Iconic Magazine 2022

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Afrika Kingdom 119/5025 with Feather Fan F111/8029 & F111/8032

I am the spirit of joy. I am the beauty of the natural world, the nurturing lands under foot and the growing flora around your crown. Borne from the earth of our ancestors, rejuvenated through artisanal prowess. I am living art. I am Jabula. From the tactile grace of the ceramicist’s wheel to the free-flowing stroke of the artist’s brush, a celebration of the Animal Kingdom and its vibrant landscape arises. Capturing the unmistakeable tempo of life within the KwaZulu-Natal South Africa, this wallcovering collection continues Cole & Son’s sui generis Design House aesthetic of artistic integrity and illustrative ingenuity, whilst maintaining Ardmore’s ceramic atelier’s profound dexterous skill.





I have always felt fortunate to have been blessed with the ‘eternal optimist gene’. However even my perpetual ‘half-full’ mindset has been challenged to the brink in recent times. That said, I am confident that looking forward with hope and a general air of excitement is the only option to keep us all sane in what feels like an increasingly mad world. As the stories and features have poured in for this latest edition of the Iconic Magazine, it is quite clear that not only do we have much with which to remain optimistic, we also have a lot of catching up to do! Certainly, from a cultural perspective there are so

many places still to explore, thankfully, a number on our doorstep. As much as I try to avoid Facebook, the memories that periodically pop-up on my phone are a stark reminder of how much enjoyment we used to pack into our busy lives; also, how much slower the last two years have been. Of course, my positive default position focuses on the good that we can take from the pandemic in terms of resetting our values and deciding what really matters. However, I am sure that I am not alone in looking forward to getting back into the ‘experiential fast lane’.















Dr Seán Williams on the cultural significance of luxury







Tom Howard gets behind the wheel of Aston Martin’s new DBX

The professional women working to empower each other



A monumental show at Saatchi Gallery celebrates the work of upcoming student artists



How London is leading the way as we return to live arts events and grand exhibitions



A wry look at the quintessential etiquette of country style

British fashion icon Scott Henshall selects must-have luggage pieces

The female-led fashion initiatives leading the way in the circular economy

Jewellery house Pragnell’s past and future royal commissions

This annual mind-expanding event is a bewitching cauldon of intellect, ideas, history and gossip









How to enjoy The Festival at Cheltenham in superlative style


Natalie Livingstone on her latest book about the financial dynasty








Some of the world’s most iconic events in the year ahead

The horse-racing legacy of Newmarket’s longest-standing trainer, Sir Mark Prescott




Susan d’Arcy creates her own personal perfume with the help of scent emporium Floris



The gathering gave special focus on how businesses can get the best out of their teams

The club that offers unparalleled access to extraordinary events

The heritage, flavour and heady complexities of sherry

The history of the family-owned Champagne house






Columbus Monte-Carlo’s luxury, serviced apartments

Bespoke tours of some of the fascinating locations in Britain



To cruise with Cunard is to bask in style and luxury



Combining Adventure with Creativity Blue Forest are the world’s leading luxury treehouse designers. Whether you are dreaming of a treetop hideaway, fairytale treehouse castle or children’s den, our team can work with you to create a bespoke treehouse haven of your very own. C O N T A C T U S F O R A F R E E C O N S U LT A T I O N T

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OUR HOTELS THE LYGON ARMS This 600-year-old coaching inn in picturesque Broadway is often referred to as the ‘Jewel of the Cotswolds’. The inn has been a destination for centuries, attracting guests as varied as King Charles I, Oliver Cromwell, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton Features include: The Lygon Bar & Grill for relaxed dining in the magnificent Great Hall, a wine bar and a luxurious spa. The hotel has been recommended on Restaurant Guru 2020 and is the Editor’s Choice Historical Hotel 2021 in The Good Hotel Guide.

IDEAL FOR: A COUNTRY RETREAT T: 01386 852255 E: reservations@lygonarmshotel.co.uk W: lygonarmshotel.co.uk



This historic National Trust country house, just 40 minutes from London and 20 minutes from Heathrow, is set in 376 acres of Grade-I listed formal gardens and enjoys panoramic views over the River Thames. It is renowned as a venue for entertaining royalty and prime ministers, with tales of parties, privilege and power. Cliveden was recommended in the Forbes Travel Guide 2021; was one of the top 10 Resort Hotels in the UK and Ireland in the Travel & Leisure 2021 World’s Best Awards, it was also voted The Best for Weddings, Parties & Celebrations in the Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence 2021.

IDEAL FOR: AN ESCAPE FROM THE CITY T: 01628 607107 E: reservations@clivedenhouse.co.uk W: clivedenhouse.co.uk

CHEWTON GLEN This 5-star Relais & Châteaux luxury hotel and spa is one of the finest in the country. Located within 130 acres of gardens on the edge of the New Forest and a few minutes’ walk from the coast. Recent additions include the Treehouse Suites and The Kitchen, a meet, eat, cook venue overseen by TV Chef James Martin. Among its awards are Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence Best Countryside Hotel 2021, The Good Hotel Guide’s Editor’s Choice Spas 2021 and Editor’s Family Hotels 2021. Travel & Leisure’s 2021 World’s Best Awards in Top 10 Resort Hotels in the UK and Ireland and the Top 15 European Resort Hotels.

IDEAL FOR: A PERFECT STAYCATION T: 01425 282212 E: reservations@chewtonglen.com W: chewtonglen.com


THE MAYFAIR TOWNHOUSE The Mayfair Townhouse is unexpected; for those looking for something individual, this is a new generation of lifestyle hotel delivering a stylish, imaginative home for the modern traveller. It has a vibrant sense of style with stunning décor, striking artwork and the townhouse’s mischievous motif, the fox. Only steps away from Green Park, upscale shopping and several of London’s most acclaimed restaurants, it boasts 172 rooms and suites that are elegantly practical and peacefully sumptuous. From the eclectic guest rooms and theatrical Dandy Bar to the vibrant space on the Lower Ground. The Mayfair Townhouse is set to become the place to eat, drink, to see and be seen and has been placed in The Sunday Times 100 Best British Hotels 2021 and The Sunday Times Best Hotels in London 2021; Condé Nast Traveller (US & UK) 2021 Hot List, Travel & Leisure, 2021 It List, and was a finalist in the Out There Magazine Experientialist Awards 2021 and is a AA Town House Hotel.

IDEAL FOR: AN ESCAPE WITH A DIFFERENCE T: 020 8138 3400 E: reservations@themayfairtownhouse.com W: themayfairtownhouse.com

THE APARTMENTS BY 11 CADOGAN GARDENS The Apartments by 11 Cadogan Gardens combines the luxury of fully serviced apartments with the discretion, comfort and security of a private residence. Located in the heart of London’s Chelsea, The Apartments are a tranquil place that offer a homefrom-home for guests looking to experience life as a Londoner, with both Sloane Street and the King’s Road on their doorstep. The Apartments are ideal for families thanks to their expansive footprint and multiple-bedroom options, while the fully fitted Bosch kitchens and opulent living areas mean they are the perfect choice for laid-back yet luxurious extended stays.

IDEAL FOR: FAMILIES LOOKING FOR A HOME-FROM-HOME T: 020 7730 7000 E: reservations@11cadogangardens.com W: 11cadogangardens.com/stay-over/one-bed-apartment/

11 CADOGAN GARDENS Appreciated by the cognoscenti, 11 Cadogan Gardens is an exceptional, exclusive boutique hotel comprising four elegant townhouses in one of the squares in the heart of Chelsea and is the only Relais & Châteaux hotel in London. Distinguished, yet subtly discreet, 11 Cadogan Gardens provides the ultimate city escape with luxurious suites, theatrical cocktail bar and Hans’ Bar & Grill. Perfectly located for travellers and fashionistas, it is situated between Sloane Square and Knightsbridge, an area acclaimed worldwide for the very best in luxury and style. It has also been voted the Best Urban Hotel (Town, City) in Condé Nast Johansens Awards of Excellence 2021 and has five Red Stars.

IDEAL FOR: THE SMARTEST SHOPPING EXPERIENCE T: 020 7730 7000 E: reservations@11cadogangardens.com W: 11cadogangardens.com








Award-winning wine expert and broadcaster, Olly is a regular on BBC 1’s Saturday Kitchen, hosts his own drinks podcast, and presents Chew The Fat with Tom Parker Bowles for mailplus.co.uk. His most recent book is called Fizz.

An award-winning journalist, Lucy became the first female editor of Horse & Hound in 2002. She now combines journalism with PR, marketing, research and brand development projects, and is an editor of the Good Schools Guide.

Lisa Jenkins is the managing editor of The Caterer, and also manages The Caterer’s Acorn Awards programme, known as the ‘30 under 30’, which has recognised the best talent in hospitality for the last 35 years.




