services we provide as you browse through the pages. Gama is one of the world’s largest business jet operators – we have nearly 80 business jets operating all around the globe. Established in the United Kingdom in 1983, we’ve grown to have bases throughout the Middle East, Europe and North and South America as well as operating licences issued by the UAE, UK, US and Bermudan Authorities. In addition to providing aircraft management and charter services, the group also provides aircraft maintenance, avionics design and installation, aviation software, aircraft cleaning and leasing services to a wide range of clients. Gama’s expansion in the Middle East continues to progress well; our regional fleet has grown significantly over the past 12 months with the arrival of a number of aircraft, along with the continued development of our regional footprint and services. This includes the opening of our Jeddah office and Abu Dhabi base. Also, Gama is now operating the only business aviation FBO at Sharjah International Airport, which is proving to be a very popular facility for Sharjah and the Northern Emirates, as well as a practical alternative to Dubai International Airport. Business aviation remains one of the best tools available to corporations and individuals who want to make time for themselves and it’s been pleasing to see a continued resurgence in charter flights – the world is travelling for business again and developing much needed revenue for the global economy. Thank you for choosing Gama – welcome onboard.

Dave Edwards Managing Director Gama Aviation

Contact details:

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WELCOME TO GAMA AVIATION The vast majority of the world’s most successful companies have a shared understanding of three things: where they are going (their vision), how they are going to get there (their mission) and what behaviours will drive them to achieve that goal (their values). Gama Aviation recently conducted a comprehensive brand review using the input and engagement from our staff and customers to mark the beginning of a new era for the business:

OUR VISION To be demanded and trusted by our clients, valued by our shareholders, prized by our people and admired by our peers.

OUR MISSION Our mission is simple - act responsibly to the people that matter: our clients, our shareholders and our people. This will be achieved by consistently improving; turning opportunity into reality, turning challenges into solutions, transforming normal to special. Fundamental to this will be continued, focused, strategic investment that increases our people’s expertise, our operational footprint and our value to clients. This has been our history and will be our future.


Our personnel’s high technical standards bring clarity, peace of mind and a pragmatic approach that enables the constant improvement that separates us from our competitors.

Safe & dependable

Through our dependability across all areas of the business, we take every possible measure to maximize safety - during normal operations and in times of crisis.

Client focused

We deliver unparalleled service - in the air and on the ground - going the extra mile with our attention to detail, respect for our clients’ requirements and our care for their assets.

Authentic & true

We are always honest with ourselves, our clients and our shareholders—never shying away from the truth even if it’s sometimes uncomfortable.

Performance driven

Our unstinting drive to achieve the highest operational and client service standards is rewarded with higher margins and greater returns to our shareholders and people.

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WITH US TIME IS ON YOUR SIDE From the moment you touch down at Gama’s Sharjah FBO you’ll know that time is working for you. On average, six minutes after you land you’ll be in your car and on your way. Only 10 minutes from Sharjah itself and a mere 20 minutes (or less*) from Dubai means you’ll be productive before others will have even picked up their bags. Gama Aviation is the exclusive FBO provider at Sharjah, call us for all passenger services and aircraft handling on +971 6557 0177, email or visit for more information *Helicopter transfers


• Aircraft & passenger arrival and departure services • Customs & Immigration preclearance services • Private Majlis and First Class lounges • Chauffeur and crew transport options available • Flight Planning Services • Hangar, Fuelling, Aircraft Parking & Maintenance services • Hotels at preferential rates • Car ramp access

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GAMA AVIATION NEWS Gama Aviation adds new aircraft to its Middle East fleet

Gama Aviation FZE is significantly expanding both the number and diversity of its managed and charter aircraft fleet. Over the course of the past few months Gama has added another Embraer Legacy 600 and a Challenger 604 to its UAE charter fleet, and an Embraer Legacy 650, Hawker 800XP and the region’s first Gulfstream G650. Although Gama is firmly established at Sharjah International Airport, with an additional base in Dubai, this major fleet growth marks the company’s expansion into the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi, where an Embraer Legacy 600 will be based at Al Bateen Executive Airport. The Legacy 600 type has proven to be a popular charter aircraft for Gama’s charter clients in the Middle East thanks to having two separate cabin zones that allow for increased privacy for up to thirteen passengers as well as the largest baggage

compartment in its class at 240ft3 / 6.8m3. “To have started our fourth year of operation in the Middle East on such a positive note is very rewarding. The market in the region for business aviation remains positive but slow, so it’s pleasing to see that the hard work and customer service ethic of our entire team here at Gama is producing strong results and gaining significant traction. Whether it’s our executive aircraft handling and maintenance services at Sharjah, the opening of our Abu Dhabi and Jeddah bases, the on-going growth of our managed aircraft fleet providing our charter customers with more aircraft choices, Gama Aviation is totally committed to providing a complete range of business aviation products and services to our Middle East-based clients,” said Dave Edwards, Regional Managing Director, Middle East and Asia, Gama Aviation.

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Gama Engineering’s helicopter maintenance facility posts significant growth

Gama Group announced today that Fairoaks, UK-based Gama Engineering Ltd, has established its helicopter maintenance facility as the first-choice service centre for Sikorsky S.76 operators. Harry Lees, Gama Engineering’s Managing Director, gave the inaugural Helicopter Maintenance presentation at ROC2013, (the first Rotary Operators Conference held at The Barclays London Heliport). Over 100 delegates, including many industry stakeholders ranging from manufacturers, operators and service providers, attended the first of what will be an annual conference. Harry presented solutions to a number of challenges facing helicopter operators, highlighting the latest safety improvements opportunities and progressive maintenance programmes aimed at reducing helicopter downtime and costs. Having just celebrated their second anniversary of Gama Engineering, Harry confirmed that the Fairoaks Airport, UK maintenance facility is now firmly established as the UK’s No.1 Sikorsky S76 service centre, having grown the maintenance managed fleet from two in 2011 to nine today.


> This previously unexhibited image of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton captures the couple as they perform the BBC’s famous recording of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood in October 1963, a year after they met. It is one of ten vintage prints showcased in the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibit, Michael Peto Photographs: Mandela to McCartney, which starts September 17.

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rear engine and rear wheel drive. It also boasts a wide body normally reserved for the all-wheel Carrera 4 models. It’s available in a dark graphite grey and a lighter geyser

grey metallic colour, and features a badge reading “911 50”. You’d better get in quick though: they’re limiting numbers to 1,963 in honour of the year the 911 made its debut.

> Those keen to see inside London’s iconic Battersea Power Station, before work on its exclusive multi-million dirham residential redevelopment begins, should check out London’s Open House event on September 21 and 22. While there, perhaps you can bag yourself one of the development’s in-demand $10 million penthouses. - 16 -

Opening page: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton by Michael Peto, 1963, © University of Dundee The Peto Collection

> To celebrate its 50th anniversary, this month Porsche release this exclusive, limited edition model. Based on the 911 Carrera S, like the original it is a coupé with a flat-six


Film Touchy Feely

Dir: Lynn Shelton When a faith healer loses her spiritual touch, her career and personal life begin to fall apart – but is her wayward brother to blame? AT BEST: “Touchy Feely represents writer-director Lynn Shelton at both her most commercial and most mysterious.” Screen International AT WORST: “Shelton’s migration towards clear-cut drama is hampered by uneven tone and, most damning of all, dullness.” The Guardian

Don Jon

Dir: Joseph Gordon-Levitt Jon is smooth and philandering, while Barbara is a bubbly homemaker – but when they reluctantly fall in love, all bets are off. AT BEST: “Light on its feet, and bolstered by the reliable charms.” AT WORST: “Clumsy, and incredibly rough around the edges.” Screen International


Men at Lunch

Dir: Michael Hoffmann A remake of the classic 1966 crime caper. A British thief employs a beautiful female sidekick to help him steal a priceless statue. AT BEST: “A fair comedy that’s inoffensive and evocative of a different era, filled with enough eccentricity and sharp delivery to embrace as pleasant nonsense.” AT WORST: “Diaz’s smile lights up the screen, though her role is one-dimensional.” Daily Mail

Dir: Seán Ó Cualáin The revealing tale of the race to build New York in the throes of the Great Depression, using immigrant labour. AT BEST: “The gritty beauty of the time and the mysterious origins of the world’s most famous photo.” Monsters and Critics AT WORST: “Whether it merits a feature-length documentary or a slot on PBS, I’m not sure.” National Post

