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Issue one / June 2011

A M AgA z i n e w i t h A lt i t u de

der Alex An en mcque

Produced in International Media Production Zone

sig ner’s e late de th ld u o W ic a l n to my th a sc en sio e ne d a v e h app statu s h e ti m ? in h is li fe

being frank

renÉ redzepi

the top tables

Dettori tells all about his future plans, his father’s tough love and racing’s young pretenders

How the unassuming son of a cleaning lady rose to become the world’s best chef

Done with The Ivy? Over Le Gavroche? London’s hottest new restaurants will serve you now




have no script

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contents / features

twenty-seven / frankie speaking Everyone’s favourite jockey talks family, sprint finishes and the young pretenders with Brian Viner.

thirty-two / history in the shaping Has Alexander McQueen’s untimely death earned him mythical status? Susannah Frankel explores the hype.

forty-two / kingdom come Why Middle Eastern artworks are raising auction paddles on the contemporary art scene..

forty-six / breakfast with renÉ René Redzepi takes us through humble beginnings to pioneering the best restaurant on the planet.

contents / regulars

fourteen / radar On the cover: Alexander McQueen (Corbis Images)

We place our ear to the ground to bring you the month’s not-to-be-missed happenings and hottest buys.

twenty-two / critique Films, theatre, art, technology or a fine read? We take June’s offerings straight from the critics’ mouths. Managing Director Victoria Thatcher Publishing Director John Thatcher Advertisement Director Chris Capstick Features Editor Laura Binder Designers Matthew McBriar Adam Sneade Production manager Haneef Abdul Sales Managers Cat Steele Sukaina Hussein

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.

fifty-eight / motoring Fast, fit and sexy – get the inside track on the road’s most headturning cars.

sixty-four / gastronomy Sink your teeth into the latest London eateries to gain Michelin Guide status or, er, snail’s eggs...

sixty-seven / golf We celebrate Seve Ballesteros’ greatest swings and plug the ultimate statement club.

sixty-eight / travel Banish yourself to one of the world’s most luxurious hideaways and find why Lima’s had herself a facelift.

eighty / what i know now Zuma’s head chef and founder, Rainer Becker, spills the beans on his most valued life lessons to date. | +971 (0)4 447 3973 Sidra Tower, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai.

B5 The Art of Living

Jensen • F+M Fos • Eggersmann • Döttling • Lambert • Junckers • Schmalenbach • ad notam

Al BAteen

Welcome onboard

June 2011

We are delighted to welcome you to AIR, our new customer magazine, where each month we will showcase some of the exciting developments happening at Al Bateen Executive Airport. Our goal is to build the best business aviation airport in the world and here we are fortunate to build on four clear advantages: we are the only airport dedicated to business aviation in the Gulf Region; we are open 24/7; we have no slot restrictions and we offer a convenient, city centre airport location. Operated by Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), $50 million has been spent on the

transition so far and with this complete, ADAC is moving into Phase 2 of the development, focusing on our service offering. The completion of Phase 1 – which we detail in this first issue - highlights our achievements to date our certification, the focus on safety and the important introduction of Instrument Landing System (ILS). Contact details:

Mohammed Al Bulooki Vice President

Stephen Jones General Manager

Yousif Hassan Al Hammadi Deputy General Manager

Mohammed has been instrumental in leading the transformation of this former military base to the most promising VIP airport. A former aircraft apprentice engineer, he joined ADAC in 2008 and has overseen various aviation business development strategies for the airports of the UAE Capital. He has worked for Etihad Airways as Corporate Planning & Strategy Manager and with Royal Jet as Sales Manager. He holds a Bachelors degree (BEng) in Air Transport Engineering from City University, London, and a Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Technology from Abu Dhabi Men’s College in conjunction with Brunel College (UK). In addition to his work at Al Bateen he manages the development of (GCAS), an internationally recognised centre of excellence in the Middle East for aviation studies, learning, training and research.

Steve joined Al Bateen as General Manager in November 2010 from the UK, bringing 36 years’ aviation experience including 10 years’ handson experience at Oxford Airport, one of Europe’s fastest growing business aviation airports. He started his aviation career with British Aerospace in 1974 as an apprentice with Hawker Siddeley. As quality manager in the late 1980s, he was responsible for the certification of all Chesterbuilt aircraft. A decade later he had operational responsibility for the Hawker 125 business jet series and as a director, negotiated a life support agreement with Raytheon when they acquired the programme from BAE. After four years working in a senior operational role with BAe’s military division, Steve joined Signature/CSE Aviation at Oxford as Managing Director to look after MRO and aircraft sales activity. Joining Al Bateen Executive is his most exciting challenge yet.

Yousif is responsible for the dayto-day running of the airport. With 20 years’ experience in a variety of ATC roles, he is a certified instructor and examiner. Al Hammadi held a number of senior operational positions at ADAC before joining Al Bateen. Educated in the Middle East and latterly at George Washington University in the USA, he holds a Bachelor degree in Aeronautical Science. He is also certified by the Ministry of Justice in the UAE to provide Legal opinions with respect to Air Traffic Services.

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Al BAteen neWS about al bateen executive airport

Al Bateen Executive Airport, the Gulf region’s first and only airport dedicated to business aviation, is making great strides in its goal to create a leading gateway for VIP traffic to the region. Originally built in the 1960s as the Emirate’s main airport, Al Bateen became a military base when Abu Dhabi International Airport opened in 1982, 30 kilometres outside the city centre. In 2008 Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) assumed operation of the airport with a mandate to grow business aviation operation and provide the quality and range of services necessary to support this important segment. One of the most important milestones occurred in June 2009 with the certification of the airport for civilian operations. ADAC has committed around Dh200 million (US$54.5m) to upgrade the facility which included the installation of ILS category 1 technology in September 2010. ILS reduces the pilot’s workload on approach, allows more precise landings in low visibility conditions and can

result in cost savings to aircraft owners. The system was operational in time for the phenomenally busy F1 and Al Bateen enjoyed an excellent week, handling over 100 business jet movements. Further developments as part of Al Bateen’s strategy include new and refurbished hangars, apron enhancements, utility infrastructure upgrades and runway work. Current priorities for the airport are to make the crew and pilots as comfortable as possible with new lounges, and briefing facilities; introduce world class maintenance providers; an on-site gourmet caterer; and a retail complex including banking and food and beverage outlets. Today Al Bateen is home to 5 based operators including Al Jaber Aviation, Falcon Aviation Services and XO Jet with combined fleets totaling some 20 aircraft. The airport recorded 7,970 commercial aircraft movements in 2010, a 36% increase over 2009. ADAC has since published its first quarter 2011 results, traffic is up 18% compared with the

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Al BAteen neWS same period in 2010. Airport management is confident that traffic will reach 12,000 movements per annum by 2012. As Abu Dhabi International Airport, the Emirate’s main hub, gets busier with international scheduled traffic, Al Bateen’s management team is focused on making Al Bateen the leading executive aviation airport in the region. “We are focused on building a world class business aviation airport,” says General Manager Stephen Jones, who was headhunted from London-Oxford Airport in the UK to work with Vice President Mohammed Al Bulooki. His mission is to create a strong business aviation community including MROs, OEMs, and business aviation service providers such as, brokers. Jones has also started work on strengthening the team bringing Pauline Smith, formerly of Harrods Aviation UK, and ExecuJet in Dubai into the role of Senior FBO Manager. Other initiatives Jones has implemented to drive growth have included the lowering of aeronautical charges by as much as 36%, and parking fees by 17%. “These kinds of initiatives demonstrate we want operators to come here and see our commitment to the sector. We are here for the long term and want to make Al Bateen Executive Airport the preferred choice for business aviation in the region.” Operators are responding positively. Fifteen new visiting aircraft operators flew into Al Bateen in March alone reflecting the rapid increase in awareness of this unique airport. “The infrastructure upgrades and the enhanced services being provided are contributing significantly to improved support services for our clients, and support continued growth of our business” said A.J. Baker, Vice President Business Development and Strategy at Falcon Aviation Services. Falcon has seen its traffic grow 8% versus the same period in 2010. FAS also conducted several hundred helicopter movements at Bateen across their Offshore, Private and Tourism/Charter sectors during the first quarter of 2011. Just like FAS, based operator Al Jaber Aviation is growing its fleet with the recent addition of a Lineage 1000 Visitors to Al Bateen benefit from a number of unique propositions. Aircraft taxi time from touchdown to the VIP terminal is less than three minutes. The revamped FBO ground handling services and rapid transit through the terminal means passengers are on their way into the city centre in minutes. Al Bateen also boasts 24/7 availability, 365 days a year, so whenever you need to travel at whatever notice Al Bateen is always open. Once out of the terminal the strength of Al Bateen’s location is further reinforced by its proximity to some of the best hotels on the island, the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and the new Al Bateen Wharf Redevelopment which has its own marina. The Airport is situated just 10km from the business district and at the heart of an area that is being extensively developed with upmarket housing, offices and hotels.

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Checkers Kitchen -

Finasi L.L.C.

AI Ittihad Road

P.O. BOX 118508 Dubai

United Arab Emirates

T +971 (4) 2971777


Country for hire Liechtenstein yours for $65,000 per night That’s right, a US-based holiday accommodation website ( is offering the entire pictureperfect state of Liechtenstein to would-be ‘owners’ for a minimum of two nights. And while the country’s inhabitants will remain, the owners will be granted enough accommodation to house themselves and 150 of their guests, the (symbolic) keys to the country, notional use of its hundred-plus police force and the honour of having a street and printed money which bears their name – temporarily, of course.

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own the world’s fastest plane supersonic jet set to be closest to Concorde.

June 19 sees the staging of The Al Habtoor Royal Windsor Cup at Guards Polo Club, Surrey. The highly prestigious trophy, historically presented by HM Queen Elizabeth, is considered by many a winning player to be the pinnacle of their career, while past winners include Prince Charles. For ticket information visit www. - 16 -

If you’re reading this for the second or third time already, it may just be that your jet isn’t speeding through the sky fast enough for your liking. If so, you’ll want to join the fifty or so others who have placed orders for the $80 million Aerion SBJ, a supersonic business jet that, if its designs are advanced to the production stage, will fly to speeds of Mac 1.6. Or in layman’s terms, to speeds faster than any current civilian plane. That means you can jet off from New York at noon and land in Paris in time for high tea at The Ritz. It makes Aerion SBJ the closest thing yet to the sadly departed Concorde, and like that graceful bird, it doesn’t holdback on luxury.

radar Homing instincts

Looking to add to your property portfolio? These newly launched and vastly contrasting abodes are just the ticket if you’re all about location, location, location…

The CiTy Spring 2012 will witness the opening of London’s Bulgari Hotel in designer store-strewn Knightsbridge and with it, a handful of incredibly beautiful Bulgari residences. Only six are available at the outset of what will be a phased launch – including just one penthouse. Grab it while you can. For sales enquiries contact Giles Hannah,

The Sea Desroches Island, south west of Mahe in the Seychelles, stretches six kilometers in length and is fringed by fourteen kilometres of blindinglywhite sand. On this little slice of paradise you’ll find just one luxury resort which houses yours-to-own Private Beach Retreats. Each boasts a large pool overlooking the Indian Ocean, and two of the five bedrooms have their own secluded plunge pools. For enquiries contact Tim Hammond,

POSTER BOY Christie’s South Kensington, London, will auction off vintage film posters on July 15, with the likes of La Dolce Vita (1959), Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961) and the pictured Diamonds Are Forever (1971) up for grabs. The latter is the original concept artwork by Robert E. McGinnis, who has signed this framed version. It’s expected to fetch between $29,000 and $39,000. - 18 -

ThE wORkS One of the world’s most prestigious art prizes will be handed out on June 14 when the winner of the BP Portrait Award 2011 is crowned. The four shortlisted works (including the two opposite) are on display at London’s National Portrait Gallery until September 18.