Ruth Millington is an art historian, critic and author who has featured as an art expert on radio and TV and written for national newspapers. Her first book Muse uncovers the hidden figures behind art history’s masterpieces.

Susan is the hotels and wellness editor for The Times and The Sunday Times. Filthy work but someone has to do it, or so she tells her editor! She appears regularly on TV talking about travel and is also a hotel and wellness consultant.

Sarah Turner has specialised in travel journalism for over 20 years and now mostly writes for the UK national press including The Telegraph, Forbes Online and the Mail on Sunday. She focuses on luxury hotels, travel trends and culture.

Produced for Iconic Luxury Hotels by Newhall Publishing

Magazine Project Director Angela Day Senior Managing Editor Fergus McShane Creative Director Gareth Evans Managing Director Richard Woolliams For media sales enquiries contact andy.phelan@newhallpublishing.com

While every attempt has been made to ensure that the content in this magazine is accurate, Iconic Magazine or Iconic Luxury Hotels cannot accept and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine can be reproduced without prior written permission of Iconic Magazine © 2022. Information is correct at time of going to press.





Scott is a British fashion designer, philanthropist, TV personality and fashion journalist. He is the former creative director of Mulberry, he holds the record as the creator of the World’s Most Expensive Dress.

Claire Roberts has worked in luxury publishing for 25 years, writing about jewellery and watches for magazines, websites and brands. Currently editor at British high jeweller Graff, she is also cofounder of The Vintage Ring Company.

A former journalist to commodities editor, marketer and business development consultant, Michelle launched The Women’s Chapter to champion women-led business and to connect, inspire and thrive.




Seán is senior lecturer in German and European Cultural History at the University of Sheffield. He presented BBC Radio 3’s The Deluxe Edition and is currently tearing his hair out writing a cultural history of the hairdresser.

Jonathan is the founder and owner of Young and Game Media Ltd. For 29 years he was the editor of The Field, the oldest and best-selling field sports title in the UK. Prior to that, he worked for Shooting Times for nine years, five as editor.

Tom is founder of The Gentleman Racer Ltd, an independent media consultancy specialising in luxury lifestyle brands. He works with creatives to deliver an insightful look behind the scenes of the fashion and automotive world.

Cover image: Reigning Queens is a series of 16 silkscreen portraits by the American artist Andy Warhol. This work was purchased in 2012 by the Royal Collection in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee with the permission, and very likely blessing, of Queen Elizabeth II herself. Andy Warhol Artwork © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Modified by Iconic Luxury Hotels, 2022.



Savour the pristine taste of our English Natural Mineral Water from a single protected source drawn deep below the Hildon country estate. Taking a 50 year journey of filtration through the terroir of the Hampshire Test Valley, creating the purest of waters. Hildon’s pure pH neutral composition perfectly refreshes and cleanses the palate. Its exquisite taste enhances the flavours of fine food and wine like no other.

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What is

Dr Seán Williams gets to the philosophical heart of luxury’s curious cultural meaning


couple of years ago, I was given a tour of one of London’s most salubrious hotels as I recorded the BBC Radio 3 documentary The Deluxe Edition. I’d wanted to understand the allure of the luxurious and was surprised to find Sartre’s L’Être et le Néant, or Being and Nothingness, laid out for guests on a coffee table in one of the finest suites. Among the many existential reflections in that doorstop of a book from 1943 is a critical philosophy of luxury. The material and the abstract, the exquisite and escapist alongside an examination of oneself: the signature of luxury’s cultural history is a curious contradiction.

Modern luxury consumer culture spread across Europe in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The term ‘de luxe’, like ‘hotel’, made its way from French into other European languages. In the early period around 1800, luxuries were defined as pleasures, conveniences and curiosities. For enthusiasts, they enabled the expression of individual personality and the progress of civilisation. In other words, the self and society were projected on to material things like never before – for the delight of others about town or as invited guests, yet also for one’s own enjoyment behind closed doors. People bought watches, glamorous postiches, pieces of furniture, high-quality





paper (though at this point made from old rags) and especially linen. These upmarket products took the European middle and upper classes by storm. Urban servants, too, bought into luxury in a limited way. But it’s easy to misinterpret luxury, then as now, as necessarily a top-down trend. Critics have long made this interpretative mistake. In the late 19th century, Norwegian-American theorist Thorstein Veblen was downbeat that the proletarian revolution he hoped for would ever materialise because he thought luxury items and fashion aped aristocratic taste. As ever, the truth was more complex. When luxury went mainstream in the late 18th century, its

influence didn’t travel in only one direction. Marie Antoinette no less, perhaps the person most vilified for her supposed profligacy and exclusive mindset, sent her hairdresser into other Parisian boudoirs so that her own style would be trendsetting – but still in line with what the chattering classes were already talking about. As historians have pointed out, the pre-modern old order and aristocratic power was represented by a vertical wardrobe. The peasant and working classes, on the other hand, once packed everything into indiscriminate chests that held all and sundry. A simplification, to be sure, but it’s a visual example of how society changed around 1800. Just as the modern taste in fashion and furniture towards the end of the 18th century wasn’t entirely top-down or generic, nor was the furniture itself. Increasingly, chests of drawers became luxury items around 1800 across the social spectrum. These pieces of furniture had a new, compartmentalising function with discrete sections, sometimes in parallel, at others above one another. Put another way, luxury was symbolised not primarily by a prince’s palace, but also by a cosmopolitan hotel with a range of rooms and guests over different floors and suites. Objects and buildings stood in for the organisation of society in miniature, which had split into ever-more interconnected sub-groups.

“The term ‘de luxe’, made its way from French into other European languages. In the early period around 1800, luxuries were defined as pleasures, conveniences and curiosities” iconicluxuryhotels.com


“Intellectuals have both embraced luxury, yet also felt uneasy about it” stays at spas abroad – even if the novels and stories they wrote there, about the watering places of Europe’s elite, would suggest otherwise. Our relationship to luxury, and to hotel life specifically, is often ironic. Novelist Vladimir Nabokov never owned his own home and lived out his final years overlooking Lake Geneva in Switzerland’s Montreux Palace. His day-to-day existence included two-hour afternoon naps and evening Scrabble, as well as literary scribbling. His ostensible reasons for living in a grand hotel – that it made dealing with his post easier, or that he could spend more time in the mountains catching butterflies – sound humorous. He played up his living arrangements with self-irony and witty exaggeration. Another character who lived in a hotel, albeit not a grand one, is Antoine Roquentin in Sartre’s first novel La Nausée (Nausea) from 1938. He’s a despondent historian, which feels familiar to me, and he aspires to grandeur through art. Looking out at the world, Antoine sees the past as a ‘landlord’s luxury’. His own life is transient and he yearns not so much for the creature comforts of domesticity as for the luxury to be master of its curation. History and heritage dwells not in the mortal body in which we exist, but is founded on a house we can own, inhabit and preserve if we are wealthy enough. Antoine consoles himself that all he ever wanted in life was to be free. There is a social and an existential argument at stake. Don’t hotels in historic buildings offer us that experience of heritage, of grandeur – if but for a night? That’s not a Sartre-esque conclusion, admittedly, and it’s an absurd reading of his novel. Maybe that’s the point. Luxury living away from home does take us out of ourselves, away from the familiar. And, at its best, into the minds of others.

Dr Seán Williams is senior lecturer in German and European Cultural History at the University of Sheffield




The material world can serve as a metaphor for society and offer the space in which to criticise and imagine culture anew. Indeed, modern luxury has influenced philosophy and cultural theory from the outset. The German philosopher Kant even elevated hung wallpaper with leafy squiggles (the luxury version of plastered wall coverings) to the status of pure, free beauty in his third critique. Deluxe interior designs were theorised together with nature as empty phenomena that created space for aesthetic sensibility and abstract reflection. The German romantic Novalis, meanwhile, wrote that you cannot view aesthetic masterpieces such as sculpture or read poetry without background music and being in a beautifully decorated room. Living the high life was only refined when accompanied by art. Centuries of dandies and aesthetes would agree. Intellectuals have both embraced luxury, yet also felt uneasy about it. As social criticism of luxury gained ground in the political upheaval of early 19th-century Europe, the German author Jean Paul, who gave himself a French name, sought to redefine the sense of luxe. He extolled a ‘luxury of enjoyment’ over mere ‘furnishing luxury’. Opulence was the sun shining into the soul, not ostentatious decor brightening a room. Material splendour instead could become a state of mind, he thought. More provocatively, later thinkers have suggested that the comfort of feathered pillows and high-grade cotton softens the critical faculties. Hungarian Marxist Georg Lukács derided the German philosopher Theodor Adorno of the Frankfurt School for having checked in to what he called a ‘Grand Hotel Abyss’ – the residence of bourgeois idealism. I’m probably every bit as bad. But I’m in good company. Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and their Russian literary peers all found enjoyment in their summer


ART IN THE SPOTLIGHT Ruth Millington unveils the next generation of artists brought to the forefront by Saatchi Gallery