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The acclaimed Ferran Adrià (whom we interviewed in AIR last month) and The Art of Food has provided tempting fodder for London’s foodies during its run at Somerset House, but now its service is drawing to a close (September 29). Charting the success of Ferran Adrià, the head chef of the now closed elBulli, the exhibition has so far revealed some of secrets of the famous restaurant, and displayed its dishes in the medium in which Adrià has always intended: art. “He and his team minutely documented their efforts with everything from workshop sketchbooks and photos and videos of the dishes to clay models of the portion sizes and shapes,” writes Ben Luke in London Evening Standard. “Adrià’s desire for boundary-breaking and creating an all-consuming sensory experience through his foams, nitro-balloons and frozen dust is energetically brought to life.” For The Independent’s Jenny Gilbert, the show is disappointingly one-dimensional, considering the richness of its subject matter: “It’s unaccountable that a show so strongly focused on innovation couldn’t have contrived to supply a few kitchen smells too... Many of the 1,846 dishes created at elBulli look amazing, or at least curious. But the evidence of this exhibition, is that photographs of food, or filmed close-ups of the preparation of food, tell less than half the sensory story.” Contemporary art fans are in for a treat at Santa Monica’s Craig Krull Gallery, as Robin Mitchell’s Moment to Moment injects some colour into the gallery’s autumn programme. Buzzing with energy, the paintings feature all of Mitchell’s vibrant calling cards: neon hues, vast canvases, and hypnotic jagged shapes. This is big, brash art – but there’s subtlety in Mitchell’s work too, as David Pagel of Los Angeles Times found: “To linger

over any one of Mitchell’s 28 abstractions is to see the simplicity, even crudeness, of every brush stroke, as well as the ordinariness of its hand-painted patterns, whose homemade imperfections are neither hidden nor made a big deal of. The clunky elements that Mitchell marshals in her humble paintings add up to a whole far greater than the sum of their parts. Defying logic, these vibrant paintings hold one’s attention longer, and with greater focus, than you’d expect – or believe.” London’s fashion elite have been flocking to the Saatchi Gallery, to witness Red Never Follows, a pop-up celebration of Hugo Boss, featuring work by 20 up-and-coming artists. With interactive technology, creative ‘play’ areas, and even some sculptures that invite viewers to climb on, this isn’t the stand-offish show that some might expect from the brand – The Independent’s Zoe Piger included: “The twenty ‘international leading creators and inspiring innovators’ who have been asked to collaborate with the brand to celebrate its 20th anniversary have produced art, rather than haute couture... The result is entertaining and thoughtful, with a dash of high-tech wonderment.”

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Samantha Shannon is the literary world’s latest hot property: aged just 21, she has recently been signed to Bloomsbury in a six-figure deal for a series of novels, and is in negotiations for a movie contract too. The novel that has propelled Shannon to the apple of every book retailer’s eye is The Bone Season – the first installment of a blockbuster collection, set in a England, in 2059. The novel takes place an intricatelywoven dystopian landscape, and follows heroine Paige Mahoney, a 19-year-old girl with paranormal abilities. In order to escape detection and imprisonment for her powers, she joins a powerful criminal gang, but the law – and other dangers – are always one step behind. “Although many of the paths walked by The Bone Season will already have been well travelled by fantasy readers, Shannon shows real skill in combining them so easily into an original and enjoyably escapist fictional world,” writes Helen Brown in the Telegraph. “I suspect this series will appeal to the fearless teenager dwelling within many adults: the ending certainly gripped me to the marrow.” Not every critic is won

over by Shannon’s ambitious efforts, however: “Though her lovingly conceived pages are stuffed with ideas and eclectic characters, the plot languishes,” writes Stephan Lee in Entertainment Weekly. “The tale of Paige Mahoney never manages to get off the ground. But even if Shannon’s inexperience is evident, her potential is too. Now that she’s laid the detailed groundwork for her series, future installments may soar.” Bestselling author India Knight is back – and looks set to deliver her usual dose of witty escapism. Starring the author’s fictional alter ego Clara Hutt, Mutton is a coming of age story with a twist: all of its characters are middle aged. When Clara’s friend Gaby returns from California looking ten years younger than her 40-something years, our heroine can’t wait to give herself a similar boxot-fuelled overhaul. But it comes with an unexpected price – and soon Clara is questioning everything she once held dear. “Knight’s columnist instincts come to the fore as she addresses the problematic issue of how to age gracefully without caring too much,” writes Emma Hagestadt

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in The Independent. “Over the course of the book Clara’s romantic star rises but it’s the warmth of friends and family that continue to bathe her in the most flattering light of all.” Reviewing in The Observer, however, Lucy Scholes is unimpressed: “Overall, the story feels a bit tired. The message may well be that Clara is still in her prime, but as a heroine she’s past her sell-by date.” Last month saw the re-release of My Face for the World to See, by Alfred Hayes – who was a prolific Hollywood screenwriter before his death in 1985. At a party, the narrator rescues a young woman from drowning in the Pacific. As their relationship deepens, so do the narrator’s troubles, and his Hollywood bubble looks set to burst. For the Guardian’s Nicholas Lezard, this is an enduring classic: “What makes this book last is the glimpse it gives us of the sort of person who goes to Hollywood in order to become famous – only to find herself slipping closer to despair and degradation,” Lezard writes. “The madness of the woman here is so plausibly depicted it chills; she has constructed a world to account for her failure, and reality is only a paper-thin membrane.


All eyes were on the Bolshoi Ballet last month, as the company performed George Balanchine’s abstract triple-bill Jewels at the London Royal Opera House – and welcomed back its estranged creative director Sergei Filin. The acid attack which left Filin partially-blinded earlier this year attracted all the wrong attention to the company, but his standing ovation at the ballet’s opening night demonstrated the stoicism of the Russian corps. But did the performance warrant similar adulation? “The company are still getting Balanchine into their bodies, and perhaps the dancing isn’t so glintingly hard-edged as their American counterparts might deliver it,” writes the London Evening Standard’s Lyndsey Winship. “Nevertheless, it’s interesting to see a well-known piece from a new perspective.” This new production follows the original three-part Emeralds-RubiesDiamonds theme, and features the eclectic Faure-StravinskyTchaikovsky score. The fundamentals remain unchanged, but for the Guardian’s Judith Mackrell it’s the Bolshoi’s dancers that bring the production to life: “Olga Smirnova vamps up the energy in ‘Diamonds’. Fabulously gifted, this young dancer is already proving a maverick – the singing line of her body punctuated by the odd, imperious accents of her phrasing. While it’s a deviant interpretation, it’s thrilling to watch.” The Edinburgh Festival is famed for its innovative line-up of comedy, drama and dance – and this year’s installment has been hailed as one of the best events in recent memory. The star of the show was The Shawshank Redemption, a stage adaptation by Owen O’Neill and Dave Johns of Stephen King’s novella. The tale follows the unlikely comradeship between prison inmates Red and Andy as they struggle through their

sentences – Red a hardened murderer, and Andy a wrongly convicted innocent. Frank Darabont’s 1994 film adaptation has, undoubtedly, overshadowed King’s original text – but can the stage production live up to expectation too? The Independent’s Michael Coveney doesn’t think so. “While Omid Djalili [as Red] and Kyle Secor as the lanky Andy make a fascinatingly odd couple, they don’t

story about injustice overcome.” As part of the celebrations for Benjamin Britten’s centenary year, Sydney Chamber Opera is performing Owen Wingrave, the composer’s penultimate opera. Recognised as Britten’s call for peace, the storyline follows Owen, a young man from a military family, as he turns his face against war. Peter McCallum of Sydney Morning Herald is captivated:

impart the sense of transcendental uplift in the movie,” he writes. “And although Secor imparts an intellectual fierceness and amiability, Djalili reduces Red to a puff-and-shrug street corner dealer.” Reviewing the production in the Guardian, Lyn Gardner is kinder: “There’s emotional potency in the struggle of the men to keep hold of their dreams. [However] it’s not this competent production that grips you, but more the power of a

“Director Imara Savage and Sydney Chamber Opera have created a compelling and tautly structured dramatic statement. Wingrave is athletic and bold, and Morgan Pearse imbues the role with cogent courage and forceful voice.” Writing in The Australian, Deborah Jones asserts: “There was no weak link anywhere… There’s an enormous sense of urgency [and] the vocal lines are solid and unadorned… a very passionate work.”

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Image: 45mm, 18k pink gold skeletonized wristwatch with flying tourbillon. To be sold at Dubai auction, October 29. Estimate $40,000-60,000.

FREDERIC WATRELOT It’s time for watches in Dubai Some very exciting news from me this month. Since I first began writing this column I have talked about some amazing watches sold very successfully by my colleagues at Christie’s around the world, either in New York, Geneva or Hong

Kong. On Tuesday October 29, I am delighted to invite you to attend the first stand-alone watch sale in the UAE. It will be a small sale but, as they say, “perfectly formed” or “tailormade” with around 50 timepieces with a range of estimates from US$2,000 to US$80,000. I am busy cataloguing the watches at the moment so more on the highlights next month just before the sale. I thought I would take the opportunity to swap a few tips on buying a watch at auction with you this month, to get you in the mood. Firstly, and most importantly when considering a purchase at auction, set an upper price limit and make sure you factor in

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the buyer’s premium, which you will have to add to your final bid. Come in and see the piece, hold it, try it on, speak to me or someone else in the specialist team for advice on the condition of the lot. Ask questions. Has it been repaired or restored? Does it come with any original documentation? Are there any obvious signs of damage? Do your homework – all of the main auction houses have websites where past lot prices are available. Just add the make and model to the search terms and see if a similar model has been sold at auction recently. This will give you an idea of where you should set your limit – but do ask the specialists as so much of the value lies in the condition of the watch. Did you know you can ask for a written condition report where the piece is examined for you by one of the specialist team? There are four ways to bid – in person, live online, leaving a written bid or on the telephone. If you are bidding in person then pre-register providing a bank reference at least 48 hours before the sale and on the day leave yourself time to present your ID, sign the registration form and receive your bidding paddle. Then stay calm and stick to your limit. The latter also applies to bidding online through systems such as Christie’s Live which lets you see and hear the sale from the comfort of a seat in front of your computer. You can also leave a written commission bid with the auction house or compete for the more expensive lots through a member of its staff on the telephone. Buying a watch at auction is enormously pleasurable and can prove a good investment, although that should not be your primary motive for collecting. There are few things more satisfying than acquiring knowledge, using that to buy something that you like and then enjoying it every day.