RoaRINg ahEad of thE pack Jaguar has roared back to life on the back of its remarkable new launch, the C-X75. The hybrid supercar emits an incredibly low level of CO2 while still proving capable of hitting in excess of 200mph. Between 2013 and 2015, 250 of them will be made and, though pre-order details won’t be public till September, what we can tell you is that you’ll need to set aside $1.1 million if you want to park one in your garage.

330km/h 68 mILES 3.4 1600Nm 195bhp 75 The speed you’ll travel at when flat out on the road.

How far the C-X75 will travel purely powered by electricity.

The number of seconds it will take you to hit a speed of 100km from standstill.

The total torque output of the powerful C-X75.

The amount of power produced by each individual motor: there’s one per wheel.

The number of years Jaguar has designed cars. The C-X75 was launched in celebration.

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radar OCeAns APART If you’re after a true statement superyacht, the newly launched Azimut 116 is in a class of its own. it stole the show at Top Marques Monaco – no mean feat for what, until this year, has always been a cars-only event – not just for startling specifications that see it top 28 knots, but for its cuttingedge Italian styling and the fact that as well as housing room for ten guests, there’s space for five crew members to ensure a smooth sail.

Buying Time

Harrods’ premium personal shopping experience by appointment has added further finery to its offering with the launch of a very private penthouse, hidden away on the store’s fifth floor. Here you can drink, dine and unwind as a specialist team of experts busy around you to provide details of consummate services, products and contacts that’ll make your life just that little bit better.

Your chance to own one of only one hundred celebratory timepieces Way back in 1931 JaegerLeCoultre designed a watch specifically for polo players, with a dial that could flip to protect it during matches. The Reverso has since become a watch of true distinction, and in this, its eightieth year, a tribute to that original Reverso model has been launched to celebrate its cult status. Staying true to much of the original’s finer details – the dial contains a logo that’s a faithful replica of that used on the 1931 timepiece – but with nods to the present – each strap is handmade of cordovan leather – the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931 U.S. Edition will be sold exclusively at Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Beverly Hills boutique.

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the main event The All englAnd lAwn Tennis ChAmpionships, wimbledon, england, June 20 - July 3 iS TenniS’ moST SuCCeSSful male player ever really only The SevenTh beST To play The game? He is according to a scientist at Northwestern university in illinois. The Swiss, who will be hoping to win a seventh Wimbledon crown at the All england Championships, came up short in a study that assessed the number of career wins per player in light of the standard of their opponents. It revealed that despite having to contend with the brutal brilliance of Rafael Nadal for much of his career, Federer was aced by American Jimmy Connors, who won titles – albeit half the number of Federer’s Grand Slams – in the era of McEnroe, Borg and Ivan Lendl. Meanwhile, current world number 1, Nadal, is placed a lowly number 24.

WhaT makeS up The Wimbledon forTnighT?

36% Umbrellas hoisted in the air to signal the start of another quintessentially English rain shower.

33% British tears as Andy Murray loses yet another semi final.

20% British cheers as Andy Murray reaches yet another semi final.

6% Where to go When straWberries and cream just Won’t do… Cannizaro House

The Lighthouse

T. 0044 208 879 1464

T. 0044 208 944 6338

This graceful old building has stood for over 200 years in the heart of the ever-so-pretty Wimbledon Village. Its restaurant is arguably the best around, specialing in British-sourced organic food that’s cooked without fuss but served with style.

If you fancy something a touch less formal, there’s an always-friendly atmosphere to soak up here where the relatively small menu of modern Mediterranean fare means the chefs can concentrate on perfecting wellconsidered dishes.

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Pigeons landing on centre court to the improbable delight of the crowd.

5% Impromtu Mexican waves during an extended rain delay.



History in the Making The filmic glitterati descended on a sun-licked Cannes last month for the 64th Cannes Film Festival. But which of the hotly-anticipated films left the biggest mark in the event’s glamorous wake? After scooping the highest accolade of all, the Palme D’or,

Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life tops the must-see list. It follows the son (Sean Penn) of a 1950s Midwestern family, who enters a modern world as a disillusioned adult seeking to right his relationship with his father (Brad Pitt) and in turn find his place in the world. “Better than a masterpiece... it’s

an eruption of a movie, something to live with, think, and talk about”, said Village Voice’s Nick Pinkerton. For a lighter watch, Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris (a love letter to the city and chockfull of stars, including the radiant Rachel McAdams) opened the festival to rave reviews: “A sweet and lively story, and a nicely packaged new outing from a past master”, said NPR’s Ella Taylor. The third biggest stir on the Croisette came from Lars von Trier’s Melancholia. Its director, who delights in wildly misleading the press, described it as a “beautiful film about the end of the world”. And as ever with the controverisal film-maker, it must be viewed to be believed. Ultra Culture’s Charlie Lyne called it “Sincere, haunting, powerful cinema.”

The Beginners


Ewan McGregor, Mélanie Laurent. An inspiring tale that weighs up chances in life and love through Oliver (McGregor) who meets a new love (Laurent) after the death of his tumultuous father, to comedic effect. at best: “Poignant and disarmingly personal.” Peter Debruge, Variety. at worst: “Virtually every moment… is undermined by Mills’ superprecious execution.” William Goss, Cinematical

Paddy Considine, Sally Hawkins. Teenager Oliver Tate is on a cupid-like mission: to save his parents’ marriage (his mum may just run off with her dance teacher) and woo his own love interest, pyromaniac Jordana, all before his 16th birthday. at best: “Ayoade’s crafted a comingof-age gem.” Tim Evans, Sky Movies. at worst: “Voiceovers are annoying and its quirkiness is overdone.” Harvey Karten, Rotten Tomatoes.

New for June...

The Art of Getting By Freddie Highmore, Emma Roberts. This quirky, coming-of-age flick sees the lonely and fatalistic George (attending senior year without a day’s work under his belt) befriend the beautiful yet complex Sally (Roberts). at best: “A hollow but likeable enough comedy.” Ray Greene, Boxoffice. at worst: “If George can’t even admit he’s in love, I’m not going to wait around for him to figure it out.” Fred Topel, Screen Junkies.

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Images: London Road; Burnt Part Boys, Joan Marcus.

TheaTre In the UK, critical praise over the last month has been heaped on “London Road”, at the National Theatre on the South Bank. The play deals with a series of real life murders which took place in Ipswich back in 2006: perhaps surprisingly this is a musical piece, although it deals with the upsetting subject matter sensitively. As Time Out London’s Andrzej Lukowski says, “Beginning with a Neighbourhood Watch meeting, ending with the second annual London Road in Bloom competition and directed with low-key sparseness by Rufus Norris, this is as far away from chorus lines and jazz hands as it gets.” It’s The National’s first original British musical since Jerry Springer – The Opera, and is, The Stage says, “by turns disturbing and surprising, haunting and harrowing... also frequently unexpectedly funny and ultimately even uplifting – it’s above all a story of community renewal in the face of appalling tragedy.” Over in New York, another musical made from upsetting source material has been leaving critics with mixed opinions. “The Burnt Part Boys” is showing at the Playwrights Horizons theatre on 42nd Street, and The New York Times summed it up as a “warm-spirited and family-friendly but dramatically static new show about the surviving sons of a coal miner killed in a West Virginia mining accident.” The songs “make for pleasant listening”, with some “rousing anthems to the dangerous excitements of working the mines”, but “after a while the score settles into a repetitive groove that matches the linear thrust of the story”. A more traditional show is on offer at Broadway’s Stephen Sondheim Theatre in the form of “Anything Goes”, which Scott Brown of New York magazine describes as “Cole Porter’s ship of dreams, rhyme-schemes, carnal wit, and bubbly irreverence”.

It’s an old-fashioned take on an oldfashioned show, which is, Brown says, no bad thing: “There isn’t anything in Anything Goes that couldn’t have been executed seventy-something years ago with the same grace and facility, and for any lover of live musical theater, that’s enormously encouraging.” Meanwhile, over in Paris, at the Salle Richelieu on Place Colette, they’re reviving an old Tennessee Williams hit in the form of “Un tramway nommé désir” – A Streetcar Named Desire. This is the first American work ever to be taken on by La Comédie-Française, the world’s oldest repertory company, and Le Figaro describes it as an “extravagant production”, but warns that in trying to create atmosphere, the director ends up “distracting” the audience’s attention. The actors save the day, though – Éric Ruf is an “astonishing Kowalski”, Anne Kessler is “hesitant but touching” and Grégory Gadebois is a “charming Mitch transformed into a tattooed motorcyclist”.

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‘‘London Road is by turns disturbing and surprising, haunting and harrowing..." – The Stage



It’s been an exciting month for bookworms, with the release of some long-awaited titles. First was David Foster Wallace’s “The Pale King”, from the author of “The Broom of the System” and “Infinite Jest”. The novel was left unfinished at the time of Foster Wallace’s suicide in 2008 and cobbled together by an editor from notebooks and half-written manuscripts, but this posthumous release has been largely hailed as a masterpiece. It follows the lives of souldestroyingly bored and often dysfunctional IRS officers in a mid-western tax office in the 1980s: Saul Austerlitz in The National said that Wallace “has, with his uncompleted third novel, achieved the near-impossible: he has written a spellbinding book about mindnumbing boredom.” Tim Martin in The Telegraph said it “teems with erudition and ideas, with passages of stylistic audacity, with great cheerful thrown-out gags, goofy puns and moments of truly arresting clarity.” While US title Publishers’ Weekly was less enthusiastic, saying “this isn’t the era-defining monumental work we’ve all been waiting for since Infinite Jest altered the landscape of American fiction”, it nonetheless admitted that “it is, however, one hell of a document and a valiant tribute to the late Wallace.” Equally eagerly anticipated was the launch of ‘At Last’ by Edward St Aubyn. It’s the last in a series of books in which St Aubyn tracked the life of the aristocratic Melrose family, whose tortuous emotional relationships hide appalling dark secrets. All the action takes place over one day, at a funeral, and the writing is shot through with black humour. St Aubyn was shortlisted for a Man Booker prize for the previous work from the series, “Mother’s Milk”, and this final part has gone down well. As The Book Bag

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‘‘Nelson Mandela's Conversations with Myself will reduce the reader to both tears and rapture.’’ – Alec Russell, The Financial Times

points out, though, “At Last could also be read as a stand-alone book, but I wouldn’t advise this approach. You will miss out on so much that if you are planning on reading it, you really should read at least Mother’s Milk first.” But it won’t be to everyone’s tastes – as Leo Robson said in The Express, “As a writer St Aubyn has few weaknesses but readers may find his interests somewhat narrow. To put it bluntly, he is concerned with what posh people think of one another...” If you’re more interested in non-fiction works, the month’s biggest hitter was Nelson Mandela’s “Conversations with myself”, which is made up of letters written by the great man over the course of his life, including during his 27 years in prison. The Financial Times’ Alec Russell said that while “some of the early items selected from the Mandela archive are a little recherché, even banal”, they are “the foundations for a splendid finale to the Mandela literature. This book will reduce the reader to both rapture and tears.”