Art, particularly that made by emerging artists, needs an audience. But students were hit hard by lockdown: the doors to their art school studios were shut and their all-important degree shows were cancelled. Nevertheless, these creatives persisted through the pandemic – sculpting at the kitchen table, painting in their bedrooms and photographing subjects from a safe distance. Now, their efforts have been rewarded with a monumental show at Saatchi Gallery, a space renowned for launching the careers of many young artists. In London Grads Now. 21, the spotlight finally falls on over 200 artworks created and curated by MA graduates from seven of London’s leading art schools. First and foremost, this collaborative show exposes an exciting new trend: figurative painting is back in fashion. Given the past few years of isolation, many of the artists feature solitary figures in their frames. Graduate Tom White has painted a poignant oil on canvas of his friend, sitting deep in thought on the edge of a sofa bed. Commenting on the portrait, he explains: “The title Lucky Red comes from a bracelet she wears – it stood out to me very early on in the painting process. Even in the most tumultuous of

times, you’ve got to keep a little bit of hope.” Meanwhile, Emil Lombardo spent lockdown cycling across London with his camera to photograph his muses – trans and non-binary people, posed outside their homes. Luca – they/he/she belongs to the series An Unending Sunday Morning, which is a documentation of his community’s “unique experiences and feelings of isolation, separation and struggle”, particularly through periods of seclusion. Intent on “slowing down”, which the pandemic aided, Lombardo developed a relationship with his sitters, whose dissident gender identities intersect with his own experiences: “I regard my practice as a method of exploring my own gender identity and sexuality.” Also investigating sexuality is Flora Bradwell, whose soft sculpture, Greedy Mouth, is a glutinous explosion of breasts and foot, embellished with repurposed dummies in what the artist proclaims as a “vibrantly trashy” aesthetic, characterised by a “compulsion towards the camp and carnivalesque”. An emphasis on the tactile recurs throughout the exhibition, marking the importance of experiencing art in real life, rather than just online. As Bradwell says: “The




Above Lucky Red by Tom White




work invites touch, even in the ‘do not touch’ energy of the white-walled gallery space, so it’s gorgeous to see people battling with the urge to squeeze a nipple.” Bradwell is not the only artist to transform familiar items into fantastical forms. In her mixed-media work, Victoria Rotaru has taken the virus itself as her inspiration: Perpetual Decomposer, installed in the corner of one room, seems to be spreading. Alongside large pieces of foam, she printed photographs of a lemon being destroyed by mould on to fabric. “I was inspired by biology and the reason was the virus and the fact that such a small thing has such a big power,” Rotaru explains, reflecting that this “led to the key idea of continuity of life and the transformation of it.” Throughout the show, there is an emphasis on rebirth, renewal and new possibilities. Confined to domestic spaces, many of the young artists turned everyday items into the extraordinary, as if gazing into alternate dimensions to devise their own Stranger Things-styled worlds. The everyday becomes uncanny in Weishan Yang’s The Thing, modelled from cement, carpet, foam and metal. Her four-armed monster embraces the aesthetics of horror fiction while seeming to poke fun at it, as if laughing in the face of fear. Likewise, LaTosha Monique’s The Birthing of the Oracle, fashioned from PVC fabric, steel, papier mâché and 3D-printed plastic, would cut a creepy,

Above left Perpetual Decomposer by Victoria Rotaru. Above right Luca – they/he/she by Emil Lombardo



fateful figure were it not for its dainty outstretched hands. Monique had, in fact, designed the sweeping black gown for herself to wear and perform in, but the pandemic put pause to that plan. Although such liberties were curtailed, the artist was provided with an opportunity to reflect and realised that “this time was about my own transformational healing.” While locked down physically, these young artists found freedom through art, adopting it as a powerful coping mechanism and means to tell their stories to a wide gallery audience. Monique, who also assumed a curatorial role for the show, says, “We as students shared a common goal of surviving and discovering how best to express our work in response to our educational experience. We’ve had to persevere and persistently produce despite a global crisis”. London Grads Now. 21 brings the stories of the artists to the forefront as a collective endeavour; not only

do the works deserve to be seen in real life, but they demand to be exhibited alongside one another, constructing overlapping narratives that address meaningful dialogues about gender identity, the human psyche and connection through creativity. The expansive range of artworks from artists of diverse backgrounds and disciplines captures a reflection of our reconstructed and recalibrated world through the lens of an exciting generation of artists proving they have risen above it, opening their own and our eyes to the wonders of our existence. Saatchi Gallery exists as a registered charity to provide an innovative platform for contemporary art and culture. We are committed to supporting artists and rendering contemporary art accessible to all, and we strive to present projects in physical and digital spaces that are engaging, enlightening and educational for diverse audiences.

To discover what’s on at the Saatchi Gallery throughout 2022 visit saatchigallery.com


Above left Devices by Mel Woo (@melwoo2020) Above right Greedy Mouth by Flora Bradwell


DIARY HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2022 Enjoy some of the world’s most iconic events, including horse racing, art, opera, motor racing and sport, during the British social season


Four extraordinary days of racing featuring 14 Grade One races, as the best horses, jockeys and trainers go head-tohead. Culminates on the Friday with the Cheltenham Gold Cup. thejockeyclub.co.uk

ROYAL WINDSOR HORSE SHOW 12-15 MAY Held in Windsor Home Park, it is the only show in the country to host international competitions for dressage, show jumping, carriage driving and endurance driving. rwhs.co.uk



It is not just about the Saturday showpiece race, there are three days of top-class racing featuring nine Grade One races. Watched each year by more than 500 million people in more than 140 countries, the Grand National is a race like no other. thejockeyclub.co.uk

A world-renowned celebration of all things horticultural, with ground-breaking garden design and breathtaking floral displays. An inspiring day out. rhs.org.uk



GLYNDEBOURNE FESTIVAL OPERA 21 MAY28 AUGUST It all began with a love story in 1934, when founder John Christie met soprano Audrey Mildmay. Glyndebourne is now one of the most celebrated opera houses in the world and this year’s festival includes Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Puccini’s La Bohème. glyndebourne.com

CARTIER QUEEN’S CUP JUNE* Staged at Guards Polo Club, this is one of polo’s big hitters, historically attended by The Queen. The Prince of Wales won the Cup back in his polo heyday. guardspoloclub.com

A weekend to mark Her Majesty The Queen becoming the first British monarch to complete 70 years of service. The celebrations begin with The Queen’s Birthday Parade Trooping the Colour on Horseguards Parade from 11am. royal.uk

*awaiting date

DERBY DAY AT EPSOM DOWNS 4 JUNE There is no contest more vital for flat racing or the thoroughbred breeding industry than the Cazoo Derby. Her Majesty The Queen will attend the Derby as part of the Jubilee celebrations. thejockeyclub.co.uk

Begun in 1826, this event features around 1,000 boats taking part in different races every day and creates quite a spectacle in the waters of the Isle of Wight. cowesweek.co.uk

ROYAL ASCOT 14-18 JUNE Racing’s finest horses, star jockeys, fabulous fashion and head-turning hats make this one of the calendar’s most dazzling equestrian events, with each day more exciting than the last. ascot.co.uk



The world’s largest open-submission show that brings together art in all mediums by leading artists as well as new and emerging talent. royalacademy.org.uk

THE CHAMPIONSHIPS, WIMBLEDON 27 JUNE-10 JULY Tennis on grass courts while enjoying strawberries and cream must surely be the epitome of a British summer. wimbledon.com

HENLEY ROYAL REGATTA 28 JUNE-3 JULY This iconic, super-fashionable event on the River Thames was established in 1839 and features more than 300 races over five days. It is also a great place to spot the rich and famous, including royals. hrr.co.uk


SALON PRIVÉ 31 AUGUST-4 SEPTEMBER Automotive excellence and the only place in the UK where guests can walk the lawns, meet the manufacturers and test-drive the latest models. There is also the Concours d’Elégance, Ladies’ Day and the exclusive Club Trophy. salonpriveconcours.com

GOODWOOD REVIVAL 16-18 SEPTEMBER Recreating the glamour of motor racing as it used to be, this is a celebration of bygone days, vintage fashion and wheel-towheel racing around the classic circuit, which remains unchanged since its heyday. goodwood.com