n the early 1970s, it was finally revealed how the Second World War was won. At Bletchley Park, near the town of Milton Keynes in the UK, within the Victorian mansion and hastily-built huts on its grounds, a unique workforce of 9,000 men and women was assembled, and tasked with deciphering the coded messages being sent by German forces. The information they uncovered was invaluable,


A British watchmaker has found a way not just of telling the time, but capturing it – using materials sourced from Bletchley Park, the codebreaking factory of World War II concerning fleet movements and battle plans, with many crediting Bletchley Park for not only saving countless lives, but shortening the war by at least two years. British prime minister Winston Churchill referred to its workers as “the geese that laid the golden eggs, but never cackled.” But it was only decades later, in 1974, thanks to national security and the Official Secrets Act, that it could actually be talked about – prompting books, documentaries, newspaper articles and interviews. Some of this information would have surprised the original workers too, as what took place there between 1939 and 1945 was so secretive that even they were not fully briefed, split into separate buildings and not allowed to discuss their work with each other. We know now that their main aim was to decrypt the messages received from such German devices as the Enigma, which used a system of rotors, changed on a daily basis, to create highly complex codes. Today, the technology used by the ciphers can still be seen at Bletchley Park, which has been converted into a museum, while some of it has been repurposed – thanks to British watchmaker Bremont. In Bletchley Park, Bremont saw an opportunity, and also a way of helping its

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ongoing restoration. The limited edition Codebreaker watch, to go on sale later this year, uses materials from the site in its construction, and in return donates a percentage from the sale of each model to the Bletchley Park Trust, which has been tasked with preserving it. There will be 240 steel Codebreaker watches available, with 50 in rose gold. “Bletchley Park has such an amazing place in world history, and has not only inspired us to create the beautiful Codebreaker watch, but enabled Bremont to help raise the funds and profile for the preservation of this important heritage site of which we are so proud,” cofounder of Bremont, Giles English, confirms. The overall look and feel is reminiscent of a classic 1940s officer’s watch, with the reverse inspired by the drums of a Bombe machine – the electromagnetic device designed by Alan Turing that was tasked with partially deducing the day’s

Enigma settings, which it did by eliminating any incorrect possibilities. The back of the watch also features what appears to be its own code, but is actually an anagram of Bremont and Turing. Then there is the pine fragment from the floorboards of Hut 6, used in the crown of the watch, which was thought of as the nerve

information. At one time there would have been around two million cards at Bletchley Park, but most were destroyed after the war – five are used here to create the series number on the case of the Codebreaker, while part of the watch’s rotor has been made from the wheel of an original Enigma machine.

‘Bletchley Park has inspired us to create the Codebreaker watch’ centre of Bletchley Park. It was here that mathematicians and scientists would have gathered to analyse the information from the Bombe machines, using it to finalise the code. The system also involved an early form of computer processing, with a series of numbered punch cards rather than a keyboard to input

It seems fitting for a brand, mindful of Swiss competitors, to promote its British heritage by cementing itself with one of the country’s key landmarks. But for Bremont, based in Henleyon-Thames, this is nothing new. Although the company has not been in business long, releasing its first watch in 2007, founding

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brothers Nick and Giles English have become experts in sourcing history from elsewhere. Previous limited edition watches have included the Victory, which included oak and copper from the HMS Victory, piloted by Lord Nelson in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. “We are passionate about creating relationships with interesting people or projects, and this was no exception,” says Nick English, adding that like the Codebreaker, proceeds from every sale were donated to the continued preservation and restoration of the ship. To be able to wear a watch so clearly connected to an historic event, such as the Codebreaker, with parts actually present during the moment itself, is an obvious draw to buyers. For Bremont, it also meant the opportunity to

‘To wear a watch so connected to an historic event is an obvious draw’ host a fantastic 1940s-themed launch party this summer at Bletchley Park itself, inviting some of the staff who worked there during the war. Most are now in the nineties, and at last able to share stories of their achievement. Even in the years after the conflict, their participation still classified, they were believed to have worked as civil servants by friends and family, and did not command the same respect as those returning from the front line. But the work of Bletchley Park cannot be denied. By the end of the war, the ciphers were breaking codes within hours of their transmission, with British field commanders reading enemy orders before their intended recipients. The Allies knew of U-boat positions in the Atlantic, the location of 58 out of 60 German

divisions along the Western front, and there was lots of information discovered regarding Nazi forces in North Africa. Captain Jerry Roberts, who attended the Bremont launch, even recalls decrypting messages from Hitler himself. Perhaps the best way to understand it all is to visit Bletchley Park and see where it all took place. It was an important venue that changed the tide of the war, and with a little help from a British watch brand will not only be preserved for future generations, but by investing in one of its Codebreakers you can take a piece of it with you. More info at, and also Bremont watches are available in Dubai through the Rivoli Group, in four of its stores.

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Royal seal of approval

The son and namesake of legendary jeweller David Morris speaks exclusively to AIR...


s a child, Jeremy Morris harboured dreams of becoming a rock star. Like his father, he discovered he had a talent for playing the drums. Unfortunately, The Clash had already hired a drummer. So Morris headed off to art school, where he quickly discovered he’d inherited another family talent – jewellery design. Today, the son of jeweller extraordinaire David Morris spends his time working with rock stars instead of as one, creating spectacularly glamorous creations that have adorned some of the most beautiful, talented and high-profile individuals on the planet: from Beyonce to the Beckhams, Oprah Winfrey to Barbara Streisand. “Celebrities are no different to our other clients,” said the down-to-earth jeweller when AIR caught up with him during one of his few quiet moments. “Our clientele have an appreciation for unique pieces with flair that sets them apart from their contemporaries. “I remember my mother telling me about when we first worked with Elizabeth Taylor in 1960, after we had a heart-shaped necklace mentioned in the Daily Mail. “We got a phone call out of the blue from her press secretary who said that Liz was unwell in hospital and Richard [Burton] wanted to buy her a present for Valentine’s Day. So my father went off to the Wellington Hospital, where there were press and security everywhere. Liz was sitting

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up in bed polishing a diamond ring and Richard was beside her and said, ‘Look darling, I’ve bought you this for Valentine’s Day’.” Morris may not have held ambitions of following in his father’s footsteps from a very young age, but he was quick to recognise the beauty in his craftsmanship. “My first recollection of jewellery was a diamond pin that my father codesigned with Anne Seymour, which won the Diamonds International Awards in 1963. It was a platinum pin set with a circular spray of marquise and brilliant-cut diamonds, with a stem of baguette diamonds.” Discovering he had a similarly unique flair for design was an eyeopening moment for a still young Morris: “I had played as a child in my father’s workshop and had been raised surrounded by – immersed in – jewellery, so it seemed an exciting opportunity.”

‘The David Morris signature style is classic with a contemporary touch’ His father organised an apprenticeship for his son. Two years at the prestigious Boucheron workshops in London followed before a year in Paris. “By the time I had finished I had fallen in love with the process of making jewellery and was keen to start designing and creating my own pieces, which is something that I still relish to this day.” There were no family favours, no pulling of strings: Morris cut his teeth in Paris, where he ‘sat on a bench’ for Place Vendome’s prestigious haute joaillerie houses and in Antwerp for a diamond supplier, where he learnt how to sort and cut the gems before eventually joining the family business. “I still stay faithful to the David

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JEWELLERY Morris signature style, which is classic with a contemporary touch designed to enhance a woman’s beauty,” Morris said. “We don’t follow fads and trends. Our clients don’t come to David Morris looking for fashionable pieces but rather pieces that, if she dares, would make her stand out in the crowd.” David Morris jewellery is renowned for its craftsmanship and unique pieces, which feature colourful gems in unusual shapes and shades. Strong and beautiful jewellery pieces, Morris believes, feature “jewels that reflect the spirit of audacity and originality, perpetuating the crucial connection of emotion and precision, instinct and ingenuity, creativity and craftsmanship.” “To this day I get most of my inspiration from the rare stones themselves, as well as the experiences gleaned through my extensive travels around the world, both with my family and for work,” he said. “I design for women and I pay close attention to them: how they dress, what sort of adornment they prefer and what they are looking for.” Every year, the world’s most beautiful woman wears the same magnificent turquoise and diamond crown created by Morris’ father in 1972 for the Miss World contest. The immense creative talent of the Morris family means much has changed since the 1970s though. Having been one of the first jewellers to run a concession – it was located in Harrods, London – today it has one in the city’s Selfridges store, another in Harvey Nichols, even one in Dubai. I wonder if, when a design house becomes as big as David Morris is, it is difficult to maintain creative control? “The perfect jewel is, and always has been, about relationships, and most crucial, and elusive of all, is the relationship between the designer and the craftsmen or jeweller,” Morris said. “Today our skilled craftsmen in the David Morris workshop are adept at bringing my visions to life. “Some have been with the company

for well over 20 years, having started as apprentices. Throughout the years we have created a strong relationship whereby they have learnt to translate my ideas into metal and stones. “As I was trained at the bench, gaining that experience that has given me respect for jewellery-making skills and a thorough understanding not only of the process involved, but also of the challenges and limitations of

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‘To this day I get most of my inspiration from the rare stones themselves’

materials and techniques, the rules and conventions by which jewellery manufacture is so closely bound. This allows me to clearly communicate my ideas to them.” Ultimately, though, David Morris remains a family affair. And Morris admits to feeling a certain amount of pressure to maintain the phenomenal legacy handed down to him by his father. A legacy that includes being

the jeweller to the Bond films and the jeweller of choice for the likes of Taylor and Diana, Princess of Wales. “Of course there is always the self-imposed pressure of wanting to maintain the high standards set by my father, as well as take it to the next level,” he said. “Just as my father enjoyed the support of my mother, Suzette, in establishing the brand, so do I rely on my gemmologist wife Erin

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in the capacity of muse and creative sounding board. Erin’s touch can be seen in many of the David Morris pieces, whether it is through designing the piece or simply inspiring a design.” And now, Morris’ daughter Phoebe has joined the team, too, in a marketing and communications role. “It’s an exciting team,” he conceded. “You can already feel the impact that she has on the brand.”