‘‘Turning the Seventh Corner has forms made from the mummified remains of squirrels, rats and frogs then cast in sterling silver and dipped in liquid gold’’ – ExBerliner

Berlin’s art lovers have been getting very excited over the last month at the launch of “Blain|Southern”, a new gallery on Potsdamer Strasse, pioneered by the founders of the world famous Haunch of Venison, whose London and New York-based galleries have championed a long list of influential artists. The first show at the new space is “Turning the Seventh Corner”, which runs until July 16, and features a series of “shadow sculptures”, which ExBerliner magazine describes as “forms melded out of meaningless rubbish that project a detail portrait onto the wall when set before a light source”. The rubbish may be meaningless but it’s not simple or cheap to source – “Made from the mummified remains of squirrels, rats and frogs, then cast in sterling silver and dipped in liquid gold, the treasure at the end of this trek reinforces the Pharaoh-tomb inspiration of the work.” An equally unusual treat is on offer In Móstoles, Madrid, at the Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, which

is showing ‘Estación experimental’, (Experimental Station) until October 9. It’s an intriguing art exhibition which straddles the border with science: as El País puts it, “An installation that produces a tornado, a cat floating in a room without gravity, a herbarium of artificial plants, an electric guitar which is activated randomly by human presence. Where does a museum of science end and a museum of contemporary art begin?” The show brings together the work of 29 artists influenced by the likes of Marcel Duchamp, Jean Tinguely and Robert Smithson. The exhibition is causing some to scratch their heads: El Correo thinks the artworks “propose highly complex solutions for nonexisting problems, in a way in which the absurd is mixed with the everyday, to generate a grotesque reality.” Intriguing. Meanwhile, on the UK art scene, all the talk has been of the launch of “Turner Contemporary” (pictured above), an art centre in the small seaside town of Margate. It’s based in Margate because that is where

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the celebrated artist went to school and because the local coast featured in some of his works. The Turner Contemporary is not a one-artist offering though – dozens of genuinely contemporary (i.e. still living and breathing, unlike Turner) artists line the walls. But is it any good? Charles Darwent of The Independent was suitably impressed, saying “the gallery has gone for clever fireworks” and singling out works by Russell Crotty, Ellen Harvey and Conrad Shawcross for particular praise. Others were less convinced. Brian Sewell writing in the Evening Standard, said “this cluster of super-industrial sheds on the site of the Georgian boarding-house in which Turner occasionally stayed is an unsympathetic and abrasive assault on its neighbours”. He was also unimpressed at the commute out from the centre of town: “For four or five hours at the wheel I expect more art than this meagre handful of examples of the familiar SerotaSaatchi orthodoxy, so much of it more easily seen in half a dozen London institutions.”


Technology Everyone’s trying to find an alternative to the iPad – something equally sleek but cheaper, which will allow them to show off to their friends and and at the same time avoid following the Apple flock. Could the Huawei Ideos Tablet S7 be the answer? “No”, said the Guardian’s Kate Bevan, who described it as a “collection of compromises”. “It feels heavy and not particularly portable”, she says, the screen is “lacking in punch and is low on the pixel count at 800x480” and “there's no onboard storage.” The verdict? “Save up for an iPad, the Galaxy or... the Motorola Xoom”. And what of the Xoom, the first Android 3.0 tablet? “Frankly, the Motorola Xoom blows the Samsung Galaxy Tab out of the water, and that is saying something” says Techradar. com, which gave it four stars out of five and described it as “the first really powerful tablet with a dual-core processor, and a sleek, 10.1-inch slate that is easy on the eyes”, with “the hardware specifications to make you sit up and take notice” – including a five megapixel camera and 32GB of local storage. The big news on the mobile handset front has been the launch of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, a “Playstation phone” which mixes an Android smart phone with cutting edge gaming and a slide-out gaming pad. Vlad Savov of Engadget thinks it’s almost there, but not quite: “With almost no differentiating software of its own, the Play is really relying on the strength of its gamepad to round up willing participants in its gaming revolution” he said. “We concur that that's indeed the phone's main strength, with good ergonomics and an extremely durable sliding mechanism. Nonetheless, the poor quality of the screen and good, but not great, hardware spec force us to be reluctant about recommending it as a sage purchase at present... We'd

rather spend our cash elsewhere in the Android cosmos and hold out hope for the PlayStation Phone 2.0.” If you're on the market for a new laptop, meanwhile, you could do well to look to Samsung. The brand has produced a new ultra-light number (pictured above) which might just become a worthy rival to the MacBook Air. “The 900X3A is a technological tour de force” says Gordon Kelly of Wired magazine. “What is remarkable is not that Samsung has managed to match the thickness and weight of the MacBook Air, but that it has done so while packing in cutting edge components and lots of connectivity.” Kelly was impressed by the speakers, the trackpad, the speed, the backlit keys, the screen resolution and the connectivity. “All of which leaves the 900X3A sounding like the perfect laptop,” he said, “but there remains a significant caveat: price.” It’s not cheap – it retails for $2100.

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‘‘The Motorola Xoom (tablet) blows the Samsung Galaxy Tab out of the water, and that is saying something.” - Gordon Kelly, Wired.

Fr a n k i e Spe a k i n g Accustomed to sprint finishes but now determined to go the distance, Frankie Dettori talks to Brian Viner.


n a function room at Newmarket racecourse, some of the most illustrious people in Flat racing have been invited to face the media, by way of launching the inaugural Qipco British Champions Series, the slick new name for the season’s top 35 races, which commenced with the 2,000 Guineas. Henry Cecil is here, his usual lugubrious reserve masking any excitement he might feel about the prospects for the season (which got off to a flier when Frankel won the 2,000 Guineas). And so, fleetingly, is Frankie Dettori, looking sharp in a jacket and polo-neck shirt. Frankie, we are told, will be on hand to answer questions about the Champions Series, for which he is an official ambassador. But no sooner does the charismatic little jockey arrive than, unobtrusively, he leaves. There is an apology. Dettori has had to go. The press conference starts, and finishes, without him. An hour and a half later, wrought-iron electric gates swing open to admit my colleague David Ashdown and me to the handsome Dettori residence on the edge of a nearby village. Catherine Dettori, a petite, pretty Englishwoman, welcomes us in. She is as extrovert and talkative as her husband, mother of five lively children aged 12 and under, and principal carer of several small dogs. In the gleaming kitchen, a builder named Bob is hammering, just to add another level of volume to an already spectacularly rumbustious household. Catherine makes coffee, chatting all the while. “He’ll tell you to be quick,” she says of Dettori. “It’s nothing personal, but he always does.” Ten minutes later, now in his bright blue Godolphin silks, he walks briskly in. “You’ll have to be quick,” he says. “I have half an hour, max.” He had to leave the press conference, he explains, because his boss phoned, saying he wanted him to ride work. His boss is His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Press conferences can manage without Dettori but Sheikh Mohammed can’t. Or can he? Is the hugely promising young Frenchman, 19-year-old Mickael Barzalona, being groomed for the succession? How much longer does Dettori, still riding at the peak of his considerable powers but 40 last birthday, have in the

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saddle? So much to talk about. Such little time. At least Bob the builder has found a quieter job. We sit at an enormous kitchen table. “Mummy, can I have a knife,” Dettori calls to Catherine. He wants it to peel and slice an apple – his lunch – and as he does so, with continental precision, I ask whether the start of the Flat season gives him the same buzz as it ever did? “Of course,” he says. “These next six weeks, everybody is in unknown territory. After Royal Ascot, everybody knows the pecking order of the horses. But at this stage, everybody’s dreaming. Everybody’s got their own superstar in their stables, but until we put them all together in the Guineas, in the Derby, we’re all still living on dreams and hope.” Ryan Moore is a short favourite to finish the Champions

Series as top jockey, with Dettori a distant 14-1. He says he’s happy with those odds. “Ryan Moore’s package is better than mine. He has his pick of Stoute’s horses, Ballydoyle. He’s a worthy favourite. But he’s still got to go out and win.” The same applies to Tom Queally, who rode Frankel to success. “It’s a bit like Manchester United, it’s usually up to them to lose it,” says Dettori, who loves a football analogy. “But there are nerves. I know about those nerves. It doesn’t come any more nerve-racking than riding the Derby favourite at 4-5, Authorized. I didn’t sleep for 10 days before. He was the best horse in the field, but I knew I had to do the job.” As it turned out, Dettori did do the job, winning the Derby, in 2007, at his 15th attempt. He understood, maybe

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better than anyone, the fear that nagged away at AP McCoy before the champion jump jockey eventually won the Grand National last year. “When Tony won I had a knot in my throat, a tear in my eye. His career probably surpasses mine, but I had won every other big race more than once, every Classic bar the Derby. I would have hated to retire without it, and it was exactly the same for Tony. I rang him that same day. In fact he was stopped by the police while he was talking to me, on his mobile in the car. But when they realised it was McCoy they let him go.” Dettori beams. He enjoys a good anecdote, especially if he’s telling it. But I have to risk clouding his sunny mood by bringing up Barzalona, who is widely tipped for stardom. Does he treat the youngster as a team-mate, or a rival?

And does he – the man who in 1990 was himself the first teenager since Lester Piggott to ride 100 winners in a season – envy the boy his youth? The beam fades. “The one thing I haven’t got is envy, to be honest with you. Listen, I had Jamie Spencer, [Kerrin] McEvoy, they came under my wings too, and I tried to look after them. He has only just arrived on the scene, he’s still got plenty of water to swim across. He seems a nice, polite young fella, and he rides really well. I’m trying to teach him the English way, and he seems to listen. He has a very good career in front of him, but one step at a time. He needs experience, he needs knowledge of the racecourses, and it is part of my job to help him. He works for my stable.” What, though, if at some point the young pretender is

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handed a ride Dettori covets? “That’s not down to me. I’ve got other things to worry about right now. They’re called Ryan Moore, Kieren Fallon and Richard Hughes.” A big laugh, then a small frown. If only all interviewees were this expressive. “And running out of years. I do worry about that. But hopefully I’ll carry on until I’m 50. [Philip] Robinson is still riding at 51, [Mick] Kinane stopped at 50. Beyond 50, who knows? I don’t have the patience to be a trainer. Catherine says I have the concentration span of a flea. But I don’t want to think about afterwards. I still enjoy it, and you’ve got to enjoy it. Look at Ryan Giggs, he goes out there and plays like a 20-year-old. And not just him, Kevin Phillips is the same. Anyway, it’s easier now to carry on. Our generation has better medication, food, training facilities, than ever. I train every day in my own gym. You become addicted to it.” Dettori’s supreme fitness is not matched, alas, by some of the better horses in the Godolphin stables. “Dubai Prince and White Moonstone are big losses, especially the filly. But we still have decent horses. And it’s funny in this game. It was the Aga Khan’s time, then Coolmore’s. Now, who knows, maybe it’s our time.” His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is, adds Dettori, the best possible boss. “He’s very philosophical. I’ve ridden some shocking races, or been beaten on the favourite in big races, and he always says ‘what’s past is past, let’s look forward’. And don’t forget, he’s also Ruler of Dubai and Vice-President of the Emirates. Racing is his hobby, his passion, but it’s only 10 per cent of his life. We have a great relationship, very open. I’m not frightened to say what I think, and he encourages that. That’s the secret of our success. I’ve been with Godolphin 17 years, won over 100 Group Ones. You’d have to go a long way back to find a jockey lasting in a job that long.” It is 26 years now since he was sent, without a word of English, to work for trainer Luca Cumani in Newmarket. It