STILL FINDING THAT EDGE… Sir Mark Prescott has been training winners from Heath House in Newmarket for over 50 years. While much appears unchanged since the 1800s, there is innovation at every turn, discovers Lucy Higginson Some lucky people come across money in the street, get bumped up to business class, or find their size on the sale rail. But the truly blessed are those invited to tour Heath House stables with Sir Mark Prescott. Newmarket’s longest-standing trainer, he has presided here for almost 52 years and trained over 2,000 winners, including stars Alborada, Pivotal and Confidential Lady. Few have enjoyed such a remarkable racing career – and no one is more charismatic. Central to these achievements is his unending quest to make his horses a little happier, healthier and fitter than anyone else’s. Though Heath House looks much as it did in 1885 when the Dawsons trained here (the name of the yard’s previous trainers, and its greatest horses, are listed on the walls), look closely and you will find innovation everywhere, not least to thwart a thoroughbred’s innate ambition “to kill


itself from the moment it arrives,” says Sir Mark, not entirely in jest. Heath House accommodates only 50 horses – I’d love to tell you which world leaders Sir Mark has politely turned away as owners but am sworn to secrecy. A horse starts life at Osborne House stables (across the lane from the main yard), the oldest working yard in Newmarket. Some of Sir Mark’s modifications here are based on common sense, like shrubs planted around stable doors to prevent yearlings from scraping a hip on a door frame. One stable has a net suspended across the ceiling. “It’s been there for 35 years,” explains Sir Mark. “You normally have one colt that stands on its hind legs. One touch of that with its ears and it stops. I like to avoid battles by letting horses sort things out for themselves.” Then there is the legendary ‘crazy corner’, as Mark calls it – a couple of corner boxes


behind a second doorway. The extra quiet here calms more highly strung horses who may box walk, etc. One is fitted with the equally fabled ‘goat box’ — a stall within the stable through which a horse may gradually be introduced to a goat as a prospective stable companion. Some horses thrive on the company of a ‘therapy pet’, and this box, grille and doorway combination is ideal for testing the waters. In this way, yards that have expanded in piecemeal fashion can find the right billet for each particular horse. “The more variety you have, the better,” agrees Sir Mark. Some horses enjoy being at the centre of yard life; others don’t. The main yard at Heath House is, above all, beautiful, as befits the magnificent creatures in the boxes alongside a hedged sward of green, aka Prescott’s patented horse catcher. This rather grand name came about because the judicious hedge planting around it makes it ideal for catching loose horses. After whizzing round the grass arena a couple of times, they end up at one of two gaps in the hedge where they may be caught, with “no gate to crash through and no tarmac to fall on,” says Sir Mark. “Nothing makes you look slower than running after a racehorse.” Instead of the traditional stable half door, many boxes have a smaller barred window through which the horses can see without putting their heads out. Mark considered swapping them for regular stable doors but

realised they could be the reason his string picked up so few horsey bad habits – or ‘stable vices’ – while still allowing them to relax and observe yard life. The yard is immaculate, even though at the time of my visit it was about to have the gravel replaced, reins re-rubbered, wood repainted and the drains deep-cleaned – all vital to horse health, not just aesthetics. There’s testing for unwanted bacteria every three months – “It helps me sleep at night.” “You design things around what you’ve got – another yard might be very different,” says Sir Mark, who has visited many. “Each one has good ideas and I always come back with one.” In the same vein, rival trainers are sometimes allowed to tour Heath House – provided they’ll reciprocate! While every competition yard these days has a horse walker exercise machine, the two here are encased in brick and rubber


AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION While it’s hard to go wrong feeding a horse scientifically balanced horse nuts, a trainer can make a difference with the hay they feed. “If the yard isn’t going well, changing the hay is the first thing to do,” attests Sir Mark. His is shipped from Canada “because their weather is perfect and they cut their hay the day they want to, unlike here when they cut it when they have to. Every bit of grass has seed on it.” Each horse in the yard has its own girth, brushes and hoof pick, to minimise infection transfer. The next project is to give every horse its own set of tack, too. “All too often you get a racing saddle put on a big 16.2hh in the first lot and a little filly of 15 hands in the next one – it can’t be right can it? I can do individual tack because I’ve only got 50 horses – people with 300 can’t, so I hope it’ll give me an edge…”



and accessed via a short path, which leads a horse in almost before he’s even realised he’s going anywhere. Safe, inviting approaches are a recurring theme here, all part of that philosophy of letting horses work things out for themselves. You find another leading to the indoor school – one furlong in circumference, with a surface that is half sand and half ground seashells and lined with straw bales to deaden the sound as horses warm up before accessing Newmarket Heath through sliding doors – and in the approach to the equine treadmill and pool. The second to be built in Britain, the pool did not improve horses’ fitness, as hoped, but is great for relaxing, rewarding and cooling horses. “They love it,” says Mark. “I only had one filly that didn’t swim. She wouldn’t use her legs and went down like a submarine. We had to haul her out 19 times.” The skill of training, says Sir Mark, is to get horses super-fit “without driving them mad.” So a busy horse’s fitness regime is balanced with four feeds a day – “You can’t beat the packet feeds; the scientists making them are brilliant” – and every antidote to a high-octane lifestyle. A failing of Heath House is that it has no paddocks, so the string always has a pick of grass on the gallops after working, “so they switch off and walk in knowing they’ve finished.” Then they swim and are turned out in mini sand paddocks, each with its own shady tree, so they can roll, munch on hay and sunbathe for couple of hours. Other innovations are more high-tech, or have been tried and rejected. A vibrating floor to aid recovery


from injury didn’t work for Sir Mark: “It made the horse feel better briefly, so I worked him too soon.” His idea to have a vet scope horses regularly to check lungs for early signs of infection before they start coughing “put me ahead of everybody for about eight years. We scoped every Monday and never worked a horse that didn’t have a clean wash. Word seeped out over time – I didn’t volunteer it,” says Mark. “The name of the game is getting that edge…” At 73, Sir Mark is an advert for life at Heath House, still at the forefront of his profession, now supported by his assistant and business partner, William Butler. While racing remains the most intoxicating and, in some ways, traditional of sports, it also requires attention to detail and a love and understanding of horses, all Prescott trademarks. Racing may have been good to him, but how good he’s been to racing.

Getting into racehorse ownership Horse racing isn’t known as the sport of kings for nothing – even princes and presidents find a day at the races as an owner electrifying. Ownership is open to everyone and there are many different entry points, including through syndication. Great British Racing International can help you determine the how best to join the sport, explain the different ways to buy a horse, and how to decide who you’d like to help you buy and train a horse. Find out more at greatbritishracinginternational.com




London’s museums, theatres and galleries offer a cornucopia of artistic attractions that make a visit to the capital a cultural treat


The capital of



s one of the cultural capitals of the world, London is leading the return to live events and grand exhibitions. The exclusive 11 Cadogan Gardens and The Apartments by 11 Cadogan Gardens; together with their sister London property, The Mayfair Townhouse are ideally located to provide the perfect base from which to explore the capital and enjoy the rich programme of events that has been created to herald a return to the grandiose in 2022. The Victoria and Albert Museum (vam.ac.uk) is leading the way with Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution, which will be on display until 8 May 2022. The exhibition explores both the life of the renowned artist and goldsmith and looks at the historical events and royal patrons who influenced and inspired his work. It is a sumptuous showcase of more than 200 objects that tell the story of the life of Peter Carl Fabergé, who lived from 1846 until 1920. The exhibition reveals the impressive detail and scale of his exquisite work. Arranged over


three sections, the story begins with an insight into Fabergé’s youth, his travels through Europe and introduction into the family firm. The techniques that he employed and the intricate detailing became synonymous with Fabergé and symbolised Russian craftsmanship and elegance. But it was the patronage of the Imperial Romanov family that established his reputation internationally and enabled him to exercise creativity without restrictions. A miniature of the Imperial Regalia, lent by the Hermitage Museum, was made for the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle and is a perfect example of his work at this time. The huge success at the 1900 Paris Exposition made it clear that Fabergé would have a keen customer base outside Russia. Fabergé’s choice of London for its new premises was partly because it was the financial capital of the world, a luxury retail destination

Top The House of Fabergé on New Bond Street, London, was feted by London’s aristocracy and a global clientele Left The exquisite Alexander Palace Egg was created for Russia’s Tsar Nicholas II as an Easter gift for his wife Alexandra and depicts their children and favourite palace


“Stories of love, friendship and unashamed social climbing take visitors on a journey of sublime artistry and patronage towards the revolution that tragically closed Fabergé”

able to draw a wealthy and international clientele, and home of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra who were already avid Fabergé collectors, making royal patronage in London highly likely. In 1903, the only branch of The House of Fabergé was opened outside Russia and this is the subject of the second section of the exhibition. Fabergé initially operated from the Berners Hotel but quickly moved to Oxford Street then Dover Street before finally moving to 173 New Bond Street (now occupied by Chanel). Works were carefully tailored for a British clientele including hardstone portraits of the farm animals the King and Queen bred at Sandringham, their favourite country estate. Objects in the exhibition include commissions from The King of his faithful wire-haired fox terrier Caesar, and a silver model portrait of Persimmon, his most loved and successful racehorse, which were both created in 1908. There is also one of the firm’s rarest creations, a figurine of a veteran English soldier from 1909. While the animals and figurines are

charming, it is undoubtedly the Imperial Easter Eggs for which Fabergé is best known and provide his lasting legacy. Kieran McCarthy and Hanne Faurby, curators of this exhibition, explain why the eggs are in the third and final section: “This exhibition focuses on the overlooked importance of his London branch. It attracted a global clientele of royalty, aristocrats, business titans and socialites. Stories of love, friendship and unashamed social climbing take visitors on a journey of sublime artistry and patronage towards the revolution that tragically closed Fabergé. We will send visitors away on a high by honouring his greatest legacy with a dazzling final display of his iconic Easter Eggs.” The collection on display includes several eggs that have never been shown in the UK, such as the largest Imperial Egg, the Moscow Kremlin Egg, which was inspired by the architecture of the Dormition Cathedral and is on loan from the Moscow Kremlin Museum. The Alexander Palace Egg, featuring watercolour portraits of the children of Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra, contains a surprise model of the palace inside and takes centre stage alongside the Tercentenary Egg, created to celebrate 300 years of the Romanov dynasty, only a few years before the dynasty crumbled. Although Carl Fabergé’s