Image: Vincent van Gogh. Self-portrait, Dec 1886 - Jan 1887, Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague Text: Leah Oatway

A London gallery is set to explore the fascinating impact two years in Paris had on the esteemed work of Vincent Van Gogh…


here are few who fail to succumb to the beauty and magic of Paris. And it seems Van Gogh was no exception. For it was during a two-year stint in the French capital that the revered artist cast off the dark, sombre cloak that had shrouded

his earlier work. He had left Belgium in 1886 for France to join his brother Theo, a gallery manager, and while studying with famed French artist Fernand Cormon he met Picasso, Monet and Gaugin. The change in tone and technique during the two years that followed is remarkable to behold. Now, thanks to a landmark exhibition at London’s prestigious Eykyn Maclean gallery, you can. Van Gogh in Paris, which runs between September 26 and November 29, aims to shed light on this pivotal two-year period of his

‘This exhibition explores Van Gogh at his most pivotal moment’ tragically short 10-year career by presenting a selection of his paintings during this time. It also displays a select group of works by his most revered peers, such as Monet and Danish-French impressionist Camille Pissarro, in a bid to show the impact they had. “This exhibition explores Van Gogh at his most pivotal moment,” explained Nicolas Maclean, co-founder of the gallery. “The works in the show, each a masterpiece in its own right, together display the range of subject matter and techniques with which Van Gogh experimented during these years. In focusing on these two critical years and

placing Van Gogh in the context of contemporaneous work by his fellow artists, our exhibition shows his extraordinary achievements in a fresh and illuminative light.” Among the highlights of the exhibition will be an early self-portrait from The Hague’s Gemeentemuseum. It shows the first use of a strong shade of red in his beard and those intense eyes – both of which later feature in his most prolific portraits. There are also the beautiful works he created of the city; inspired by the beauty of it and its surrounds, during walks he took. And then there’s the famous painting of his own shoes, the only one of his famous series of five canvases that remains in private hands today. It is here, in this painting, that keen art lovers will spot the bolder use of brushwork. It’s a fascinating collection of works and an intriguing exploration of his development as an artist, made all the more exceptional by the inclusion of paintings such as Monet’s View of Bennecourt, 1887. Van Gogh referred to these Impressionist artists as ‘le Grand Boulevard’ and would have visited exhibitions of their work and seen their paintings in his brother’s gallery. The presentation also seeks to explore the influence that techniques employed by avant-garde artists (aka ‘le petit Boulevard’) would have had on him – artists such as Bernard, Seurat, Gaugin and Signac; as well as the impact of Japanese prints. He and Theo collected ukiyo-e prints by Hiroshige, where bold colours, for example, are seen to have influenced his work. Intrigued? You will be. Van Gogh in Paris is at Eykyn Maclean, London, Sept 26-Nov 29, 2013. Gallery admission is free and booking is essential due to anticipated demand. For ticket information:

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Love at

A vast collection of work by the world’s most controversial artist is on its way to Qatar

Hirst sight H

is fascination with death has spawned the creation of some of the most renowned contemporary art works in the world: from a series of animals preserved in formaldehyde to a diamond encrusted skull. Now, Damien Hirst’s seminal creations are being painstakingly prepared for transportation to Doha ahead of the artist’s first solo exhibition in the Middle East. Relics, which is being hosted by Qatar Museums Authority under the patronage of HE Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, runs from October until January and covers more than 25 years of Hirst’s incredible career. Alongside his most iconic pieces will be previously unseen works. Hirst’s often controversial themes – love, life, death and art, and their inextricable links – have divided opinion since his work first came to attention. But there is little doubt that the often audacious nature of his projects draws in the crowds; art enthusiasts in the region are likely to flock to the Alriwaq Doha exhibition space when the works are unveiled next month. “I’ve got an obsession with death,” Hirst recently admitted, “but I think it’s like a celebration of life rather than something morbid.” The English artist was part of the Young British Artist

movement that began in London in the 1980s and is credited with invigorating a then somewhat tired and flagging British art scene. “With his own artistic language, Damien Hirst changed our perception of London and the UK,” said Jean Paul Engelen, director of public art at the Qatar Museum Authority. “There are very few artists in history that have had such a profound impact on high and popular culture.” Florence-born Francesco Bonami, a high-profile writer and critic and the former artistic director of the 2003 Venice Biennale, will curate the Doha exhibit. It is arguably the highlight, thus far, of a series of cultural projects initiated by the Qatar Museums Authority aimed at promoting and supporting local and international art It forms part of Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture, aimed at celebrating and showcasing the two nations’ close relationship and encouraging new partnerships in culture, education and research. “Underpinning the work of the Qatar Museums Authority is our belief that art can open up new channels of communication between diverse nations, people and histories,” Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani explained. Relics, Oct 10, 2013-Jan22, 2014, at Al Riwaq Art Space, Doha.

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SARA COSGROVE Harrods’ head of interior design on nature’s timeless inspiration As the summer draws to a close and we enter a brand new season, new collections are already being introduced in furniture fabric and homewares accessories, bringing with them a whole new perspective packed with original ways of creating exciting interiors. Without doubt, the unveiling of these new autumn/winter collections is one of my favourite times of the year and as part of Harrods Home team, I am extremely fortunate to be able to preview many of the new products being showcased by some of the industry’s top brands. A new season always gives me a fresh burst of enthusiasm. I often find myself analysing many of the collections and can regularly see just where the inspiration originates from – nature. Nature and the many wonders of the natural world are irresistible to many designers and you will frequently recognise detail with a botanical or natural history theme being translated through pattern, graphics, colour tone and texture. The new Eden fabric and wallpaper collection by Matthew Williamson for Osborne & Little is brought to life in a riot of colour and texture which is evocative of the exotic natural world. Deep sea blues, jewel-like peacock purples, lush greens and sunshine yellows all feature in the intricate designs, giving the collection a vibrant, energetic vibe.

Meissen, another rising star in the world of interiors, has just launched the ‘Jardin de Marrakech’ range, designed by the fabulous, Meryanne Loum-Martin. Featuring design that is heavily influenced by her beautiful hotel Jnane Tamsna in the La Palmaraie, an area outside Marrakech, in Morroco, this impressive collection combines stunning porcelain pieces that are decorated with lush palm trees and tropical birds then illuminated with soft gold. Tiffany, a brand normally associated

with exquisite jewellery, has a limited edition collection of beautiful objects for the home including some stylish candle sticks. With creative direction from eponymous Italian designer Elsa Peretti the ‘bone collection’ has wonderful natural shapes yet is thoroughly modern and sophisticated, but with an edge. Available in sterling silver and cobalt crystal they make a

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wonderful addition to a dining table. This leads me to another firm favourite that I can always count on when I am sourcing the perfect pieces for styling to dress a room – L’objet. I am in love with their hand sculpted coral collection. In fact, right at the top of my wish list at the moment are the exquisite coral cabochon bookends, which have been finished with 24 carat gold plated base. For me, this perfectly infuses the natural world with true luxury. I might just have to treat myself…

> This is Curial, a ceremonial chair that is part of celebrated Californian designer Rick Owens’ Prehistoric collection, on display at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in London’s prestigious Mayfair district from September 9 to November 1. This chair, made of petrified wood, is one of

several designs in keeping with Paris-based Owens’ determination to reconcile light and darkness in his work (he is a huge fan of black and white films produced in Hollywood in the 1930s). Other mustsee pieces include the Trident chair, a gloriously structured white beauty.

Bulletproof Be the envy of guests with these SHELL stools, the latest creation of British interior design company Jake Phipps. Made to look like an ammunition cartridge, they are available in a bronze or silver finish and, at 30cm high, the vacuum metalised polycarbonate creations join together to form a bespoke bench or table.

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Sofiaso good AIR is granted a rare audience with one of the world’s most successful female directors...


n what remains a notoriously maledominated industry, Sofia Coppola is something of a trailblazer. For over a decade, the 42-year-old screenwriter, director and producer has cemented her status as one of the most powerful directorial names in Hollywood. Her achievements are numerous and require little explanation: Lost In Translation, The Virgin Suicides, Marie-Antoinette, Somewhere and, most recently, The Bling Ring. Then there’s the small matter of an Oscar (for Best Original Screenplay for Lost in Translation), a Best Director nomination for the same film, and leading the charge of female directors now commanding blockbuster audiences and international recognition.