was the very definition of tough love from his fierce father, Gianfranco, 10 times a champion jockey in Italy, and so enduringly demanding of his son that his response to the famous magnificent seven at Ascot in 1996, was “why not eight?” That there were only seven races on the card cut no ice with the old man, who has only mellowed towards him since the plane crash in 2000 that killed pilot Patrick Mackey, and from which he was dragged clear by fellow jockey Ray Cochrane. But Gianfranco still looms formidably large in Dettori’s life. “Yeah, he was 70 yesterday. He’s not as tough now, but he still doesn’t understand the way I do things. What he did to me I could never do to my own kids. I still let them sleep in my bed at times. I never slept in my dad’s bed. And as a jockey he was much more aggressive. I’m more natural. He didn’t come from a racing family, but I was born on a horse.” It shows. Yet he insists that, if anything, he is getting better. “Before, I just rode my own horse. I watched and learnt from some great jockeys, like Angel Cordero in America. I stole the flying dismount from him. But I just rode my horse. Now I ride my own horse but I capitalise on other people’s mistakes, and that’s called experience. I couldn’t do that when I started, but now there are examples every day. I see and think races much better than before.” And what does he see and think of the sport beyond the rails? Of the current brouhaha over the use of the whip, for example? “The whip? The whip has come a long way in 20 years. It is made of foam now, and it would be very hard to even kill a fly with it. We’re all animal lovers. I’ll be honest with you, we treat our horses better than we treat our partners. But since Cheltenham and the Grand National everyone has jumped on the bandwagon. Flat racing and jump racing are chalk and cheese. After three and a half miles over jumps, with tired horses, I can see it doesn’t look great. But none of us are here to hurt horses. I don’t know why people don’t see that.” He stands. My short time is up. Trying to eke it out further, I ask whether he watched United, the TV drama about the Munich air crash? “No, I went through something like that. It scarred me for two or three years. And it has made me claustrophobic. I never used to be, but now, with a lot of people in an elevator, or in a cable car when I’m skiing, I have to walk out. We went on a silly ride at Universal Studios, a Bart Simpson ride, and when they strapped me in, I freaked out.” He laughs, and apologises but he really must go. Can I just ask him about Arsenal, I say, and he half-sits down again. He can always find time for the team he adopted as English counterparts to his beloved Juventus, even if it’s to grumble. “Six years in a row we’ve blown it in the last month.” So would he rather Arsenal win the league next season, or him win the Derby? “Win the Derby. Those Arsenal players have time on their hands.” The Derby takes place on June 3.

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Text: Brian Viner / The Independent / The Interview People

‘(My father) is not as tough now, but he still doesn’t understand the way I do things. What he did to me I could never do to my own kids. I still let them sleep in my bed’

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History in tHe sHaping A spectacular new exhibition heralds Alexander McQueen as a genius. Would he have received such adulation if he were still alive? Mythical status can be a matter of timing, argues Susannah Frankel. - 32 -

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lexander McQueen: Savage Beauty is currently running at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. To introduce the show to the fashion establishment, journalists and collaborators were invited to a press breakfast at the Ritz hotel in London last February, in the presence of museum director, Thomas P Campbell, curator, Andrew Bolton, Anna Wintour, Stella McCartney, McQueen CEO Jonathan Akeroyd and Sarah Burton, McQueen’s longtime first assistant designer and now creative director of Alexander McQueen (and, of course, now famous herself as the designer of Kate Middleton’s royal wedding dress). Six of the late designer’s most celebrated garments framed the stage, among them the lilac silk and black lace jet encrusted corset from Dante (autumn/ winter 2006); a McQueen tartan gown with a cream tulle underskirt from the Widows of Culloden (autumn/winter

2006); and a dress crafted in fabric taken from a 19th century Japanese screen over another made entirely out of oyster shells (Voss, spring/summer 2001). All are exceptionally beautiful and continue to evoke feelings of wonderment and more than a little sadness. McQueen, as we know, died a little over a year ago by his own hand. It was good to see, though, that they have been lovingly restored for the occasion by some of the most accomplished experts in their field. Great efforts have been made to track down vintage McQueen pieces – particularly early vintage pieces which are rare – and, in many cases, such archival treasures, lent by old friends, were worn to the point where their condition might hardly be described as pristine until now. For his part, Bolton spoke eloquently of the McQueen oeuvre. The concept of the Sublime, he argued, underlies the premise of the

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exhibition that is an exploration of McQueen’s profound engagement with romanticism. With this in mind, it is divided into categories: The Romantic Mind, Romantic Gothic, Romantic Exoticism, Romantic Primitivism and so forth. That McQueen was romantic - with a small “r” – there is no question. His work is testimony to that and indeed he described himself thus on many separate occasions over the years. “But where is the Alexander McQueen who once called me a f****** **** because he objected to my review?” said one feted fashion commentator behind the scenes. And few would argue that, as far as this, the first retrospective of the designer’s work is concerned, the more visceral, antagonistic and, some might argue, “real” McQueen is apparently less evident. Instead, here is an intellectualised, at least partially sanitised and, above all, idealised,

tribute to a brave and brilliant human being who, while private in person, made a career of exposing himself through his work, warts and all. In death, then, like so many others before him, McQueen has become a legend; a blank canvas on to which onlookers can paint their interpretation of his story or hypothesise about what his future might have been. Almost as news that the designer had chosen to leave this world broke, he travelled the route from “bad boy” (he always disliked the moniker, not unreasonably finding it reductive) to “genius” (a label that is equally meaningless and never failed to evoke anything but hoots of derision) with barely a nuance in between. So-called experts were quick to speculate that McQueen’s suicide was a result of his mother’s death which took place only days before. Others opined that the stress of designing upwards of a dozen collections a year was too much for him – fashion, then, killed Alexander McQueen. This is all radically oversimplified, clearly, not to mention presumptuous – just the kind of neatly packaged preconception the designer would have sought to challenge, in fact. And so, a man who, throughout his short life, strove passionately to de-mythologise his world – from the fashion industry he loved and loved to hate to his Scottish ancestry and the rags-to-riches media incarnation that sprang up around him – has been duly mythologised. The irony of such a turn of events is inescapable. “[James] Dean is absolutely at his peak of forever,” the American-film historian, David Thomson once said of among the most celebrated actors of all time. “Everyone’s got their own notion of what would have happened to him had he not died.” But who really knows what the legacy of Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift and Rudolph Valentino, say, might have been had they lived to a great age? In light of their early demise, their preternaturally lovely image – hugely important to all of them – has

remained in tact, preserved for all eternity in a way that the pharaohs of Egypt might only have dreamt. We may all, from time to time, rake across the scandal and pore over any suggestion of human weakness, but such heroes and heroines of Hollywood’s Golden Age are predominantly deified. More difficult to gloss over quite so neatly are the life stories of writers John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley, say, or artists from Vincent Van Gogh to JeanMichel Basquiat – all of whom died in poverty, their work only appreciated posthumously. It took the world some time to catch up with their today universally acknowledged visionary status, but that doesn’t help the fact that, while living, they were largely unrecognised and misunderstood and that was a source of some pain. For McQueen, the two years before he died were certainly among the most fruitful of his career; a time when his experience everywhere from Savile Row in London to the couture ateliers of Givenchy in Paris led to unprecedented technical virtuosity. An increasingly complex and turbulent emotional life, meanwhile, sent an already unusually vivid imagination into over-drive. In that, then, his death and its effect on culture more broadly may well one day mirror those of the aforementioned celluloid idols – put very bluntly, it happened while he was in the throes of a creative high. In particular, the designer’s final complete collection, Plato’s Atlantis (spring/summer 2010), a spellbinding study of Darwin’s theory of evolution in reverse, was the perfect exit: as spectacularly beautiful as it was innovative; with its aerial views of everything from mountain tops to bubbling streams and pixillated close ups of flora and fauna, this was the ultimate expression of the designer’s love of nature which, in the end, transcended all else. But McQueen, even by this point, was still mis-read. Accusations of misogyny, in particular – in this case directed at the unashamedly

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‘In death, like so many others before him, McQueen has become a legend; a blank canvas on to which onlookers can paint their interpretation of his story...’

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alien “armadillo” shoe – never ceased to distress him deeply. Referring to some of his darker gestures, McQueen explained: “It’s never about models’ feelings and always about mine”. In light of his fate, only a fool would doubt the truth of these words. Would Alexander McQueen’s talent have been rewarded by an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art had he lived? Indeed, would he have been asked to design Kate Middleton’s wedding dress? That will remain a mystery but it seems doubtful. To begin with, single designer retrospectives at the gallery are rare – to date Coco Chanel, Cristobal Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent and Gianni Versace have been the exceptions that proved the rule and their businesses were more established than this one. More than that, though, McQueen’s aspirations were such that he would have decreed that walls must be pulled down to accommodate his vision; neither would he have deigned to edit his more provocative inclinations to suit mainstream or – heaven forbid – conservative taste. Instead, he would have insisted upon absolute creative control, just as he always did, and, given the stature of the institution in question, his refusal to compromise would most likely have proved insurmountable. Which also applies to the constraints of designing a wedding dress with input from the bride and traditions demanded by the royal family. Cynics might not unreasonably argue that, with the complexities and fundamentally unpredictable nature of the human being no longer an issue, the McQueen name has now become a far more easily marketable commodity. The show is underwritten by “Alexander McQueen” the company and will only serve to raise its profile still further. In the end, however, context is all and Savage Beauty – ultimately a formalised appreciation of the work of a man who was anything but – deserves to enjoy a more valuable place in history than that. Many of those involved in its

‘For McQueen, the two years before he died were certainly among the most fruitful; a time which led to unprecedented technical virtuosity’

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Text: Susannah Frankel / The Independent / The Interview People

creation were close to the designer. Its creative director is Sam Gainsbury, McQueen’s long-time show producer. Simon Kenny, responsible for building McQueen’s spectacular sets, is its production designer. John Gosling, who worked with McQueen on his soundtracks, has provided the music and Guido Palau, who styled hair for McQueen, has created masks and head treatments for mannequins. In the catalogue that accompanies the exhibition, in place of the hugely evocative and wildly dramatic wideangled images for which McQueen’s presentations were well-known, are Solve Sundsbo’s quieter and mournfully lovely photographs of his work, often seen up close, and that elevate McQueen from showman to bona fide artist even though he himself was reluctant to describe himself in those terms. At first sight,

these appear to have been shot on a mannequin but they were, in fact, worn by McQueen’s fit model of more than a decade, Polina Kasina, then digitally manipulated. “They look as if they had been composed in the traditional academic style of previous exhibition catalogues,” writes Eric Wilson of the New York Times, “one that suggests historically important clothing exists in an environment of perpetual sterility. It’s only when you recognise that the model is actually Ms Kasina, transformed through a combination of make-up, lighting and Photoshop, that the beauty of Mr Sundsbo’s approach and its relevance to the work of Mr McQueen becomes apparent.” Having contributed the introductory essay to the volume in question, and enjoyed unprecedented access to McQueen for 15 years – for which I

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will always be extremely grateful – it was my instinct too to follow a more classical formula and one which was never stipulated in any brief. At least partly, these words adopt a less casual tone than anything written about the designer to date out of respect for his memory and the need to protect that above all else. More specifically, six months before McQueen died and, while we were immersed in another yet-to-be-published collaborative written project dedicated to his working process, I showed him a first draft, only to find he was appalled that I’d left the ribald humour he was loved for, not to mention the expletives – and there were many – intact. “What do you think?” I asked him. “I think you’re a f****** idiot,” Alexander McQueen replied. “It’s just like everything else that’s ever been written about me and you know me better than that.” “But you said to keep it real,” I argued, genuinely thrown. “Not that real,” he said. Who knows what the deeper thinking behind these words might have been? In retrospect, though, an on-the-faceof-it light-hearted exchange today appears more resonant. Towards the end of his life perhaps even McQueen himself was striving for mythic status and the show in question seems nothing if not justified in light of that. Meanwhile the wedding dress designed by his protégé Sarah Burton, bearing the Alexander McQueen label, will go on display itself and enhance the designer’s mythical status, as it is enshrined in history. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty runs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York until July 31.