Left A depiction of Edward VII’s favourite dog, a wire-haired fox terrier named Caesar Top Fabergé also worked in silver, creating the King’s most successful racehorse who won The Derby, St Leger and Ascot Gold Cup Above The miniature copy of the Imperial Regalia was created in silver, gold, diamonds, sapphires and rubies set on a marble pedestal Left Human figures are among Fabergé’s rarest creations. This Chelsea pensioner was purchased by King Edward VII in 1909



firm ceased to exist, the myth crystallised around the Imperial Easter Eggs and the demand for Fabergé pieces has endured with designs continuing to inspire, captivate and delight. Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution is on at the V&A Museum until 8 May 2022. The cultural importance of London is as strong today as it was during Fabergé’s time, over 100 years ago. Among the many highlights for 2022 is classical music at the Barbican Centre courtesy of the London Symphony Orchestra (lso.co.uk), which was named by Gramophone as one of the top five orchestras

in the world. The LSO performs around 70 concerts a year and has an enviable family of artists; conductors include Sir Simon Rattle as Music Director, Gianandrea Noseda and FrançoisXavier Roth as Principal Guest Conductors and Michael Tilson Thomas as Conductor Laureate. Ballet lovers will be thrilled at the current and forthcoming productions at the Royal Opera House (roh.org.uk). Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet is on the main stage until 25 February. Later in 2022 look out for the classical Swan Lake and a more contemporary Like Water for Chocolate, a full-length ballet based on the Mexican book.

English National Opera (eno.org) starts the year with La Bohème and The Cunning Little Vixen, followed by Mozart’s comic masterpiece Così Fan Tutte, and a powerful new production of The Handmaid’s Tale, a reimagining of Margaret Atwood’s seminal novel. Productions based on books are a recurring theme as The Royal Shakespeare Company’s The Mirror and the Light continues at the Gielgud Theatre. This is the third play in the Wolf Hall Trilogy, Hilary Mantel’s award-winning novels of historical fiction surrounding the life of Thomas Cromwell during the reign of Henry VIII. This year is also a time to experience history in the making as the capital leads the country to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. There will be a four-day Bank Holiday weekend from Thursday 2 June to Sunday 5 June to mark the monarch’s sevendecade reign. Events planned include a pageant with 5,000 performers and a Platinum Party, a concert at Buckingham Palace featuring the world’s biggest entertainment stars. The Queen and members of the Royal Family will also visit Epsom Downs on Saturday 4 June for The Derby.

Above Enjoy Kenneth MacMillan’s production of Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Opera House until the end of February Below Jonthan Miller’s La Bohème with the English National Opera retells this classic tale of tragic romance and is set 100 years later than the original in the 1930s’ streets of Paris


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Shooting 30

fashion What do you do with a jumper that has fed a large family of moths? If you’re a first-class shot and possibly ducal then, of course, you continue wearing it, says Jonathan Young

One of the odder aspects of country life is the addiction to knackered clothing, especially in the shooting field – a truth epitomised by the Prince of Wales’ old Barbour coat, a tapestry of patches held together by love and the original zip. To some, it looks like something rescued from a scarecrow, but to shooting types it whispers, subtly, “He’s one of us.” As easily as a Man United shirt declares the wearer’s affiliation, a battered ensemble of tweeds and gumboots tells everyone that you are home team, someone who can distinguish a redleg partridge from a grey one, handle a gun well, and keep exact count of how many pheasants were dropped in the kale on the last drive. But while the kit may look as though it’s lost a wrestling bout with a blackthorn hedge, you can guarantee it’s of the best quality

and probably bespoke. And at one stage, many seasons ago, it was actually rather smart. So, given that everything has to be horribly new at some stage, what do keen game shots buy and from whom? Given that you need to be fairly invisible to the birds, warm and dry, most people start with the shooting coat. They were once made of heavy waxed cotton, but today, they all have a waterproof membrane and you can chuck them in the washing machine. The best have bellows pockets for cartridges and can withstand heavy rain. Popular models for men include Barbour Bransdale, Musto Highland and Schoffel Ptarmigan, and for women the Schoffel Rockingham, Musto Burnham and Harkila Stornoway. Gumboots come next, as every other type of footwear just won’t cope with the standard mud and


Above These days, shooting coats like the Barbour Bransdale can be chucked in the washing machine if you slip on a cowpat

muck of Britain in winter (though leather boots work well on August grouse moors and September partridge stubbles). Mostly, they’re green, with those made by Le Chameau and Aigle ever popular. My favourites, however, are Gumleaf, which are extremely


Left: The combination of breeks, matching vest and jacket, like these stylish choices from Schoffel, is extremely popular with those shooting grouse or partridge

comfortable and hard-wearing. If you spot someone wearing black ones, don’t assume he’s a farmer; black gumboots are also country code for: “I do own rather a lot of agricultural England”. With feet properly shod, it’s time to consider the head. Everyone who shoots wears a hat, both to keep their head dry and warm and to shield their eyes from the sun so they can see the birds. It has to be of a style that allows you to wear full ear-defenders. Anyone who doesn’t want to be partly deaf – tricky at dinner parties – must wear them every time they shoot. There are types that can be worn

in the ear, but I’m not convinced they are as effective. So, given the need to wear the muff type, you need an appropriate cap. While a man can wear a baseball cap on a clay shoot, they don’t work well with formal shooting dress. The bigger, traditional tweed caps – à la Peaky Blinders – are favoured by men above 5ft 10in. Large caps on smaller chaps can give an unfortunate walkingmushroom appearance. I love caps by Olney Bond, Cordings, and the Westley Richards Bond Prince of Wales model. With coat, boots and cap sorted, some lady shots in warm, dry weather abandon traditional country clothing and team the basics with cashmeres, silk shirts and skinny jeans. Most are careful not to choose white as it scares the birds (which can see in the ultra-violet-light range). The more hardcore ladies, however, usually stick to tweed or loden, either made into breeches or culottes. Bella Hoskyns, owned by Arabella Hoskyns-Abrahall, has

Left: The more hardcore lady shooters choose tweed, like these breeks in checked houndstooth from Bella Hoskyns Country Clothing Right: Gumboots, like the ones by Gumleaf, are necessary to battle winter mud and muck Above Right: Traditional tweed caps like this one from Cordings keep you warm and dry


produced a glamorous range of women’s breeks and culottes that are both practical and stylish, and many accomplished female shooters swear allegiance to the ladies’ range from James Purdey & Sons. Both culottes and tweed breeks are often worn in fine weather with a matching tweed shooting vest, with large cartridge pockets and an inserted pad to reduce recoil. That combination of breeks and matching tweed vest is also extremely popular with men, especially when grouse or



Left For the whole ensemble to work properly you need shooting socks (stockings) like these by Wendy Keith Right Schoffel Buckingham tweed breeks are a wardrobe staple Below Left A versatile Olney Bond cap will complete the look

“Given that you need to be fairly invisible to the birds, warm and dry, most people start with the shooting coat”


partridge shooting. The Schoffel Buckingham breeks and shooting vest are very good, but for bespoke I think it’s hard to beat those made by Jeremy Shaw of Carters Countrywear, a familyowned business in Helmsley, in Yorkshire. Jeremy can make anything, from City suits to smoking jackets, but specialises in shooting attire. With his very wide range of tweed samples, he can build breek and shooting vest sets that can range from quietly elegant to “Blimey, pass the sunglasses!” He often recommends customers to order four-piece tweed suits – vest, breeks, jacket and trousers – so that the two last items can double as casualwear. Most of his customers’ breeks are plus-fours, which means they hang four inches below the knee, though they can be had in anything from plus-two (two inches) to plus-nine (nine inches). Lately, plus-sixes have come into fashion, which means that when the shooting socks are tied around the bottom of the breeks, just below the knee, there’s a good hang of material over your gumboots, stopping rain running down into your boots. It also looks satisfactorily Edwardian.