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Images, clockwise from top: The Bling Ring; Somewhere; Coppola on set; Lost In Translation; Somewhere


‘Of course knowing people in the film business is helpful. But you have to prove yourself. I think people doubt me more because of my name’ That she would become so successful is perhaps unsurprising, given her pedigree: born in New York in 1971 to legendary Hollywood director Francis Ford Coppola and his wife Eleanor, she also counts actor Nicolas Cage among her cousins and her brother Roman is a successful film and music video director in his own right. Her upbringing, the mother-of-two admits, was a somewhat unconventional but privileged one – something she was well aware of growing up. “I was familiar with sometimes being brought to worlds that kids aren’t usually around,” she said. “And I always remember it was exciting to go on a trip with my dad where you get to see things, or worlds, that kids aren’t normally around.” There is no doubt that her family name carries weight in the international film industry, but Coppola insists that while there are obvious advantages to that, there are inevitable down sides, too. “Well, now I feel like it’s my work that gets my financiers, because my movies didn’t lose money,” she said. “Now I can ask them again to make a movie. But when I first started, I knew people and I had access to people that gave me an entrée that if I was not famous [perhaps I

wouldn’t have had]... Of course knowing people in the film business is helpful. But then you have to prove yourself. I think people probably doubt me more because of my name.” Coppola has a reputation for being a challenging interview subject: not because she’s rude but because she just doesn’t seem to enjoy the process very much. So does she just dislike journalists, then? “Oh, no,” she laugh. “It’s [just] such an unnatural situation for a person to be talking about themselves all day. It’s just bizarre, I think.” And so, in a bid to avoid such bizarre behaviour, when she’s not on the obligatory junkets that accompany being the director of award-winning films, Coppola shuns the limelight – preferring to spend her days in her home cities of New York or Paris with her husband, French musician and Phoenix frontman Thomas Mars, and their two young daughters, Romy and Cosima. Coppola and Mars met on the set of The Virgin Suicides: it was her first feature-length film and Mars was producing the soundtrack. They have worked together on every major project since and Phoenix have featured on almost all of Coppola’s films’ soundtracks.

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“I really loved working with Phoenix and collaborating with my husband; it feels right,” she said. When asked if this is something that will continue, however, she is non-committal. “I feel like each time I do a movie, you find the music that connects to that world and that setting, and I’m not sure what that world will be next time.” Having family and loved ones involved in the filmmaking process is important to the ravenhaired New Yorker, who grew up on the set of her father’s films. “My brother is a producer and we’ve always worked on stuff together, so I like working with him,” she said. “And I have relationships with some of the same crew that I’ve worked with or known for many years. I guess I saw my dad do that: it just seems natural to work with people that are close to me.” Coppola’s working relationship with her father began early – her first role as a newborn baby in The Godfather. She went on to star in each of the three films. An internet search of her most prominent role as Michael Corleone’s daughter

Best Original Screenplay for Lost in Translation. She became the first American woman, only the third woman in the history of The Oscars at that time, to have been nominated for Best Director. Kathryn Bigelow was the fourth and the first to win in 2010 for The Hurt Locker. While proud of the strides being taken by her female peers, Coppola is not convinced this slashes the odds on future Oscar glory. “I don’t think it creates more chances of getting my own [Oscar for Best Director] or anything,” she said. “I just think it’s cool that [women winning such awards] is more common or more open. “The Oscar [win for Lost In Translation] was really exciting,” she enthused. “I mean, the whole reception for [the film], I never expected it – to get so much attention and for so many people to connect to it. So it was really exciting.” Coppola’s scripts are renowned for their brevity – “I want to have enough information that the crew and the cast understand it, but I don’t get into a lot of detail because it’s for me”. Her ultra-successful approach to direction

Mary in The Godfather III quickly reveals the storm of criticism that her appointment – which came about when Winona Ryder was forced to drop out due to illness – caused Coppola’s father, who was accused of nepotism amid staunch criticism of her performance. This harsh introduction to the spotlight was to be her last foray into acting. Soon afterward, Coppola explored the world behind the lens. But 20 years and an Oscar later, she is still forced to answer questions about the experience – something that, understandably, has been known to rile her. Today though, when asked if she would consider giving acting another shot her response is expectedly short but polite. “No, I don’t enjoy acting, I just did The Godfather III to try it. I prefer expressing myself through visuals and being behind the camera.” It’s certainly something she does well. In 2003, Coppola joined several family members – her father, cousin Cage – among the heady ranks of Oscar winner, when she received an Oscar for

is naturally subject to intense scrutiny by film scholars and students, anxious to emulate her approach. What is the secret? “I always try to be open because I always think things happen and you can’t plan everything out,” she said. “And I don’t storyboard things. I try to kind of approach it the way you do a photo shoot, where you get all the elements together and then see what works best when you’re really there. And I try to be open to the characters – if the actor is more comfortable sitting somewhere, [or] whatever, [then] I want that to lead how we shoot it. “Although I have a clear idea of what I think it should look like, I want to work with the actors [so] that they [do what] feels best. And there are certain scenes that I feel work better with improvisation, like a party scene. I kind of set up stuff and let them do it. “But then other scenes are more precise, in terms of the dialogue, because I want it to be like life, where we can’t always express everything so clearly.”

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Images: © StudioCanal; Corbis Images Text: Fabian Wainthal & Leah Oatway

‘I always try to be open because I always think things happen and you can’t plan everything out. I want film-making to be like life’

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For years, acclaimed photographer Jacques Lowe silently captured remarkable behindthe-scenes images of his friend, United States’ President John F Kennedy. When the political icon was assassinated in 1963, the image negatives were kept under lock and key, until a terror attack threatened to lose them forever…


hen the World Trade Centre was destroyed on September 11, 2001, Thomasina Lowe mourned what she feared was the loss of her late father’s legacy. For in a safe, in a J.P. Morgan Chase Bank vault within one of the towers, had been priceless negatives belonging to Jacques Lowe, her father and, for years, the private photographer and friend of John F Kennedy. The negatives – which capture years of intimate moments between Kennedy and his family – had been stored there by her father when insurance companies refused to insure them because of their inconceivable value. “I was in New York on 9/11,” Thomasina told AIR. “As the events were unfolding I was faced with the dilemma of putting myself in danger to get to my father’s Kennedy negatives at The World Trade Centre. Upon reflection of course, this would have

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been impossible, none the less it was a torturous and powerless feeling.” The safe was eventually retrieved, in tact, but the contents had been destroyed. Thomasina was, understandably, devastated. “It is incredibly hard to put into words the loss of that,” she said. “In a way, part of me feels very grateful that my father never had to know about what happened, that he didn’t live to experience the loss of his Kennedy negatives.” Amazingly, using new technologies to maintain the archive and relying solely on a small stock of rare prints signed by Lowe before his death, Thomasina has managed to rebuild her father’s archive. And this month the incredible results of her efforts are available to view at Proud Chelsea gallery, London, as part of Jacques Lowe: My Kennedy Years, an exhibit curated by acclaimed photographic artist Emma Blau. “I first saw these prints in 2003,” recalled Blau. “I was enthralled by their scope and intimacy and, of course, their historic significance. I was already familiar with Jacques Lowe’s images, but to see the actual physical photographs, so beautifully printed, was really special. “Even when Jacques Lowe was taking photographs of JFK while at work, there was still something incredibly revealing and affectionate about his pictures. Knowing that these were some of the only original prints in existence, no more could ever be made due to the negatives being destroyed in such tragic circumstances, somehow added to the mythology surround the story of the Kennedy family.” Lowe, who died in May 2001, had been granted unprecedented access to JFK, taking more than 40,000 photographs of him both at work and with his family. Among the images selected by Blau for the exhibit are public and private moments, including Jackie Kennedy, relaxed, in a swimsuit and having fun (a far cry from the usual almost

regal portrayal of the first lady) and JFK catching breakfast at a diner in Oregon in 1959 just before the media frenzy began. The image of Jackie in her swimsuit was requested by Vogue magazine for years, Blau revealed, but “Jacques felt that its charm lay in the fact that it was wonderfully unstylish and therefore never gave it to them”. “I felt it was important to include iconic images from Jacques Lowe’s Kennedy oeuvre as well as some more intimate, less well-known pictures: photographs of family life or being caught off guard at particular moments,” said Blau.


“The power of these photographs lies in the way in which they portrayed a youthful and authoritative, yet at the same time accessible, image of JFK to the American public. JFK also understood the historical importance of documenting his journey to the White House and his time as President.” Curating the body of work, Blau admitted, was no mean feat: Lowe’s talent for creating images that look in no way forced or posed make for enthralling viewing. “He managed to capture a man completely at ease with himself; a man

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1. 2.


4. 5. 6.

Omaha Profile, Omaha Nebraska, Autumn 1959 Jackie, John F Kennedy and Caroline, Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, August 1960 Vice Presidential Nomination, The Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles, July 1960 Silhouette, the President in the Oval Office, May 1961 Jackie working with John F Kennedy, Autumn 1958 Lumumba, The White House, February 13, 1961

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who instinctively projected an image of youthful prowess and informality which was in stark contrast to the US presidents who had preceded him,” Blau agreed. “Ultimately, I wanted to show the Kennedys as seen through Jacques Lowe’s eyes: all the moments he captured that went on to shape people’s perceptions of this mythical family. Not only was it important to include Jacques and JFK’s favourite images, and explore the visual narrative that they created together, but also to include some rarely seen prints to show the great variety of work within the archive.”