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Dr Véronique Emmenegger, Medical Director

What does the procedure entail? During the Global Face Lift procedure the doctor performs a gentle lift of specific or overall facial features using different injections. According to the patient’s needs, the circles around the eyes are masked; eye lids are opened up; jowls are diminished; natural shape is restored to flattened cheeks or temple areas and corners of the mouth are redesigned. It is common for patients who have had a Global Face Lift to report compliments from others on their appearance without those in question knowing they have had any surgery – and this is exactly what we all want – to become younger and more beautiful, without anyone noticing the effort! When is the ideal time to receive the treatment? As the procedure is non-surgical and lasts for only a couple of hours, it can be undertaken at any time of year, even during the summer. And a matter of hours is not much of a sacrifice to appear ten years younger, is it?

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Kingdom Come If you want to keep a firm finger on the pulse of contemporary art, take note of the hotbed of talent to dominate Christie’s Middle East’s latest auction. Laura Binder delves beneath the hammer to find out what makes this region the one to watch.


here was only one place to be in Dubai on April 19 – Christie’s auction room at Emirates Towers: full to the rafters, it was a scene vibrant with animated, clicking tongues purveying myriad dialects and, as hands rose, phones rang and online bidders made their play, an irrepressible wave of excitement rushed through the audience and over the chic, blackclad Christie’s bid-takers who flanked their welldressed sides. For this was no ordinary event: by the time the final hammer was struck by the quintessentially English auctioneer, Christie’s auction of Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish art had set 42 new world records for Middle Eastern artists. But what made would-be collectors’ ears prick up further still was the evening’s unexpected highlight: six works of art donated by Edge of Arabia with a pre-sale estimate of approximately $135,000 – sold for $1,051,000. The bar, it seemed, had been set and art buyers were unwittingly called to turn their heads to the Middle East to snag a future collectable for themselves. If your curiosity for the region’s art has only just been aroused, you’ll be forgiven for posing the question ‘what is Edge of Arabia? “It’s a non-profit organisation made up of a collection of artists which began in London in 2008 to promote Saudi contemporary artists,” expands its creative director, Abdullah Al-Turki. “In Saudi there are no commercial vehicles to represent the region’s artists so when we started it was as a platform for international exposure and, at the same time, a means of changing the perception of Saudi Arabia as a country.”


02 Their quest took on a conquering vigour with a world tour that saw its greatest works exhibited to a global press and buyers in Venice, Berlin, Istanbul, Dubai and Qatar. And the sales speak volumes. One could surmise that its glamorous pit-stop in Dubai may have been the magnetic force that drew so many to Emirates Towers for the Christie’s auction. But what is for definite, as the ever-sophisticated Isabelle de La Bruyere, Christie Middle East’s director, will testify is that Middle Eastern art as a whole is now a true contender on the global contemporary art scene – and a real one-to-watch. “In 2006 Christie’s first put such artists on an international platform and since then the demand has grown tremendously,”

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1. Buffalo Soldier, Ramin Haerizadeh 2. Message/Messanger, Abdulnasser Gharem 3. Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom, Ayman Baalbaki 4. Evolution of Man, Ahmed Mater


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Isabelle says, all billowing mane and top-to-toe silk. “This particular auction saw 40% new registrants in the sale room, which is huge – it means that everyone travelled over to make their bid. “Previously, there was an average of 20% new participants attending annually, but with other events happening around the region (such as Art Dubai or Abu Dhabi Art) you really see the overall cultural landscape growing at a rapid rate. In the last four years, we’ve achieved over $2million worth of sales at Christie’s Middle East and that was something that took Hong Kong 10years to achieve.” But what is it about the Edge of Arabia’s breed of art that prompted buyers to trump all pre-sale estimates, devouring its pieces at breakneck speed? Cast your eyes over the works – from Abdulnasser Gharem’s gold dome to Ahmed Mayer’s Evolution of Man

– a series of X-ray like images that evolve from a man with a gun pointed to his head to a petrol pump – and it’s not difficult to see why: there’s far more to these works than immediately meets the eye. “What sets them apart from other collections is that behind each of the artists there is a dual story,” says Abdullah. “One artist, for example, is a full time practitioner and you see this influence in his art piece (Evolution of Man), another is a 37-year-old lieutenant in the Saudi Arabia army and you see this in his work. These dual personalities affect them as artists. It is first expressed through their artwork then backed up by immaculate execution.” If the collector in you is asking how such pieces will fare over time, you can be sure such works will gather far more than dust when erected in one of your homes. “We always see prices grow tremendously,” enthuses Isabelle.

The Collectables

“At our first Middle Eastern sale in 2006, one Middle Eastern artist’s piece reached a value of six to eight thousand dollars, and was recently sold at $48,000.” But the real trick it seems is in observing the bigger picture – of recognising a market growth that seems quite simply unstoppable. “The great success of Christie’s Middle East sales today in comparison to when we first started demonstrates global growth” says Isabelle. “Our clients have grown almost ten times in the last four years and with international effect. It’s this globalisation of the Middle Eastern market – which sees participants from Australia, China, South America and beyond – that’s a true strength. This depth of international collectors is going to stain the market and make it expand even more in the next three to five years.” You heard it here first.

Edge of Arabia’s artists are flying the flag for the region on an international scale, here’s just a handful of its most-wanted talent...

ahmed mater

abdulnasser Gharem

manal al dowayan

sami al turki

conceptual artist

conceptual artist

conceptual artist

conceptual artist

The son of a traditional family, Mater is a practising doctor whose dual role serves as the inspiration behind his art work. Now one of the Arab world’s leading artists, his work has been exhibited on a global scale including the British Museum.

Born in Khamis Mushait and a Lieutenant Colonel in the Saudi Army, Gharem is recognised as a pioneer of conceptual art and his Message/Messanger sculpture was the second-highest seller at Christie’s auction.

Now one of Saudi’s leading photographers, Manal Al Dowayan is represented by Cuadro Fine Art Gallery and her recent artworks have been acquired by a number of major museums, including London’s revered British Museum.

A conceptual photographer of ArabEuropean descent, Al-Turki’s eclectic style reveals an insight into the tradition and cultures of both sides that has earned him international attention and a place in the 53rd Venice Biennale.

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Abu Dhabi, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Dubai, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Malta, Mauritius, The Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Portugal, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Turks & Caicos Islands, United Kingdom & Uruguay.

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Breakfast With renÉ Jasper Gerard meets the world’s best chef for an early morning bite.


loudberrys. Whey. Wild beach roses. Musk ox. Birch sap. Pike perch. Axelberry shoots. Cowslip. Ransom. Jack-by-the-hedge. René Redzepi is not only better at cooking than anyone in the world, he is also, infuriatingly, better at writing about cooking. When you read his menu, it’s not just the flavours of his extraordinary ingredients you long to roll round your tongue, you start to savour their sound, too. For the second year running, his restaurant Noma was declared greatest place to eat on the planet – decent going for a converted whale blubber store in Copenhagen, once dismissed by a sniffy critic as “the stinking whale”. As Redzepi basked with the world’s 50 finest chefs collecting his San Pellegrino/ Restaurant magazine award, even detractors – and he has a few – realised they would need to up the quality of their insults. How, they had demanded, could he run a restaurant in a freezing climate only serving locally sourced, seasonal ingredients? Pretty well as it turned out, thanks to ingenuity, pickling and the reading of ancient novels to learn what Danes used to eat.

This son of a Muslim taxi driver and “cleaning lady” had dared to reject just about every tenet of Mediterranean cuisine – even olive oil – instead elevating foraging, fishing and farming of Nordic produce into something approaching a movement. The finest food, he has declared, is “all about time and place”. We met for breakfast in a London hotel and it took approximately thirty seconds to realise this was no ordinary chef. He couldn’t eat toast because the bread was not rye. Pastries produced such an involuntary shudder that he might have been witness to a particularly gruesome crime scene. He would only consent to the yogurt on the strict condition he could add berries. And the (perfectly fine) hotel coffee was rejected, so after much research an assistant was dispatched to a coffee house as “René only allows himself caffeine once a day and it has to be the best”. If this is breakfast, lunch must be like the hundred year war. This, remember, is the chef who opened Noma not with a menu but a manifesto. Which could easily get you mistaken for the world’s most irritating man. But

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despite his intensity – worthiness even – Redzepi turns out to be highly engaging. It is just that he is as doctrinaire about gastronomy as 17th-century clerics were about theology. This still allows him enough space to be a nice guy. Collecting the first of his restaurant awards in 2010, he wore a T-shirt sporting an image of Noma’s human dishwasher; ‘Ali’ from Gambia had been denied a UK visa so Redzepi, on the brink of tears, stressed this had been a “team effort”. As well as sending his chefs foraging most mornings (“who doesn’t feel energised getting close to nature?”), Redzepi has them serve customers what they cook because food is all about “giving”. So where did his improbable tale begin? “Many chefs have a grandmother story,” he smiles “you know ‘I only cook what my grandmother taught me’. I don’t really have that.” Instead, he left Denmark every summer for his father’s native Macedonia: “To go anywhere, you got on a horse. If you wanted to eat, you slaughtered a chicken. I would go off for hours gathering wild blackberries. And we would go into the mountains picking chestnuts. We would then have them for breakfast with milk from the cow.” He peers up from under the fringe of his boyishly parted hair and says in near faultless English: “It seemed so backward. In Denmark everyone ate frozen food.” He hardly need spell out that now he thinks it was Denmark that needed change. His summers in Macedonia – curtailed by the outbreak of war in 1992 – informed his values. “We had very little. My mother is still a cleaning lady. My parents come from almost nothing, all they have is family. They are proud about the

award but for them it’s not about being on TV. Instead they ask ‘Are you happy?’ or ‘Has your daughter been seeing enough of her father?’ They keep you pretty grounded.” It must have been disconcerting being brought up by a devout Muslim father and a Nordic, secular mother. “No, my parents made it easy,” he says. “I was taken to the mosque and read the Koran but they let us choose. I always saw Islam as a very human religion.” Instead of this veritable smorgasbord of faiths, he gained his nourishment from food, or rather from nature. He is a pantheist, delighting in every berry and shrimp because it’s part of a beautiful mechanism. “We are not much better than most restaurants at poaching

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‘People still think with molecular gastronomy you will have a sauce injected intravenously while some mad chef whips you with burning

Text: Jasper Gerard / The Daily Telegraph / The Interview People


salmon,” he says disarmingly “but we do have a special way of working with nature.” He understands why so many restaurants in northern Europe still rely on Mediterranean produce “because the supply lines are well established. But if you can’t taste the difference between the asparagus you harvest and import from Peru, well...” And he insists it’s only for a fortnight a year that the ground is too frozen to extract food. His beliefs were met with incredulity, even hostility when he opened Noma. Think of the pub bore jibes aimed at Heston Blumenthal for snail porridge, then multiply. “It’s only now our cuisine is recognised by the world that Danes feel it’s validated,” says Redzepi, who trained in the world’s most

glamorous restaurants, including Spain’s El Bulli and America’s French Laundry. “They thought Noma would be finished in 24 hours. Even chefs said ‘Why not reproduce a mixture of what you’ve learned around the world?’” Instead Redzepi stayed true to himself, becoming a Great Dane. If San Pellegrino’s international judging panel is a guide, what we value now is authentic, simple food. It was noticeable, after all, how few French chefs were lauded on the awards’ stage. “If they are not progressing as they should perhaps they feel a bit trapped. But it is only time before someone breaks out.” Already he is encouraged by the French movement of “bistronomy”, which cuts through France’s hidebound divide between haute and hearty cuisine.