Left Understated style and warmth thanks to Schoffel’s Rockingham Coat II teamed here with cotton trousers and shirt and woollen jumper


For this all to work properly, though, you need shooting socks (‘stockings’) that are really long, ideally coming well over your knee, before the tops are turned down and secured with knitted wool garters. Wendy Keith’s are among the best and she holds The Prince of Wales’ Royal Warrant. However tempting, it is unwise to wear shooting stockings with ‘amusing’ slogans such as ‘Bang Bang Bugger’. You will be under close scrutiny all day on the shoot. Neither should you opt to go tieless, nor sport one festooned with any type of gamebird. It’s considered trying too hard, akin to wearing horseshoe cufflinks at a point-to-point. Far better to wear a sludgecoloured knitted tie with a similarly nondescript shirt worn under a green V-neck. And if that’s got frayed sleeves and a plethora of moth holes, so much the better. Add some truly wrecked tweeds and you really will be of one of the boys. Jonathan Young was editor of Shooting Times, 1986-1991, and The Field, 1991-2020. He is currently the founder and owner of Young & Game Media.

the art of elegance wildlife artist creating British made luxury silk masterpieces based on clare’s vibrant, original paintings www.clarehaggas.com






very Wednesday, at 3pm the cry “Sherry Wednesday!” rises from my lips. It’s an afternoon treat that’s become a ritual whether I’m at home or settling into a dreamy corner exploring the world. I realised late in life that I wasn’t drinking enough sherry – and while this may sound like a good problem to have, when you consider that sherry is the best value and most underrated fine wine on the planet, there’s no time to lose. Just a few weeks ago, strolling through a golden sunset in Jerez, I found myself meandering by monuments, crumbling alleys, civic squares and birds chasing the light. I’d spent a blissful day in the company of one of my wine heroes, Antonio Flores, the cellar master at González Byass. His life is woven into the bodega, infused with the serenity of the barrel halls where the sandy floor feels like soft fudge underfoot and the roof is so dark and tall that it feels like dawn and dusk have finally settled their differences and built a home together in the sky. The signatures of dignitaries and Hollywood legends adorn the

With a rich heritage and an abundance of flavour, there is much to enjoy about the complex taste of sherry as Olly Smith discovers

shadowy barrels. Spielberg is there, Roger Moore over here. And look, is that… Orson Welles? I ask Antonio his first memory of the winery. He points towards a little arched door that would look at home in the cloisters of Ely Cathedral. “I remember my father once left that door open and I ran through the barrels, I’ve never looked back”. He was three years old. Born on the premises, Antonio is a senior player in the world of wine at the peak of the sherry triangle and training his daughter, Silvia, in the art of blending. For that’s the core of sherry. In wine, we talk about terroir – the ‘somewhereness’ of the drink that makes it unique. We speak less about the human hand in that ‘somewhereness’ and in the case of Antonio, there’s a sense in which he is the bodega – in the same way that a great chef knows his recipes backwards and instinctively moves through the kitchen, indivisible from the moment. In the case of sherry, the landscape plays a vital role, with the chalky albariza soil gleaming through the grapes – whether bright Palomino, fruity Pedro


Ximénez or scented Moscatel. The thing is, with the combination of aging and fractional blending, sherry relies more than any other wine on the invisible aspect of its ‘somewhereness’. To weave the best bottles into being, the most crucial element of all is time. And it’s well worth the wait. Let’s take flavours first. Whether you’re a fan of a dry Martini or a wedge of juicy fruitcake, there’s a sherry for you. Manzanilla and Fino are the dry light ones – serve chilled with olives or savoury nibbles. Pedro Ximénez is sweeter than treacle, which I love to sip with Christmas pud, while Amontillado and Oloroso are the nuttier tangier ones that I adore for their unique and provocative complexity. But you can taste all the styles of sherry and decide all that for yourself. Right now, I want to take you back to the bodega in dusky Jerez. I am there, whispering and chuckling with Antonio as we blend Las Palmas – the top bottles of González Byass. These four bottlings are named palmas after the chalk strike made by the cellarmaster on the barrels. In this case, one to four denotes the level of richness,


“ ”

With the combination of aging and fractional blending, sherry relies more than any other wine on the invisible aspect of its ‘somewhereness’

Colours A FLAVOUR FOR EVERYONE It is said there is a sherry to suit every taste and they range in colour from the palest yellow of Fino and Manzanilla with their light, delicate flavour to the warm amber of Amontillado and Pale Cortardo with their richer flavours to the dark brown of sweet sherries such as Moscatel.





which broadly corresponds to the unique character and age of each cask. One is the youngest and four palmas is bottled from a single cask more than 50 years old with the most exquisite evolution and scrumptiousness. Blending Las Palmas is a bit like being beckoned to the stage by Pavarotti and being asked to sing along. It’s a huge honour and distinct responsibility. And once the work is done, the biggest surprise of all… Antonio asks me to sign my own barrel. While everyone else seems to have found a natty phrase to scribble alongside their name in chalk, looking back, there’s a bit of me that wishes I’d written ‘Sherry Wednesday’ on my cask, but somehow ‘SHERRY FOREVER!’ seemed more apt. And it’s also true. Wednesdays are all well and good, but for me, sherry is for always – and we need to invest valuable time right now working out in which order to enjoy all of its magnificence. So I suggest you head to the bar and order a cold glass of Fino with a bowl of green olives and salty snacks to consider the options… which happily, as far as sherry is concerned, are limitless. Read Olly’s last book Home Cocktail Bible, Quadrille Publishing ollysmith.com

“ ”

Blending Las Palmas is a bit like being beckoned to the stage by Pavarotti and being asked to sing along. It’s a huge honour and a distinct responsibility

Olly Smith stands with Antonio Flores, the cellar master at González Byass




There is nothing more luxurious than enjoying the finest Champagne in iconic surroundings. We discover some of the history of the family-owned Laurent-Perrier and how a sustainable focus is securing the future of this prestigious Champagne house Nonancourt, her son Bernard de Nonancourt took over following WW2, a time where the champagne industry was in decline and there had been no innovations in a century. However, he had a modern vision of its potential and imagined a style that was cleaner on the palate and easier to drink, a style you could enjoy on its own at any time. To achieve his dreams, Bernard de Nonancourt set PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF FRANÇOIS HALARD

Situated at the crossroads of the three main wine growing areas within the Marne département, the Montagne de Reims, the House of Champagne Laurent-Perrier has been continuously innovating since its origination in 1812. Internationally recognised as one of the foremost names in the region, its success can be attributed to the challenging of conventional techniques, honouring traditional values and its respect for nature and terroir above all. An unrivalled creator of style and emotion, Champagne Laurent-Perrier suits every occasion and offers a unique experience for all senses through its innovative and comprehensive range of eight champagnes.

LEADING THE CHARGE IN CHAMPAGNE INNOVATION The de Nonancourt family took the reins of the House in 1939, boldly challenging the conventions of an industry where innovation was a hundred years behind. First led by Marie-Louise Lanson de

Alexandra Pereyre de Nonancourt and Stéphanie Meneux de Nonancourt




about focusing on a style dedicated to one grape, the rich and most refined Chardonnay, which still today injects such finesse and lightness into so many Laurent-Perrier champagnes. Bernard also turned to fermentation, doing away with traditional wooden casks, and turning in favour to stainless-steel tanks. These led to a fresher, purer taste – a champagne that was cleaner on the palate and always eminently drinkable. He also tried fermenting at lower temperatures and discovered he could conserve very special, subtle flavours that were usually lost. Testing the notion that the top of the range champagnes, the ‘prestige cuvées’, had to be vintage, Bernard reasoned that no individual vintage could ever be complete, simply because you can never reasonably expect to find all the best characteristics of a champagne in a single year – however good that year might be. On the other hand, if you blended several great vintages, you had a chance to re-create the perfect year. This insight opened the door to a new generation of exquisitely elegant champagnes – the finest of all being his most famous creation, Grand Siècle. “The best of the best with the best,” as Bernard de Nonancourt described it, Grand Siècle is an extraordinary blend of wines from only the top vintage years made from the finest crus and grapes – a tour de force of the blender’s art that has few equals. The de Nonancourt legacy is




continued through the independence of this familyowned champagne house and its related values, taking the house from one of hundreds to its current position as one of the region’s leading. These same principles guide the current management team, who are led by a strong line of pioneering women dedicated to the craft of champagne and proudly overseen by Marie Louise’s two granddaughters, Stéphanie Meneux de Nonancourt and Alexandra Pereyre de Nonancourt.