‘He managed to capture a man completely at ease with himself ’ It is unsurprising that Lowe was able to capture so many off-the-cuff moments with JFK. Having won a young photographer award from LIFE magazine in 1951, he went on to contribute images for the publication along with titles such as TIME, Paris Match and The Saturday Evening Post, before befriending Robert F. Kennedy in 1956. Two years later Joseph P. Kennedy asked him to photograph his son “Jack” (John F. Kennedy). The pair struck up a friendship, which led to him becoming the official campaign photographer for JFK’s presidential race. When JFK won the election, Lowe was asked to stay on as official White House photographer. He refused, but the president asked him to “stick around” anyway and record his administration, saying it would be worth his while. Lowe, unsurprisingly, agreed. “The level of trust that JFK had in Jacques Lowe really was exceptional and their unique relationship led to some very poignant and telling photographs,” Blau said.

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keep them safe that had led Lowe to that vault in the World Trade Center. “I went with him on countless occasions to the J.P. Morgan Chase Bank vault to retrieve or return negatives,” she wrote. “There was always an air of solemnity in the room when he reached for one of the many manila envelopes, as though what we were about to see and touch would bring us closer to something historic.

February 2002, she received a call to say that the safe had been found. Unfortunately, while the safe was in tact, the contents were not. Now, with this exhibition, Thomasina is hoping not only to honour her father’s legacy but to pay tribute to a “proud and hopeful chapter in our history”. “I am very honoured to have worked so closely with Jacques Lowe’s

‘There was always an air of solemnity in the room when he reached for one of the many manila envelopes’ Back out on the street, walking up West Broadway, he clutched his treasure trove until it was safe and sound in his studio.” After the tragic events of 9/11 Thomasina campaigned for months for the rubble to be sifted, hoping to retrieve the missing negatives. In early

photographs,” said Blau. “I feel he was an extremely intuitive and instinctive photographer and it is this which enabled his wonderfully intimate style of photography. He had an innate talent to capture his subject’s natural selves, as if his presence as a photographer was not really felt by them in terms of the lack of intrusion into their lives.” This sensitivity to his subject and his artistic eye, she said, made for beautiful images. “I get a sense from his photographs that he had a great empathy with his subjects and I feel his work shows an astute observation of the human condition,” Blau continued. “There is a real sense of hope and belief for the future in these photos, and, in Jacques Lowe’s own words, JFK ‘empowered each one of us to believe we could make a difference’.” “[He] tried to address and tackle issues of discrimination, poverty and war, which arguably translate universally,” said Blau. “But most of all he promised optimism and change at a time of huge political and social transformation, when both the US and international public were perhaps uncertain as to what the future held.” Jacques Lowe: My Kennedy Years, Proud Chelsea, London; September 26 to November 24. Tel: +44 (0)20 7349 0822 or visit


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All images: © Jacques Lowe, the Estate of Jacques Lowe Text: Leah Oatway

“JFK insisted in Jacques being present to document his campaign and time as president in the White House, as well as his family life.” Lowe, she added, was trusted by the Kennedy family as both an artist and a friend. “He was able to photograph every aspect of their lives. Arguably this kind of access to such a renowned public figure by a photographer just does not exist today.” Following JFK’s assassination in 1963, Lowe packed up shop and moved to France, where he withdrew from photography. It was only when he returned to New York 18 years later that he began taking images again. On a website dedicated to her father’s work, Thomasina claims her father was so attached to the negatives of his work with Kennedy that when he moved to Europe he booked an extra plane ticket for the precious cargo, so they could remain beside him and in sight. Attempts to insure them failed because no company dared; such was their value. It was a desperate need to

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Let the

Goodwood times roll... This month sees an event taking place at the Goodwood Circuit in the UK that captures a golden era of motorsport – from the classic cars to the outfits worn by showgoers

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here are not many car shows that make you feel as if you have travelled back in time, but for three days every year in September, the Goodwood Revival does just that. Everywhere you look there are classic cars, people in period dress, and even supermarkets selling goods from a bygone era – every possible detail is taken care of, and made to look like it is from the 1950s or ’60s. The venue is the Goodwood Circuit in the UK, located in West Sussex, near to the south coast. From 1948 until 1966, it was one of the world’s most popular race tracks, and hosted Formula 1, the Goodwood Nine Hours endurance race, and the celebrated Tourist Trophy, among others. But with sports cars becoming more powerful, its many turns and chicanes were deemed unsuitable, and its last major race took place in 1966, leaving the owners to find new uses for it. Luckily, there was no shortage of ideas, with the circuit still used for track days and club meets, and events like the Goodwood Festival of Speed every summer. But it is the Goodwood Revival, which began in 1998 and this year runs from September 13-15, which truly captures the spirit and even the fashion trends of its heyday. “The aim of the event is to relive the glory days of Goodwood,” confirms Janet Bradley, one of the organisers of this year’s show. “But it’s more than a series of races for historic cars – it is a magical

step back in time, and a chance for visitors to revel in the romance of motor racing as it used to be. The circuit is just as it was back then, and great lengths are taken to ensure that everything on the site is exactly as it was.” Visitors to the show wear appropriate period clothing for the entire weekend, and only vehicles that existed during the years that the venue hosted its races are permitted inside – with the exception of fire and rescue, naturally. It is a chance to see many historic cars take to the track over the three days, with authentic signage and sponsorship logos adorning the banners they race by. And the event has been added to each year, with stage shows, air displays and other entertainment that enhances the nostalgic feel. “All circuit staff dress in period clothing too,” Janet reveals, “and every day there are best dressed prizes awarded to visitors who have made that special effort. It is something very different to other motorsport events.” It also appears to be something that keeps people coming back. Last year the show set record attendance figures, with 146,000 making it through the gates. Some got into the spirit so much that they even felt the need to drive away in a classic car – auction house Bonhams reported record sales at the 2012 show, with highlights including £2.8 million (US$4.3 million) spent on an original, unrestored 1928 Mercedes-Benz 36/220 6.8-litre, owned by the same family since new, and an ex-Works 1939 Lagonda V12 Le Mans team car, sold for £1.3 million (US$2.76 million).

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The huge interest has prompted the organisers to lay on more amenities, with recent years seeing the arrival of camping facilities – including the option to hire 1950s-style tents. Increasing family numbers has even meant the introduction of a special race for youngsters, the Settrington Cup, featuring 30 Austin J40 pedal cars and drivers with an average age of eight. This year, a special one-marque race to honour 50 years of the Ford GT40 has been announced, while historic four-door saloon cars from the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Mini Cooper S to the Lotus Cortina and Fiat 1500 will be taking part in the St Mary’s Trophy, which promises famous names behind the wheel. “We also have our annual feature tribute, which this year will honour legendary Scottish racer Jim Clark, on the 50th anniversary of his first World Championship, with a daily track parade featuring some of his most famous cars,” adds Janet. “We will also mark 100 years of the Tour de France – which started in 1903, but has taken place 100 times. We will have a daily peloton of cyclists on period racing bikes, with a suitably French cavalcade of support vehicles and period promotional vans. There may even be the odd familiar face pedalling hard as well.” So much to look forward to, but if you want to attend you definitely have to put the work in as far as appearances are concerned – Goodwood has released guidebooks for men and women to help them create the perfect outfit.

Images: Supplied Text: Chris Anderson

‘It’s more than a series of races for historic cars – it is a magical step back in time’ “Everyone spends such a large amount of time sourcing the right kind of clothing from charity shops and online stores,” Janet reveals. “We have many men dressing in military uniforms, and some of the ladies come along and have their hair and make-up done here on site.” Of course, the men could always visit the traditional barber shop, if they felt that their outfit was lacking. But the main point is to indulge in a classic era of racing in authentic surroundings. “It’s great fun, with lots of action on the track, as well as music and dancing – all from a different time and place,” says Janet. “If you want a break from the racing, you’ll find vintage stores, food and drink, and amusements in our Over the Road area, or try browsing the stalls of the Revival Market. There are wonderful air displays too, taking place over each of the three days. It really is somewhere that you can come along and forget the worries of the modern world, relaxing with friends and family in the experience of a bygone age.” For more info and to book tickets, visit

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Sponsored Feature

Breaking the facelift sound barrier Director of Clinic Lémanic, Dr Véronique Emmenegger, on the one-hour, surgery-free facelift

Can you explain the procedure?

It is an ultrasound treatment that rejuvenates the deeper layers of the skin. Using this technique, the affected areas are first displayed on screen, then treated. An applicator is placed on the skin so that what is going on underneath can be seen, like an ultrasound scan. The applicator is then used to diffuse heat where it is needed below the epidermis to firm the skin without damaging its surface. Stimulated by the ultrasound energy, skin starts to produce new collagen, causing it to tighten naturally. By working more deeply than any of the other existing techniques, this method regenerates skin tissue by, so to speak, restoring the skin’s memory.

Who is the treatment for?

It is for patients whose skin has loosened in the area of the cheeks, eye contour or outer brow, or where there is a double chin or loss of definition of the outline of the face. This treatment noticeably and naturally corrects slackness and can also be used as a preventive anti-aging treatment.

Tell us about the results?

Patients look younger – the skin is tauter, the cheekbones and brow arch are lifted, the eyes are more open, the oval of the face is redrawn and any double chin noticeably reduced. Patients experience tissue toning they did not believe could be achieved so painlessly and in so short a time using a process that requires neither foreign substances nor surgical operations. The procedure gradually and naturally reactivates the radiance buried beneath the skin’s deeper layers.