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About the world’s best restAurAnt…

Blumenthal remains one of his favourite chefs. Redzepi credits him and Adria with revolutionising our understanding of food by exploring its scientific foundations. “The quality of cooking has exploded in the last ten years,” he says. “People still think with molecular gastronomy you will have a sauce injected intravenously while some mad chef whips you with burning rosemary. But it’s about understanding compounds, knowing what goes with what.” Of another British chef, Gordon Ramsay he says: “I’ve never eaten in one of his restaurants but if you’re going to have a chain you may as well have a damn good one.” He also says Ramsay has taken the “beatings” for not living

in the kitchen, allowing chefs such as Redzepi to explore other projects: “There was a view that a chef had to be a martyr, spending his entire life being poisoned by a deep fat fryer. Now we can lead different lives.” He backs a project run by scientists at Copenhagen University to study which diet might best improve health. He contends that the fruit, fish and game diet of northern Europe can be healthier than more celebrated southern alternatives. Meanwhile, he will soon be back in his restaurant, serving customers. “Food is not about becoming famous. It really is about giving.” Oh, and about time and place. The time is now, the place is Copenhagen.

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With a certain testosteronedriven enthusiasm, the chefs here celebrate the cuisine of the cold North Atlantic. In fact, the name Noma is short for nordatlantiskl mad, or North Atlantic food. During its relatively short life, this showcase of Nordic cuisine has received greater amounts of favourable press than virtually any other restaurant in Denmark. Positioned within an antique, stonesided warehouse in Christianshavn, it makes it an almost religious duty to import ultra-fresh fish and shellfish three times a week from Greenland, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands. Chef René Redzepi concocts platters in which fish is poached, grilled, pickled, smoked, or salted according to old Nordic traditions, then served in ways that are sometimes more elaborately decorated, and more visually flamboyant by far, than the decor of the white, rather Spartan setting in which they are served. Come here for crayfish, lobster, halibut in a foamy wasabi-flavoured cream sauce, and practically any other creature that thrives in the cold waters of Nordic Europe. You expect to see, within the simple, strippeddown decor of this place, celebrities from throughout Northern Europe, including members of the Danish royal family.

On the rOad

Kate MOss reveals her lOngchaMp cOllectiOn as this seasOn’s ultiMate travel cOMpaniOn

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Inset: Gloucester Duffle Bag, Far Away Chic collection.

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Left: Basket Bag, Far Away Exotic collection. Above: Shoulder Bag, Far Away Chic collection.

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Left: Multicolour Basket Bag, Far Away Exotic collection. Right: Hobo Bag. Far Away On The Road collection.

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road thrill Faster, fitter and a whole lot sexier (check out the seats) than its predecessor, the new Bentley Continental GT marries true supercar performance to the brand’s heritage to deliver the most exceptional coupe of the year.


All-Wheel Drive

Designed in what’s a unique W configuration, the 12-cylinder engine that powers the Continental GT is the most compact in the world and one of the most technologically advanced. It delivers true supercar performance.

The Continental GT has one of the planet’s most advanced all-wheel drive systems. This ensures that all the power created by the 12-cylinder engine is utilised, resulting in superb acceleration in all weather conditions.

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Though the new touchscreen technology and analogue dials – which are illuminated at night by a blood-orange glow – capture the imagination, it’s the handcrafted seats that do it for us. Designed like a cobra, they pack in myriad body-supporting materials and a quite superb massage system.


State-of-the-art, the car’s suspension features an Intelligent Continuous Damping Control, which works to constantly monitor the car’s poise. The result? The suspension settings are adjusted hundreds of times per second, delivering the smoothest of rides whatever your speed.

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Thanks to its FlexFuel technology, the car is capable of running on the very latest environmentally sustainable bio-fuels, with the drive unaffected whether fuelled by gasloline, bioethanol or a combination of the two.


Bull Riding


t is on the main straight of Vallelunga race track, I am travelling at 240kph and the wailing cacophony of a screaming V12 engine fills the cabin of the all-new Lamborghini Aventador. At moments like these subjectivity falls by the wayside, moments like these make the US$379, 700 asking price seem cheap, moments like these are what supercars are truly all about. That and the way they look, of course, and the Aventador does not disappoint. It’s unmistakeably a Lamborghini, with its razorsharp lines inspired by the $1.5 million Reventon special edition and capturing the spirit of the legendary Countach and Murcielago that sold by the handful and yet spawned thousands of posters. This time it’s different: 18 months’ production and approximately 1,800 cars have already been sold. At its heart is a new carbon-fiber chassis, which is race car technology. It’s lighter than the steel chassis that formed the backbone of the Murcielago, 150 per cent stiffer, and it’s the basis for a lighter, faster, more powerful car. The four-wheel-drive monster comes with a 700PS

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Why the all-new Lamborghini Aventador is an instant icon.

Words: Nick Hall.

powerplant that propels it to 100kph in just 2.9s which, officially at least, makes this the first production car in the world to do so. Thanks to 509lb/ft of torque it screams through all seven of the semi-automatic gears in insane time with the thuggish V12 engine screaming to the hills as it closes in on the 8250rpm redline. It’s one of the most emotional sounds in the motoring world, more organic, aggressive and real than the more synthesized offering from Ferrari. The gearchanges, too, are brutal. Despite consigning the traditional manual gearbox and clutch to history, Lamborghini insisted on maintaining the feel, the rifle bolt in the back as the next gear slams home. In the hardest Corsa mode it feels like an assault as the box shifts in just 50 milliseconds and the traction control loosens up the rear and the monster starts to slide, before the electronics save us from ourselves. But for everyday use there are ‘Sport’ and ‘Strada’ modes that provide a softer change and more secure traction control, which means this car can handle the wet and the run to the office. The intimidation that went with old school Lamborghinis is a thing of the past. Carbon ceramic brakes ensure the car slows with the same alacrity as it piles on speed, and pushrod suspension, together with an all-new four-wheel-drive system that follows the same technology as the Bugatti Veyron, means it corners harder and faster than its predecessors. Despite the carbon core it still weighs more than 1650kg, so there are lighter two-seater sportscars. But the kilos evaporate in the corner and the Aventador will match almost anything on the road, while looking so much better. And that is a big improvement. The Raging Bull was a worthy badge for the old school Countach and Diablo, which took a firm and skilled hand at the wheel to keep them

on the road. Now, with Lamborghini under the watchful eye of Audi, which took control in the late 90s, the bull is a more elegant animal. The fit and finish of the Aventador is perfect, the computerized TFT screen that replaces the old analogue dials is a work of art and the car is refined and reliable enough to drive huge distances each and every day of its life. But don’t think for a second that the beast has been tamed. Turn the electronics off completely and the Aventador bucks and fights on track, before screaming down the road at 240kph as subjectivity falls by the wayside and this car becomes an instant icon.

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TOp Marques MONacO

Once a year the world’s richest car show, Top Marques, descends on Monaco for a celebration of life in the fast lane. It’s where the world’s most exclusive manufacturers gather to sell to qualified leads and show their cars on the famous Grand Prix circuit. And, as always, it’s all about big numbers…

35 MINuTes

For the Koengisegg Agera to make a lap of the legendary Monaco Grand Prix circuit in normal traffic. Sebastian Vettel needs around 1 minute.

15 secONds

That’s how long it took to sell the first car at this year’s show, a spectacular-looking Ferrari FF.

220kph. The conservative estimate of the Noble M600’s speed through the tunnel when traffic cleared. The speed limit is 50.

40,000 1700Bhp. $1 BILLION MILLION 24. 11. 2011 6 MeTres

The length of the Knight Conquest SUV, the largest and most luxurious armoured SUV in the world that made its European debut at Top Marques.


Guests were selected for an invitation to this year’s event.

Keating’s ZKR supercar packs a massive amount of power.

Worth of business done at this year’s show. The figure was $600,000 last year.

The amount it would take to buy the The date of the new Top Koenigsegg Agera R or Pagani Huayra. Marques Macau show.

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Veritas rs iii

‘It looks like a 1940s race car brought screaming into the 21st Century and though the

Nick Hall

Veritas RS III might be about

ouR man on the InSIde tRaCk

as practical as a chocolate

How tyres can make a car feel like a million dollars.

fireguard, it’s way more fun’ This is a rebirth of the German company to build the first Formula One winner and it’s a car befitting of the brand, with an almost cartoon-like face, powerful haunches and an open double cockpit-style not seen for many decades. Under the skin is the 600bhp version of the new BMW M5’s V8 twin turbo engine, and as the car weighs just 1000kg and there is no real windscreen. this car can literally tear your head off. It takes a helmet to drive it fast, which is good as that drowns out the passenger’s screams, and you can count on a 0-100kph in around three seconds and a top speed of 350kph in the final production car. This car is about more than the outright speed, though, it’s about style, charisma and personality. Aanybody can drive a Ferrari down the street, but only 30 Veritas RS IIIs will ever see the light of the day, so only 30 discerning gents will get the chance to spend $500,000 on an opentopped racer for the road.

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Despite writing about cars for a living, I’m as guilty as anyone of neglecting the basics on my own daily drive. I don’t top up the oil until the helpful yellow light tells me to and the only time I check the tyres is when a policeman dishes out a fine. But a trip to the Dubai Autodrome to test the new Michelin Pilor Super Sport changed all that. Here it was drilled home with the help of instructional videos, a race track and some of the finest cars in the world, just how important the black round parts on the car really are. Michelin brought along Ferraris, Porsches, Audi R8s and even a $1.5 million Keonigsegg Agera. There they proved that a new piece of rubber wrapped around the expensive wheels can cut four metres off what was a 25 metre braking distance, stop us spinning an Audi TT on a wet, slick skidpad and even make a Porsche 911 Carrera 4 more stable on the brakes. The French firm drilled home their points with devastating effect over the course of the day. The new tyres last 50 per cent longer, grip better in the corners and braking zones and could easily keep the car on the road in the worst case scenario and save your life. You can buy the finest supercar in the world, but with worn or second rate tyres it simply won’t work. So don’t neglect your car, buy it a new pair of shoes: it could be the best investment you ever make, and make hundreds of thousands of dollars of car feel more like one million.


To Dine For


If you’re making your annual getaway to London, eschew your trusted list of top tables and head instead for one of the city’s newest additions to the 2011 Michelin Guide.



Seven Park Place


st jaMes’s


An unashamed celebration of decadence, Seven Park Place by former Aubergene chef William Drabble takes pride of opulent place in St James’s Hotel and Club. While the setting is head-turning, it’s only the pre-course to the main event: modern French fare artistically delivered by Drabble’s talented hands. And, when in Rome, it would be a crying shame not to indulge. For a little bit of everything (the best way to avoid food-envy) choose the six-course menu gourmand. Delectable dishes follow, prepared in true French style (the scallop carpaccio is swoonworthy) and, of course, it would be scandalous to resist dessert – the lemon Charlotte, poached rhubarb and passion fruit is quite sensational.