As growers and producers of fine Champagne wines, Laurent-Perrier is committed to ending all practices or actions which may cause irreversible damage to the environment. This pledge lives and breathes daily at the House, showing a continual respect for the environment and finite natural resources. The House’s long-term policy in grape growing and wine elaboration is based entirely on sustainable methods, through the careful management of resources such as water and energy, the balanced use of terroirs and soils and the reduction of waste at the source through recycling and recovery efforts. Demonstrating the high value placed by the House on caring for nature, Laurent-Perrier recently announced the launch of its limited-edition Cuvée Rosé Butterfly Robe to celebrate the environment and its efforts to protect it. The butterfly itself is emblematic of a preserved and protected natural environment, its presence an enduring testament to a vibrant and

varied ecosystem; the fragility of living beings – a cause close to the House’s heart. Taking its sustainability efforts further, Laurent-Perrier partnered with like-minded UK wild plant conservation charity, Plantlife, to become a Corporate Patron and support the great work Plantlife is doing to restore the threatened native flowers, plants and fungi that are the life support to all wildlife. In a time where climate and sustainability action are at the forefront of concern, Laurent-Perrier continually showcases that they are no stranger to making sure they are leading the charge.



Cuvée Rosé, chosen by the best.

Illustrated by Quentin Blake

The Royal Albert Hall


champagnelaurentperrier www.laurent-perrier.com

Photo credit: Iris Velghe / Illustration credit: Quentin Blake / Conception Luma

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Spirit of adventure Aston Martin’s new DBX boasts the capability of an SUV with the soul of a sports car, says Tom Howard


Oscar Wilde famously said, “I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.” They say the best way to see London is from the back of a black cab, and in most cases this is probably true. Unless of course you’re driving the new Aston Martin DBX. This is Aston Martin’s first SUV in 107 years of designing vehicles and comes with the promise of delivering a broad range of versatility and capability with the soul of a sports car. Pavilion Road in the heart of Chelsea is home to Hans’ Bar & Grill where I’m ordering breakfast and coffee after a refreshing evening at 11 Cadogan Gardens. I can see our Satin Titanium Silver DBX parked at the end of the Mews, looking at home in the City. The DBX is the work of Aston Martin’s award-winning in-house design team led by their Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman, and manages to bring a level of sculpture and sleekness to a sector perhaps not normally known for elegance. The fastback design of DBX gives elegance to the overall shape, whilst it being designed from the inside out ensures that it will cater for a large family or four adults with ease. Still, we’re here on a sightseeing road trip, and London is a spectacular city with plenty to see. Aston Martin has a way with interiors that ensure you feel right at home whilst still maintaining a sense of occasion that makes every journey unique and loading the DBX highlights this.

The scent of Bridge of Weir leather wafts through the cabin as if it’s been trimmed that morning, with the Alcantara roof lining and industryfirst full Alcantara panoramic roof blind adding to the luxuriously handcrafted interior – into which went more than 200 hours of hand-stitched craftsmanship. Setting off from 11 Cadogan Gardens, the sound is unquestionably Aston Martin, with a new version of the characterful 550PS 4-litre twin-turbo V8 carefully tuned to the needs of an Aston Martin SUV. With an active exhaust system, it can sound refined one moment and then exhilarate your senses the next – although in London, with a relaxed day ahead and only a cocktail deadline at The Mayfair Townhouse later that evening, it’s quite pleasant to just enjoy the evolving skyline rising amongst the historic monuments along the Thames. My sights were set on enjoying the views from lesser-viewed angles, and wherever you sit in the vehicle there is a sense of space and lightness with a fantastic view of the world you’re passing through. From driving between the imposing glass towers of the city to marvelling at the golden light reflecting over the South Bank, there wasn’t a single time when the DBX didn’t provide the perfect viewing platform. Heading further into London, with the occasional coffee and pastry




“The DBX delivers supreme confidence in the city. It feels refined, comfortable, spacious and nimble, and befitting of a car wearing the Aston Martin wings on its bonnet”



“The fastback design of DBX gives elegance to the overall shape, whilst it being designed from the inside out ensures that it will cater for a large family or four adults with ease”


stop, it becomes clear how much thought has gone into the design of this car. At the bottom of the doors for example, cutaway sills reduce the stepover required to enter or exit the car, while reducing the risk of ruining clothing on a dirty exterior. Small touch, but huge appeal – and appreciated when you’re driving through a British winter. Now, it wouldn’t really be a trip to the capital without taking a slight detour along Bond Street for a few pieces befitting of the DBX, ending up around the corner from our cocktail destination at The Dandy Bar.

Of course, with 632 litres of boot space, you’ll not only find yourself shopping for more than you need, but also appreciating how good this car looks parked on one of the world’s most prestigious shopping destinations. Finally, after a lengthy sightseeing trip around London completed with the elegance and grace that DBX brings, we arrived at our home for the evening, The Mayfair Townhouse. Nestled along Half Moon Street, and synonymous with Oscar Wilde, it’s straight to check-in at Iconic Luxury Hotels’ latest property, before finding the time

With thanks to The Gentleman Racer Ltd


to unwind with the promised cocktails in The Dandy Bar. As a luxury SUV, the new Aston Martin DBX delivers supreme confidence in the city. It feels refined, comfortable, spacious and nimble, and befitting of a car wearing the Aston Martin wings on its bonnet, DBX also has the ability to deliver a dynamic and emotional experience akin to the brand’s iconic sports cars. It looks sensational on the road, and parked up outside The Mayfair Townhouse you’d wonder what Oscar Wilde would write about a car with the capability of an SUV and the soul of a sports car.


With Technogym App train at home, a hotel, the gym or outdoors. Technogym Coach customises your workout, with equipment or bodyweight. Download Technogym App

Call 0800 316 2496 or visit technogym.com/ICONIC-LUXURY


Wonder women Professional women and inspirational female innovators are collaborating to empower each other to grow and succeed in the business world


The Women’s Chapter is a movement for high-impact women in business to connect, inspire and thrive. Its mission is to amplify the voices of the female changemakers driving global enterprise. We met up with founder, Michelle Pughe-Parry de Klerk, who explains why and how it supports women-led business. Even before Covid, femalefounded businesses were less likely to get funding than their male counterparts. This gap has widened during the pandemic, with figures released from the British Business Bank earlier this year revealing that just £13.7m of convertible loans were approved for companies whose senior management teams were

Abbie Miranda and Mazie Fisher, co-founders of Beija London

all women, compared to £216.6m for all-male teams. Companies led by women received just over one per cent of all the funding under the start-up rescue scheme. The Women’s Chapter platform connects female founders with a motivated community of consumers who want to use their purchasing power to support the success of other women.

How did you decide to found The Women’s Chapter? After my twin daughters were

born in 2011, it was important for me to be physically and emotionally present in their lives, but also set an example for them as a professional role model. Back at work, I desperately needed inspiration. I knew I needed to ‘get out there’, but every event I went to left me feeling deflated and alone. It was clear there was a need for curated opportunities for women to come together to grow their networks and businesses in a meaningful way. I started small, running The Women’s Chapter as a side hustle on a shoestring. I’m a firm believer in facing fears and swallowing the frog – the more you do it, the easier it gets to push your boundaries, and

Lara Morgan, serial entrepreneur and founder of Scentered



Michelle Pughe-Parry de Klerk, founder of The Women’s Chapter

Hetal Patel, founder of VAAI

Annoushka Ducas, founder of Annoushka

“What has also come out of this journey is my very deep passion and sense of purpose around supporting women-led business” with that comes growth and confidence. Seven years later, there are now more than 5,000 high-impact women across our application-only business and community membership. What has also come out of this journey is my very deep passion and sense of purpose around supporting women-led business. The reward that comes from seeing connections made, collaborations formed, business done and women making huge strides in their business growth is electrifying.

What makes The Women’s Chapter unique? We are not just a network. We use our platform to champion and unite women and women-led business. We provide women, across all industries, with the opportunity to create meaningful connections, find solutions to challenges, be inspired and build a work life aligned with their purpose. We count some of the UK’s most successful women among our members, all of whom are committed to supporting one

another to succeed. As featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Forbes and The Telegraph, we run intimate, curated networking events for invited members, as well as online and in-person Thought Leadership events open to all women. We also create digital and editorial content to drive exposure for the brands in our member community.

What problem does your business solve? Through the organic growth of The Women’s Chapter community, I have seen how many innovative women-led businesses are held back by not having access to resources, exposure or funding to scale. There are multiple bank and government reports about the challenges women in business face, but very little real action is taken, especially for women-led businesses with a turnover of less than £1m. Making funding more accessible is key, but a business needs a proven product, a customer base, sales and profit before it is attractive to investors.


On this journey, business leaders need peer-to-peer support, access to knowledge and resources. As both a consultant and a business owner, I have developed The Women’s Chapter to give women, and the organisations they drive, a bit of everything they need to grow – exposure, community, access to new customers, practical advice and Thought Leadership.

What is the WomenLed collective? WomenLed is our curated collection of inspirational, innovative businesses – all with women at the helm. Women are the world’s largest emerging economy, controlling some 85 per cent of consumer spending decisions. As such, each one of us can contribute to the success of female-driven enterprise. WomenLed is a showcase of female talent. It gives founders the chance to tell their story and inspire future generations with examples of real women who have turned their passion into a business. We want young women



Vanessa Conway, founder of Feel.Move.Be.