An important international recognition was achieved by Dr Véronique Emmenegger and Clinic Lémanic with the award of IIPP distinction for Merit in the Development of Medical and Aesthetic Technologies, at UNESCO, Paris. This prize recognises the innovative nature of the services provided and the outstanding results for patients.

15 YEARS OF SUCCESS “Clinic Lémanic is the winner of several international awards. For the past fifteen years we have worked to create a clinic that offers a unique environment, being both discretely elegant and intimate. It’s a clinic which has risen to international fame, uniting under one roof a department of dermatology, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, a laser centre and clinical research centre, as well as a medical aesthetics department dedicated to beauty, prevention of ageing and slimming. Clinic Lémanic specialises in efficient, fast and durable aesthetic procedures without visible consequences, performed in the utmost discretion. Our absolute priority remains to achieve excellence in our medical and aesthetic treatments, which have made our reputation in Switzerland and abroad.” Véronique Emmenegger Medical Director and cofounder of Clinic Lémanic

What happens during the treatment?

The ultrasound energy introduced beneath the skin produces heat. The skin reddens and the patient may feel a tingling sensation during, which on average lasts for an hour. Right after the session, patients already find the contours of their face redefined and their features tightened. Treatment does not require any change in the patient’s social or professional life, nor is any medication required during and after the intervention.

Clinic Lémanic 2, Avenue de la Gare 1003 Lausanne Switzerland +41 21 321 20 82

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Homage Catalonia to

El Celler de Can Roca in Girona has just been voted the world’s number one restaurant, with almost a year-long waiting list for a table. What’s its secret? AA Gill ventured into the kitchen to find out...

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ists are ubiquitous and reductively ridiculous. Choosing the prettiest poodle, the happiest nation, the finest Brazilian bottom in the world, is, by its very nature, absurd and, by all but the most esoteric intents and purposes, practically pointless. Unless, of course, the title happens to be awarded to you. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list has had a dramatic effect on kitchens and chefs. It has replaced the oldfashioned, opaque, partial Michelin Guide as the most sought-after catering accolade. It’s a straightforward international hip parade with identifiable judges and a lot of publicity. Chefs who have been given the top spot have found their restaurants and their lives elevated to dizzying heights. Food is, after all, not just dinner but the new fashion. Past winners have been Ferran Adrià at elBulli, Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck and René Redzepi at Noma, Copenhagen. They are now the most famous men in white on earth and are treated like edible rock stars. This year’s winner, though, was a surprise. El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Catalonia, is not a name that slips from the gourmand’s silky wet lips. It doesn’t have a celebrity chef, it has three, three brothers: Joan the cook, Josep the sommelier, who’s also obsessive about green tea, and Jordi the patissier. We asked them for a reservation, they offered two dates this year: one for dinner, one for lunch. Since the award, their booking lines have been open only one day a month to take reservations for 11 months in advance. I chose lunch. They said they hoped I didn’t mind sitting in the kitchen. I said I didn’t, I know my place. Girona isn’t a particularly prepossessing town, not a tourist destination. It does, though, have a functioning economy: shops that aren’t boarded up and houses with people in them. This is historically a rich area, with

‘Winning is good for the town, for the region, and of course it’s an honour’

connections to France and, through Barcelona, the Atlantic and America. Its farming is famously good, as is its seafood. The restaurant is in an unprepossessing street, next to a large car park — you’d miss it if you weren’t concentrating. There’s a narrow ramp and, at the top, I find myself in a pretty courtyard with what looks like the front of an old farmhouse with window boxes of geraniums. Just behind me troops a group of overdressed Hong Kong tourists. They didn’t have a reservation and there wasn’t the remotest chance of them getting one, but they

didn’t mind — they’d come all this way just to take some photographs. The three brothers politely posed with them and sent them up the road to a cafe for lunch. The restaurant itself is ferociously modern: a glass dining room built round a triangular space with trees growing in it, so you’re always aware of the seasons and nature and can see the other diners through a caged wood. It has the effect of feeling restful and severe; it could perhaps be the chillout canteen from a Californian yoga retreat. The tables are simple and unpretentious, the staff setting up lunch are young, neat but not fussy, and I notice the customers are casually dressed, with not a single man wearing a tie. Joan and Josep are friendly and reserved, perhaps a little shy. Joan wears a chef’s jacket but without an embroidered name; Josep is in a business suit; Jordi wears a beige patissier’s jacket. I ask how winning the accolade has affected them. “It’s good for the town, for the region, and of course it’s an honour,” says Joan. Why does Spain seem to be having such a foodie

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renaissance at the moment? We’re only a few miles from elBulli’s old premises. “Not Spain,” he corrects. “This is Catalonia.” The translator tells me that they’re not speaking Castilian Spanish, they’re speaking Catalan, and the photographer tells me I should look at the flags outside and on the houses on the street. They are Catalan flags with the blue triangle of independence. “I don’t want to be political,” says Joan. “It is also an honour for Spain. But our food used to be conservative. You know when you had a dictatorship? Everything was kept as it was. There was no innovation, not many new things or thinking.” Now they are looking at their heritage and they’re making something moreish and original. It’s telling that Catalonia and the Basque Country are the two regions producing the most innovative and exciting new cuisines. They are also the most stridently self-deterministic. Food is always at the heart of nationalism and pride and identification: you are not only what you eat, but what your family and your neighbours eat. Despite the

terrible recession here and the price of €170 (AED 830) per head, 40 per cent of the customers are still local. The boys grew up in their parents’ caff, where they’ve just sent the Chinese. Joan went to catering school in the town. His influences are all tastes from home. The cafe is still run by his mother, who does all the cooking. She’s a smiling whitehaired lady who holds my hand and leads me through a little bar with the telly on into her kitchen and shows me the large simmering pan of crayfish that is today’s dish and offers me a slice of Spanish omelette that is smooth and soft and comfortingly perfect. Her menu is still €10 (AED 49). Half the people finishing their lunch are the chefs from her sons’ restaurant. There are more than 30 in the kitchen and about the same for front of house. That is one member of staff for every customer. The margins at the very top end of catering are as tiny as the overheads are huge. I settled into the little bar in the restaurant kitchen that is usually used for the computer. The first course comes under a collapsible paper cloche like a Japanese

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GASTRONOMY lamp shade. It hides a purpose-made armature that holds small mouthfuls of canapés. Joan explains that each one represents a country whose food he likes: Morocco, Mexico, Peru, China. They are complicated holiday bombs: Morocco whisks you back to the souks in Marrakesh, Mexico has the freshness, heat and smoothness of lunch on the street in Mexico City. I’ve never been to Peru, but what I tasted made me want to go. This is an impressive trick of the palate. Next comes the bonsai olive tree with olives hanging from it. The olives have been remade, mixed with anchovies — a classic combination in Catalan cooking. Also, combining meat and fish, Joan said, is a trait of this region. Using the bonsai tree to deliver the olives is showy. Then there’s an elderflower infusion with cherries and smoked eel, and white asparagus with a truffle viennetta. That is viennetta like the ice cream you remember as a kid. It is a smooth, clean ice cream, only it’s been streaked with summer truffles and it’s funny and inspired — a combination of the different expertise of the younger and elder brothers: sweet and savoury. There’s a liquid emulsion of St George mushrooms in a pebble of omelette, white truffle in brioche — the taste of summer earth — and tiny slow-cooked vegetables from the potager. This is incredibly simple and delicate, and utterly perfect. Slow and long cooking is also characteristic of Catalan food; some of

exasperation, the smile always warm, always authentic. Now lamb breast with aubergine and sweetbread smoked on the plate, then a pigeon with a liver sauce caramelised with walnuts, juniper, orange peel and herbs. And then the puddings: a blob of sourdough ice cream with fried lychee, sherry vinegar and cacao pulp comes on what looks like a lump of uncooked bread dough that is undulating — it’s plastic dough with a motor inside that makes it beat like something from a horror movie. This is the most extreme, camp presentation I’ve ever been offered: mechanical uncooked bread. Jordi the patissier explains it to me, but it doesn’t make it any less bonkers. The ice cream, though, is better than any other being eaten this lunch anywhere in Europe. Then a paper cone is offered and we’re instructed to sniff. It smells strongly of old ladies in casinos and late-night lifts in four-star hotels. It’s Shalimar, a classic Guerlain scent that is sweet with vanilla, roses and iris. A plate comes with its edible equivalent: chai cream, blood orange, vanilla, mango and roses. The taste is uncanny. In all, we ate 18 courses. Most are a single bite, maybe two. It is important for food this complex and distinguished that the customer can’t miss the point by picking around the plate; each offers an exclamation in your mouth. The presentation, gaudy and over the top though it may be, keeps you focused. You can’t eat this like the peanuts on