An accolade for the reopened Pétrus has cued something of a revival for its fiery mastermind: Gordon Ramsay. With famed disputes left at the door (well, a few yards down from its previous Berkeley residence) and Pétrus is back to its formerly-revered state with a Michelinworthy recipe critics know and love: French-inspired dishes in fuss-free, quality form coupled with impeccable service. Reserve a table in its luxurious dining room and you can tuck in to the kind of dishes that have long gained Ramsay plaudits: classic, can’t-fail combonations like mouthwatering Devon lamb with spring vegetables and a thyme jus.


Hélène Darroze at The Connaught



Those who yearn for a unique flavour would do well to stray to this arty boutique hotel (once Bethnal Green’s Town Hall) where Nuno Mendes turns an experimental hand. You can get a delicious taste of kitchen drama as well, thanks to an open kitchen seen from the loft-like dining space (the latter a show of East End cool with its light installations and artworks). Here, a frequent display of men in whites yielding tweezers shows the attention to detail Nuno demands. Choose from six, nine or twelve courses and give in to the excitement that ensues when confronted with the likes of squid tartare with squid ink granita and bright pink, pickled radish curls. A true culinary experience.

With two Michelin stars already under her belt from her former Parisian restaurant, it’s little wonder that Hélène Darroze bestows lashings of ‘je ne sais quoi’ on the big smoke – or, in this case, an intimate space in the historic Connaught. India Mahdavi’s creamy concoction of brown and golden interiors serves as a comforting backdrop to Darroze’s delicate dishes: precise, seasonal and beautifully prepared, each bite reveals the rich characteristics synonymous with French fare but with ample individuality – take the plump pigeon and foie gras; a red-brown wonder served alongside a spiced chocolate sauce that melds meat, beetroot and cherries.

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bethnal green





Galvin La Chapelle



Decorated purely in white and beige, this French restaurant lavishes its affection on one thing: the art of gastronomy. Ring the doorbell of its Georgian house and you’ll be shown to a table on one of its four floors (don’t worry, a table upstairs does not mean you’ve invaded someone’s private quarters), where you’ll be privy to cuisine from Alexis Gauthier (former chef/proprietor of Roussillon). Dishes come in small, luxurious and plentiful supply with one aim: combinations that work to enhance the flavour of its key ingredient. The results are something of a marvel. But, don’t go simple on dessert – Golden Louis XV marries warm dark chocolate and praline millefeuille to glorious slumber-inducing effect.

‘Chris and Jeff have revved up Bistro Cuisine’ is the eatery’s modest way of expressing the standout success of the British chefs (and brothers) behind Galvin La Chapelle – one of their three city restaurants. For critics, the pair have emerged as the triumphant tortoise to the French hare of Bistro cooking, pipping the style’s very pioneers to the winner’s post. Even the venue is a triumph: a Victorian hall (all sky high ceilings and commanding pillars) next to a less grand (but still charming) café. In both, the food is worth its weight in caviar: leatherbound menus reveal superb entrees like Dorset crab lasagne, while mains are classic (and, we found, perfectly executed). Try the Scottish beef with creamed spinach and potato mille-feuille.


Petersham Nurseries Café

Kitchen W8


A dynamic business duo – Philip Howard (best known for two Michelin star The Square) and restauranteur Rebecca Mascarenhas – means Kitchen W8 was always off to a fine start. Howard brings with him The Square’s chef Mark Kempson, a collaboration that spells (in their words) ‘a modern English style with a French soul.’ For diners it translates to a seasonal menu steaming with a hearty British flavour. Its roast rump of veal with caramelised cauliflower, hazelnut spatzle and barely-there parmesan is a prime example and, eaten amid dim lighting, comfy banquettes and concealed nooks, there’s few more relaxing spots in which to indulge your appetite.

Be sure to tell her to leave the Louboutins behind when making for this eatery – it is in a garden centre after all, and your waiter is likely to be wearing wellies. Not only that, but to sample the culinary genius of Skye Gyngell you’ll need to get to the Thames-side café in time for lunch (it’s only open from 12 to 3pm). Needless to say, though, you’ll be glad you made flat-shoed haste: Gyngell has positioned herself at the very forefront of seasonal British cooking and here she continues to worship the seasons by plucking each one’s finest ingredients and creating new menus on a week-by-week basis. Savour every morsel.

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kensington and chelsea


White Gold Why the mere mollusc is proving pure gastronomic gold with Europe’s cooking elite


f caviar never fails to tempt your culinary taste buds, the latest delicacy to slither its way out of Spanish gardens may have you reaching for a spoon too – ‘white caviar’. Translation: snails’ eggs. It seems the literal slug-in-a-shell, more commonly lusted after by French foodies for its tasty meat, has slowly maneuvered its way to the top of the food chain, claiming the crown as Europe’s latest gastronomic trend. And, in case you don’t believe us, the miniscule eggs – also known as ‘pearls of Aphrodite’ for their pearl-like form and alleged aphrodisiac characteristics – were once a sought-after bite at banquets, devoured by Roman, Greek and Egyptian high society. Gobble up the eggs yourself (expect a somewhat earthy taste, no doubt why top chefs’ insist on marinating them in flavoursome herbs) and expect to part with around $2,598 per kilo for the pleasure: a price tag that places them below beluga on the expense scale but over three times that of black caviar.

Learn of the painstaking process that comes with extracting snails’ eggs, though, and it’s easier to appreciate why chefs are so intent on reviving them as the latest luxury ingredient – a mission that’s being embraced by the French and Spanish. To fill a standard-sized 50gram tin takes some four hours, with each teeny egg being individually selected then plucked by hand upon a tweezers’ tip. But, while the carefully-cultivated eggs are the niche of the moment, those in-the-know are confident that it’s only a matter of time before the molluscs’ produce hits the big time. One such man is Ferran Adria, head chef of El Bulli – a restaurant renowned for its imaginative concoctions – who has been bringing the ‘oysters of the earth’ to the dinner table, rustled up in myriad ways. Not only that, but the next time you stop by Harrods in Knightsbridge, you’ll be able to see the small tins (look for the ‘white caviar’ label, as it’s unofficially known) lining the food court’s shelves. We’re game if you are…

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golf Seve’s

Finest shots

Golf lost a legend last month with the passing of Seve Ballesteros, but he left us with some truly magical moments to remember. 1983 RydeR Cup, singles matCh veRsus Fuzzy zoelleR Seve was aghast as he edged closer to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory by the 18th hole – he had been three shots clear with only five holes to play. A tee shot into the rough was followed by one into the bunker and the game looked up for the super Spaniard, but he then, 245 yards from the green, he pulled out his three-wood and hit a clean-as-a-whistle shot that curved some 50 yards before landing just off the green. “It was, in the literal sense of the word, fantastic”, said The Guardian’s Dai Davies.

Have you played Here yet? Vendura Golf & Spa Resort, Sicily On the south west shores of Italy stands this sublime resort which serves not one but two outstanding 18-hole courses, East and West. Play the West and you’ll head out for nine in-a-row holes before heading back along the coast to a seaside finish on the 18th. Play the more diverse East and you’ll loop round spectacular cliffs before climbing higher ground for soul stirring views all the way to the final hole. Exceptional.

1983 WoRld matChplay Championship, veRsus aRnold palmeR Seve heads to the 18th hole one hole behind but seems destined for defeat when, with Palmer safely on the green, he finds himself 50 yards short and close to the lip of a bunker. Two minutes later Seve is celebrating squaring the match, following a precise chip that cleared the bunker and swept majestically into the hole for an eagle three. He went on to win the match at the third extra hole.

putt it tHis way

1978 hennessy Cup, veRsus niCk Faldo Nobody had ever found the green form the tee of The Belfry’s parthree 10th, but up stepped Ballesteros – one up in his match against Nick Faldo – to eschew the safety-first approach of an iron over the water in favour of a powerful drive over the treetops. His balls lands just 8-feet short of the hole, leaving him with the routine task of sinking it for a brilliant birdie.

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If you’re struggling with your short game it could well be the case that your putter just isn’t valuable enough. The answer lies in the form of Odyssey’s ruby and diamond encrusted (240 rubies and 378 diamonds, to be precise) putter, which, just for good measure, has a head fashioned from 18-caret white gold. Buy it exclusively from Harrods for $163,000.


THE GREAT ESCAPE Top tips to escape the GCC’s searing summer


Average July temperature: 8°C June kickstarts this South Amerian resort’s ski season when you can skim the slopes beneath cloudless blue skies. Dare-devils must try its off-piste track. 02. WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND

Average July temperature: 8°C Outdoor-types will love this arty city set against a pretty harbour and rolling hills: seriously scenic backdrops to walks, nature-spotting and adventurous sports. 03. REYKJAVIK, ICELAND

Average July temperature: 10°C Explore Reykjavik’s quirky art scene, sample local delicacies at the famous Fish Market (reindeer or puffin?) and head beyond the city to tread Iceland’s moonlike landscape.


Average July temperature: 12°C Make the most of mild climes with a stroll along the V&A Waterfront, a trip to Boulders Bay – home to hundreds of penguins – or a cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain. 05. AUSTRALIA’S GOLD COAST

Average July temperature: 17°C Beach-lovers will be in their element in Australia’s most

beautiful area, home to over 70km of honey-hued beaches. Pick your favourite then relax in the winter sun. 06. COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

Average July temperature: 18°C Cosmopolitan, pristine and English-speaking, this safe city is ideal for families keen to sample the Danish coast, complete with castles, winding canals and cool, modern architecture.


Average July temperature: 21°C Nestled alongside Lake Geneva in the shadow of the Chablais mountains, sits this popular spa town – partake in water sports on its still waters or snap its picturesque surrounds. 08. MADEIRA, PORTUGAL

Average July temperature: 24°C Sapphire forests flank awesome volcanoes on this spectacular island, also home to myriad white beaches. Make for the rugged north coast and swim with dolphins.



Average July temperature: 26°C The moderate southern Omani province of Salalah catches the trailing tail of India’s monsoons, which makes for warm rains and a carpet of greenery alien to other parts of the GCC.

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03 06 08

07 09





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‘City of Kings’



ima must have one of the most fabulous sunsets in the world. It helps, of course, that the city faces due west across the Pacific, so the setting sun can flood into the beaches and pick out the last surfers elegantly essaying a few lines. Up above on the cliffs, paragliders spiral past the smoked–black windows of the nearby hotels, many of which have infinity pools on their rooftops. It all seems very Californian. The crowds promenading along the seafront eating ice cream and taking in the spectacle have a prosperous feel. And Lima has been booming in recent years. Even the taxi drivers no longer have anything to complain about. Peru, like neighbouring Chile and Brazil, has largely missed out on the worldwide recession, helped by strong mineral exports and a surprisingly conservative banking system. The Shining Path years – when the country was

terrorised by Maoist revolutionaries – seem a distant memory. The seaward districts of Lima have become affluent only recently. After years of ignoring the Pacific and building inland, the Limeños have finally built along and meandering ocean promenade, the Malecón, along which the power joggers and fast-walkers can thread past luxury apartments with expensive views. Orient-Express, which has invested heavily in Peru’s railways and hotels, has its flagship Miraflores Park Hotel here, an emblem of the area’s hip renovation. Visitors to Peru often miss out on Lima’s attractions: they fly into the international airport and then take a fast connection up to Cusco in the mountains, to reach Machu Picchu as quickly as possible. It’s what I used to do myself. But over the years Lima’s charms have grown on me. It’s best to see the city in the summer, between December and

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Text: Hugh Thomson / The Daily Telegraph / The Interview People

April, as during winter a grey fog rolls off the Humboldt Current and it’s a far less appealing proposition. Latin Americans flock from all over the continent for what has become a world-class cuisine. The Pacific coast here has some of the finest fishing in the world and Lima chefs have put it to good use. It was nobu in new york and London that first really popularised ceviche, the classic Peruvian dish of raw seafood marinated in lemon juice. And within a few blocks of Lima’s seafront are some great restaurants where from $30 a head you can splurge on delicious seafood: ceviche in passion fruit, shrimp tempura, tuna carpaccio or grilled giant scallops. Lima chefs have managed to combine great food with an attractive, easy-going boho ambience. I talked to rafael Osterling at his eponymous rafael restaurant. It’s where the photographer Mario Testino eats when he’s back in his home town. One of the best chefs in the country, rafael gave me some mouth-watering calamari, filled with homemade blood sausage and onion compote, and said that his food has to be good because Limeños are some of the most demanding clients in the world. That’s also why local menus are so long: “If we can’t provide everything a customer wants, from duck to langoustine, perfectly cooked, we’re out of business,” he says. But there are also more serious matters to attend to than sunsets and food. Peru has become prouder of its preColumbian past (the previous president was inaugurated at Machu Picchu in 2001), with millions of dollars being invested to make the capital’s museums the envy of Latin America. The newly remodelled Museo Larco is spectacular, with galleries of gold and silver Chimú jewellery lighting up as the visitor approaches. There are exquisite weavings of yellow and blue parrot feathers, along with Moche pottery so erotic that it needs a separate, adults-only gallery to contain it. These are treasures you are highly unlikely ever to see in a show or museum elsewhere. Unlike the artefacts of Mexico, Egypt and China, which regularly make their way to Europe, none of Peru’s treasures really travel. So you need to go to Lima to see the best of what the preColumbian world could offer before the Spanish arrived in 1532 and swept away the Inca civilisation. The city also has much of the best of what the Spaniards brought with them. The old historic centre, or La Ciudad de los reyes, “The City of kings”, as they proudly called their new city, has recently been cleaned and restored to show off the cathedral and other colonial gems. yet one telling instance of how Lima has changed came just a few years ago, when the city fathers decided to remove the only remaining public statue of francisco Pizarro, the leader of the conquistadors and the city’s founder, and replace it with the flag of the quechua “Inca nation”. Peruvians now like to define themselves by the pre-Columbian past that makes them the most ancient civilisation on the continent – and, these days, one of the most prosperous.

‘Latin Americans flock from all over the continent for what has become a world–class cuisine.’

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sweet solitude

Get away from it all by making for one of the world’s most beautiful hideaways. Laura Binder plucks nine from oblivion…




Patagonia’s arid landscape harbours a diamond in the rough: a rustic lodge which took its style tips from a traditional sheep farm (zinc walls, gabled roofs) – with the most luxurious of twists. Reach La Anita Valley’s shallowest point and bask in the homeliness that resonates from Eolo’s every corner: walls hug antiques, carved wood features and touch-me fabrics of butter-soft leather and cord, while outside, 3,000 arid hectares form your garden for the duration. To truly be at one with its awesome surrounds hike or bike its breadth or, for those who prefer someone else to do the leg-work, master nearby Mount Frias on horse-back. But, it would be criminal to leave without a trip to Perito Moreno Glacier whose startlingly ice-blue hue and see-it-to-believe-it scale proves a spellbinding sight.

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Singita’S lEmombo lodgE,

South Africa

An arrival here makes for a quieting experience, not just for its awesome natural surrounds (don’t be surprised to see elephants thud their gentile way below your newfound chambers) but for its chic, safari-inspired interiors. The lodge itself (named after a Lebombo Euphorbia tree) appears as an extension of its natural habitat with plush thatched roofs sheltering to-die-for beds and luxe lighting before opening onto a wooden deck that tempts you toward a private pool (dive in and surface to ponder the endless plains before you). Don’t leave the bush without spending a night’s slumber on your terrace-based bed beneath the African stars. As good as the real world gets.


nEckEr iSland,

British Virgin Islands

Admittedly a desert island may be a somewhat obvious spot in which to seek solitude but Richard Branson’s private resort (right) is well worth escaping to. Pure white sands fringed by turquoise sea and unspoilt coral reefs paint a fitting picture of paradise – and one that’s yours to hire for up to 28 people. Bali Houses – spot them peppered across lush terrain – are our pick for the height of seclusion, three of which teeter on a rugged cliff-side for catch-your-breath views. If water sports are your passion don’t leave without exploring the exotic underworld on Necker Nymph – a three-person ‘aero submarine’ (aka underwater aircraft) – at thrillingly good speeds of six knots.

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caStEllo di VicarEllo,


Mouthwatering Italian fare plucked from the grounds, tumbling Tuscan hills made for roaming, sultry olive groves and shut-the-door suites make this castle one for comfort seekers. And with 900 years to its fertile foundations, it’s had plenty of time to cultivate true Tuscan charm. A focus on food and romance pervades from every corner – it is Italian, after all – so feast upon daily-changing menus from owner Aurora (her pigeon pate remains a favourite) and pick a dining spot, be it a candle-lit, flower-strewn courtyard or a secret garden corner. For the most privacy on the plot, reserve Suite Chiesina – a two-tier outbuilding away from the main castello that’s a slave to Louis XIV-style and swoon-inducing country views.


thE Point,


You can be sure no one’s hot on your tail when heading for this rustic lodge: directions are only divulged to confirmed guests. Such exclusivity is echoed in the private estate’s desolate setting (below) – sat blissfully still on a pristine lake in New York’s lesser-known north east, its eleven guest quarters are shrouded by thickets of soaring pine trees. In fact, veer off a rust-coloured dirt track (that’s all we can tell you), and it’s the kind of rugged retreat you’d expect to find the likes of the late Steve McQueen at, feet on deck and cigar balanced on contemplative lips. Rest your head in one of its deluxe log cabins (nothing low key about these interiors) and savour private decks or roaring log fires.

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EaglE’S nESt,

New Zealand

If total isolation in the heart of the tropics has you reaching for your passport, fly your way to the farthest-most tip of the Russell peninsula and make sure to reserve Rahimoana Villa (left), the ruler of this sublime resort’s roost. Panoramas here are heart-stoppingly good – sure to stir something in even the most seasoned jet-setter – so soak your loins in the villa’s 25-metre infinity pool, the very best spot from which to behold your newfound place in the world: gloriously abandoned somewhere between emerald green tree-tops and a peacock blue sea. And when you can bear to drag yourself away (with vistas like these it’s not easy), leisurely hours can be spent reclining on your very own stretch of powder-white beach or in the four-bed villa’s home cinema.


St badrutt’S PalacE,


Those who crave secluded surrounds coupled with stellar hotel service will struggle to find a more fitting solution than this turret-clad hotel which looks as though it’s been lifted straight off the pages of a Swiss fairytale. Little wonder then that its history (it’s been something of a landmark in the snowy resort town of St Morritz since 1856) reveals it to be a former go-to retreat for royalty. Make like a Morritzer today and strap on your skis to master the Alps before treating tired limbs to a stint in the Palace Spa (its heated pool with floor-to-ceiling windows marries hot and cold senses to jaw-dropping effect). Next revamp in one of 38 suites (the picture of opulence) before dining in one of the hotel’s myriad top notch eateries – head here in winter when Nobu opens its doors for the season.

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kaSbah du toubkal,


Previously owned by an antiques dealer with a flair for secluded entertaining, the now-hotel (spy its fortress-like façade amid High Atlas Mountain peaks) is a scene of style and seduction: carved Indian doors give way to Indonesian statues, opulent suites and an ever-enduring scent of sultry spices. Boudoirs don’t disappoint in the charm stakes, either, with elaborate mosaic ceilings, claw-footed furniture and African arches that give way to sunken baths. But such desertion isn’t without its outdoor pursuits: explore wild gardens, hike the Ourika valley or even make for the hamlet of Berber by mule – or, of course, you could simply drink-in a blanket of green by the hillside infinity pool...

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SaffirE frEycinEt,


Banish yourself to Tasmania’s shores and hide away at this coast-hugging, sting ray-shaped sanctuary. Despite its slick, shelllike form, clean lines and panoramic windows, each of its 20 cabin-style suites manages to be as cosy as it is cool – a contemporary blend of stone, timber and snuggle-in fabrics. (Reserve Osprey or Peregrine to be a pebble’s throw from the beach). But, perhaps the jewel in its Ozzie crown is its sprawling vistas of Great Oyster Bay where the five pink-tinged Hazards can be seen in all their natural glory. Marry gazing with fresh seafood at the hotel’s top restaurant, Palate, where plump local oysters can be knocked back by curving floor-to-ceiling glass walls. Romance guaranteed.

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Driving over endless sands, down a snake-like road and into a sparse valley may beckon the question ‘where on earth are we going?’ But make the sun-soaked voyage deep into Utah’s canyon country – raw, beautiful and immense – and you’ll soon behold Amangiri’s ant-like form at the foot of towering plateaus. Settle into desert-hued digs (the Amangiri suite is the crème de la crème with its private, courtyard entrance) then shoot straight to the resort’s heart: a pool that licks its way round a formidable rock formation. And if sprawling on one of its king-sized daybeds isn’t soul-soothing enough, surrender yourself to the spa (a vision of stone and water) and spend hours adrift in its floatation tank.

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Life Lessons What I KnoW noW

Rainer Becker

Founder and Head Chef, ZUMA. I know that money has never motivated me. I know that the success I have had professionally is a by-product of the life choices I have made. I know I will never, ever tire of Japan. Even now I am still discovering and enjoying the food, the people, the culture. Every time I think I know Japan, what I have learnt only uncovers another layer. It will always fascinate me. Detail. Detail. Detail. Never forget the details in life and the bigger vision will always be achieved. And never, ever listen to anyone who says “no”. I know that we never grow up, that the child in us stays and that we should embrace and enjoy it. When did having fun become a treat or something we have to apologise for? Whatever you do for a living, whether you love it or not, make sure you have other interests and hobbies. I love to sail when I get the chance and I make sure I always have the time to race cars. It’s great to enjoy a hobby from work that is fast moving. Always travel light. One of the most enjoyable down times is sleeping and catching up on movies and books when flying. You’re forced to do nothing but chill out so don’t let the stress of the airport bug you; travel light and go with the flow. I know we worry too much. Don’t take anything too seriously; you will find that there is one thing in life that’s guaranteed and that’s change. I know the greatest gift life has given me is my daughter and for that I am well and truly blessed.

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PIAGET BOUTIQUES: Abu Dhabi: Khalidiya Street, 02 667 0010 - Al Manara Jewellery, Hamdan Street, 02 626 2629 Dubai: The Dubai Mall, 04 339 8222 – Wafi New Extension, 04 327 9000 Abu Dhabi: Al Manara Jewellery, Marina Mall, 02 681 0888 Dubai: Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, Atlantis 04 422 0233, Burjuman Centre, 04 355 9090 Mall of the Emirates, 04 341 1211


Inflight magazine for private jet passengers in the Middle East

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