‘All around us the kitchen goes about its craft, heads bowed, backs bent over plates. There is no shouting of orders, no tension, no sense of exertion, just a practised concentration’ those dishes sit in the steam oven for 24 or 36 hours. Sardine jaws with potato and garlic — don’t ask me how he does that to a sardine’s jaw, but it’s worth it. Sea anemone with samphire that we have to eat with metal tweezers. A local Palamos prawn with smoke-flavoured foam is a dish that represents all three brothers. This is scampi in a bowl suspended over charcoal onto which is poured amontillado sherry that evaporates with a hiss and scents the flesh; beside it, a drop of sweetly reduced sherry on a spoon. Sole, with parsley and fermented garlic, like kimchi, with miso and intense tiny buds of wild garlic. All around us the kitchen goes about its craft, heads bowed, backs bent over plates. There is no shouting of orders, no tension, no sense of exertion, just a practised concentration. Joan stands at the pass, occasionally talking to his brothers or the other chefs, but never giving direct instructions, never angry, never waving his hands, never hurrying them along. There is no sense of clock panic. A stream of customers comes from the restaurant to look at the best kitchen in the world. The staff flow round them and the chef poses with each without complaint or

the bar, you can’t swallow it in the middle of a sentence. Cooking is not in itself a complicated or particularly difficult craft; it isn’t as dexterous as carpentry or metalwork; but great food belies the repetition of its manufacture, it defies the familiarity of its ingredients. Great chefs bring something else to the dish, something ethereal, extraordinary and unexplainable. What I found constantly here was that the tastes and smells reminded me of other things, memories of places and childhood, or there’s a sense of déjà vu. I mentioned this to Joan and he smiled and simply pointed to the plate of sweetmeats that came with my coffee. There, in the middle, was a tiny madeleine, Proust’s remembrance of things past. This is the cooking that fixes people to their region, to their landscape and their identity through their memory. All food is social, emotional and political. Is this the best lunch in the world? Who knows, but I can’t think of another I’d rather have eaten. Except, perhaps, the mother’s Catalan omelette. Bookings: + 34 97 222 2157 or email

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Images, this page, clockwise from top: Joan Roca; Jordi Roca; Josep Roca (all supplied). Text: AA Gill


Hunger Games It’s one of nature’s most magnificent

and bloodiest spectacles.

AIR bears witness to the Great Wildebeest Migration

Words: Laura Binder - 66 -


o see the best of the annual wildebeest migration, we had to think like a wildebeest – so came the advice of our game driver. Firstly, we had to make for the Mara River. Second, we had to sit and wait – when you’re a wildebeest, crossing is not a decision to be taken lightly. Poised like hawks, it was there by the riverbanks, on the vast gold plains of the Masai Mara that we sat atop a 4x4 – our ride for the duration. At its wheel was our guide and beside him an African bead-bedecked Masai spotter.

Together, we were primed for an adventure of a lifetime: following hot on the hooves of the Serengeti-Mara migration, an annual parade that sees the plains packed with animals – largely, hundreds of thousands of liver-coloured beests who traipse from Tanzania in search of fresh food. When we first caught sight of these unusual ungulates (bearded, straggly, hooved, appearing half-horse, half-beest), it was from the air: swoop over the plains by charter flight during peak migration time (August to October) and they look positively polka-dotted – each brown

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fleck a wildebeest. But being on the ground trumped even that experience: after a day of cruising the Mara without so much as a sniff of a beest, we made past the grazing giraffes, the zebra, the warthogs and impala, and headed for the Burrangat Plains, where our spotter had caught wind of huge herds gaining ground.

thousands weaved their way across the plains, alongside them their striped sidekicks – zebra – who often head along for the ride and stand out a mile against the mass of mangy brown. Once we’d stopped at the river, joining the throngs of beest who had gathered there, anticipation took hold: we were either about to

‘Zebra stand out a mile against the mass of mangy brown’ But nothing could quite prepare us for the sheer numbers: before us, behind us, every which way we looked they soldiered on by. We cruised among them to a soundtrack of their guttural grunts and moans. On the horizon, meanwhile,

witness one of nature’s most impressive natural spectacles, or a real life horror show. The danger was palpable: in the muddy waters, silent serial killers lurked – crocodiles awaiting their prey. Then there’s the whirlpool of

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water – whipped up by the droves of wildebeest who would crash through it. Next there are the steep banks – tough enough to break legs midstampede. On the other side, there could be a lion lurking in the long, swaying grasses. It’s little wonder the collective name for a group of wildebeests is ‘bewilderment’. These guys have a lot to ponder. And they don’t like to do it in a hurry. “Just one has to make the first move for the rest to follow”, our guide told me – which, he assured me hastily, can take a matter of “moments… or minutes, hours, sometimes [even] days…” We waited hopefully – until one brave buck took the lead. In a heartbeat, hundreds followed, panicked by the prospect of being alone and vulnerable: cantering, galloping, crashing

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through the water, grappling up the banks, while the young and inexperienced leapt wildly from heart-in-mouth heights. It’s anxious viewing. As a spectator, you can’t help but fall into one of two camps: those that cheer on the beests like die-hard sports’ fans (I admit their bedraggled looks and lifelong plight won me round), and those who crave the sight of a kill with a vampire-like appetite. I won that time – there were no carcasses to be seen drifting downstream. Team Wildebeest had made it across unscathed. But, for my bloodthirsty travel companion, an enthralling sideshow gave him hope at a kill: big cats. The Masai Mara is their turf, which means catching sight of preying lions, cheetah and even the camera-shy leopard is something of a surety.

TRAVEL For the beests, cats are a palpitation-inducing sight, and it wasn’t long before a hundreds-long line was stopped in its tracks. In the grasses was a male lion, his mane appearing ablaze with its burnt orange hue. My anticipation rose again as a stand off ensued. Surely the lion was in for an unfathomable feast? But a game drive is full of surprises: realising his cover was sprung the fun-seeking feline’s sides released a heavy sigh – and he sloped off. “The lions are literally spoilt for choice,” our guide explained, “the migration

‘All that sunshine and savagery made returning to deluxe digs a welcome relief ’ is like all their Christmases come at once.” As we crawled on in the 4x4, evidence of the big cats’ gluttony was laid out like a crime scene: whole wildebeest, left for dead in the grassland (or, in the case of the leopard, dragged into treetops and discarded) – killed for kicks before the lions slipped into a deep slumber, too stuffed to manage another morsel. Elsewhere, vultures made the most of the remains, pecking furiously through hollowed carcasses. All that sunshine and savagery can really take it out of you, which is why, after a day’s pounding the plains, returning to deluxe digs came as a welcome relief. We made for Sala’s Camp, a secluded site of the lesser-seen southern sector, where seven ‘tents’ were spread out along the edge of the Sand River (come nightfall, I heard lions ‘purr’ across the water). For those unwilling to scrimp on style, it’s a fine way to play at camping – each ‘tent’ harbours a big, beautiful wooden bed, brass-plated bathroom and hot water – while, at the main camp, candle-lit feasts are set nightly, breakfasts can be taken in the bush, the river banks are an idyllic setting for lunch while we took to the hills for sundowners. It was there that my travel buddy’s thirst for a kill was quenched by footage caught by a honeymooning couple: it showed a lioness and her bone-crunching cubs feasting on a wildebeest, their faces stained a violent red. In the end, we never did witness a kill firsthand – but whichever team you side with, following the trail of the wildebeest migration guarantees a spectacle like no other – and every morsel’s worth savouring.

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AIR rounds up the most deluxe digs on the migration trail Klein’s Camp If ‘glamping’ is still a step too wild for your taste, seek out the 10 stone cottages of Klein’s Camp. Authentic thatched roofs shelter chic cream furnishings fit for the finest five-star hotel. Outside a private veranda is the perfect platform to survey your remote surrounds – namely, the animal-packed corridor that joins the Serengeti and the Masai Mara. Singita Sabora Tented Camp In Tanzania, this camp is set on the fringes of the action, inside the Serengeti Mara ecosystem. Right on the migration route, you can catch sight of the trekking wildebeest by day, while, by night, you can make the most of the 1920s-inspired camp. Mahali Mzuri Safari Camp Mahali Mzuri safari camp pitches itself within the Motorogi Conservancy – one of Africa’s most famous game reserves, stretching from southern Kenya into Tanzania. Needless to say, it places you in a prime spot for wildlife watching and, when it comes to your digs for the duration, there are 12 luxurious tents to choose from, each idyllic. Asilia Family in tow? Look to Asilia’s three Mara Houses, our personal pick of which is Topi House, a threebedroom private residence. The property borders the Masai Mara but promises privacy due to its setting in a small thorn forest – look through the thickets to behold the migration and more (game are known to have headed to the front door). Fully staffed, you’ll have a chef, house manager and wildlife guide on hand.

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LIFE LESSONS My passion for weightlifting began at the age of eight, when I was fortunate enough to meet my idol, Olympic gold medallist Yurik Vardanyan (a weightlifter known as ‘the iron man’). Now I spend my time as an ambassador for the sport, meeting and hopefully inspiring young lifters, including here in the Emirates, to follow their dreams. It’s so important for talent to be nurtured from a young age. At 13, I already knew I was very good at the sport. I was breaking the men’s records while competing in the youth competitions. It’s important to recognise that you are unique. In my life, I’ve seen many talents that have remained only talents because they didn’t work on their gift. I have four children and I’ve instilled in them the importance of never giving up. Finish what you start, don’t quit, and work hard to perfect your gift. I trained eight to nine hours a day when I was competing – you have to give it your all.


Pyrros Dimas

Where I grew up, in Armenia, I had tough years – financially and mentally. I learnt to fight, to set targets and to achieve them.

Three-times Olympic weightlifting champion

Before the Sydney Olympics, in 2000, I was away from my family for 120 days. When I briefly returned home to take clothes for the competition and bring back dirty washing, my eldest daughter, then five, was so excited. But when she saw my suitcase, she got upset. Today, she refuses to do sport because it took her father away. I understand the great importance of medals but family and children are also very important.

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AIR Gama Aviation Sep'13  
AIR Gama Aviation Sep'13  

Inflight magazine for private jet passengers in the Middle East