Tonya Kidd-Beggs, founder of STORIES Parfums

“We have in-person Coffee and Cake member meet-ups hosted at Iconic Luxury Hotel properties”


to see the abundance of career opportunities that exist for them. If we harness our consumer power and buy from female-led businesses, we can really move the needle on the number of companies that move from start-up to scale-up and beyond. Our special WomenLed mark shows consumers at a glance that a business was founded by or is driven by women.

What are the benefits for your members? Our business members each get

Lydia Roscoe, founder of A Beautiful Life

an editorially styled brand page on our platform that showcases their story and products. They can offer benefits and discounts to the community and receive profiling through our content, as well as via speaking engagements, pop-ups and panel discussions. We have a monthly Mastermind where we come together under Chatham House rules to share and troubleshoot, and in-person Coffee and Cake member meetups, hosted at Iconic Luxury Hotel properties. Members can also use our WomenLed mark to show

Vicktesha Cunningham, founder of Vtessia

they are a women-driven brand. Among our women-founded member brands are Scentered, Beija London, Stories Parfums, Flowerbx, Ethos of London, Mauli Rituals and Emmy London.

How do you work with corporate partners? We work with them to provide access to Thought Leadership and practical knowledge for our members. Our partners include Investec Wealth & Investment, Collyer Bristow, James Oakley Media and Iconic Luxury Hotels.

Julia Elliot Brown, founder of Enter the Arena

For membership enquiries, please get in touch at inspire@womenschapter.com. Also follow on instagram @womenschapter


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Message in a Discover the importance of our sense of smell with Susan d’Arcy who enlists the help of Floris to create a bespoke concoction of her favourite scents



f you had to lose one of your five senses, which would it be? I imagine many of you instantly said smell. Until recently, I would have agreed with you, but about three years ago, I heard a Ted Talk about the vital role our sense of smell plays in health. I was intrigued, did some digging and – apologies for sounding dramatic – it’s changed my life. The talk detailed how neuroscientists discovered that amputees recovered from the loss of a limb quicker than those who had lost their sense of smell. What an extraordinary thought! I was hooked and needed to find out more about how I could harness this humble little sense to my advantage. You might know that if you put a peg on your nose, you can’t tell the difference between eating an apple and an onion. Our tongues only identify bitter, sweet, sour, salty and savoury. In reality, we don’t taste the difference between a strawberry and a raspberry – we smell it. Less well known, but scientifically proven, is that sniffing a lemon boosts your feel-good hormones, so helps combat depression. Then there’s research suggesting that losing the ability to smell is an early indicator of conditions such as Alzheimer’s, and that taking an exam in a room scented with rosemary improves student scores by seven per cent. Taking up smell training has proved beneficial to me. I keep four oils (clove, lemon, eucalyptus and rose) on my bedside cabinet to sniff for a couple of minutes every morning and evening. It’s basically a

gym for my nose. As a result, my appreciation of food and joy in the scent of flowers have rocketed and my pleasure in petrichor has been magnificently magnified. You might not know the word ‘petrichor’, but you’ve certainly experienced it. It was coined by Australian scientists in 1964 to describe the earthy aroma associated with rain. It’s a primeval, cavemanneed-fire-and-water uplifting scent. My daily smelling ritual bolsters my concentration, aids memory and, by lowering stress, supports my gut microbiome and that might stop me putting on weight. Full disclosure: I never quite picked up a tambourine, but I did get a little evangelical at one stage. Friends would roll their eyes as I waxed lyrical about all things nasal. So I felt vindicated (OK, smug) when the NHS recommended smell training for Covid sufferers who had lost their sense of smell. My new-found passion led me to a curious little time warp in London’s most quintessentially English row of artisans, Jermyn Street. Number 89 has been home to Floris, the UK’s oldest family-run perfumer, since 1730, and is still run by the descendants of founders Elizabeth and Juan Famenias Floris. My appointment was in the back office, which is fitted with polished mahogany apothecary cabinets containing grooming products dating back to the 1730s, framed photographs of famous customers such as Prince Charles, and even a thank-you note from Florence Nightingale for the

“Mahogany apothecary cabinets contained a thank-you note from Florence Nightingale for the ‘beautiful sweet-smelling nosegays’ that helped her through the Crimean War”




“Julia peppered our time with stories: how Napoleon would order two bottles of his favourite cologne every day, one to wear and one to drink – perfume contains alcohol after all”


“beautiful sweet-smelling nosegays” that helped her through the Crimean War. I flicked through leather ledgers as big as paving slabs, turning pages that had yellowed with age to read handwritten orders dating back hundreds of years. I spotted one customer whose name was scored through. It was the Duke of York, so eventually needed amending to The King. Sadly, I didn’t find Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe or David Bowie, but they are there, along with many others. My eyes wandered in anticipation to the rows of nut-brown bottles, whose labels listed raw perfume ingredients, from amber to zibeline. If Joanna Harris had visited this place before writing Chocolat, Vianne would have been selling scents not sweets. And that was why I was here: to create my own signature scent under the guidance of fragrance developer Julia Casanova Calvo. I had a sneaking suspicion that this was like a three-year-old ‘helping’ mummy make a cake, but Julia, who topped her year at the prestigious Grasse Institute of Perfumery, the Oxford of olfactory courses, was charm (and patience) personified. We discussed what scents I liked to determine my fragrance direction and then got down to the seriously sensuous business of perfume alchemy. We began with a blind test to discover what I really liked as opposed to what I thought I liked. “I love rose,” I declared, which made it embarrassing when I pulled a face and said, “Hate that one.” It was rose. Julia insisted this happened regularly. Sometimes, she’d describe a smell as she handed me a tester strip: “This has a note like peeling a green banana, no?” For two hours, I sniffed dozens of scents, from floral to earthy and citrussy to woody, eliminating some

outright and placing the rest into a porte-mouillettes de parfum, a traditional wooden holder, until my tester strips looked like a delicate Victorian fan. Then it came to reducing them to the final selection for my pyramid. Perfumes have top notes (small molecules that intrigue but quickly fade and tend to be citrussy), mid notes (more complex and headier, the heart of the scent) and base notes (large, heavy molecules with depth and staying power). Julia peppered our time with stories: how Napoleon would order two bottles of his favourite cologne every day, one to wear and one to drink – perfume contains alcohol after all; how Ian Fleming wore Floris and mentioned the perfumer in Moonraker. In fact, it is thought James Bond wore Floris. It was moving to learn that couples book bespoke perfumery sessions like mine to create scents for their wedding day, or to celebrate a birth. I can’t imagine a more intimate and enduring gift, but then I think I’ve established I am now a smell geek. Finally, wonderfully, I whittled down my choices to my absolute favourites and I had my perfume. Top notes of soft apple, grapefruit and cassis, mid notes of neroli, mimosa and white blossoms and a base of vetiver and musk. I watched excitedly as Julia used dainty pipettes to measure precise quantities of each to blend my perfume into my monogrammed bottle. At the last second, I added night-scented jasmine. And that was it: my completely personal and perfect scent. As a tribute to my artistic guide, I named it Zaragoza after Julia’s birthplace. The formula now sits in the Floris ledgers alongside those created for heads of state and Hollywood legends. Every time I spray it on, I honestly feel fantastic.


Travel with style ICONIC STYLE

Fashion designer and British style icon, Scott Henshall, selects the must-have luggage pieces and brands to travel in complete luxury


As a former creative director of Mulberry – the English luxury brand founded by Roger Saul in the 1970s – I know that handmade luxury luggage can last for decades when looked after properly. Mulberry even offers a service to repair loved items

that are not looking their best after many years of service. My mantra has always been the famous Coco Chanel quote, ‘luxury is a necessity that begins where necessity ends’. Now let me introduce you to the pieces you need to travel in style.

LANDA ARSANTE OF SWEDEN Arsante redefines contemporary modern classics for seekers of effortless style. Founder Andreas Höynälä has created the ultimate weekender in both large and small, along with totes, folio cases and back packs that are perfect for the professional who wants discreet luxury. The large weekender is more like a suitcase and is available in black and cognac. arsante.com


Founder Silvana Landa creates stunning, timeless bags in the most beautiful shades. They are perfect for travelling as they transform from top handle to cross-body to the chicest of evening bags with a chunky Plexiglas shoulder strap. There’s even a clutch that turns into an elegant evening bag with a long, fine chain. landabags.com



DAVID HAMPTON This is a luxury brand that has quintessential British appeal. Sold internationally, it focuses on soft luggage styles. Barrel bags in navy, slate and cocoa form the foundation of this über-luxe collection, along with folio cases and overnight bags that are perfect for a few days away. There are also small luxury items, such as jewellery boxes, pen holders and photo frames, to help you keep what you cherish safe while on your travels. I recently collaborated with director Michael GoughAllen on Hampton & Henshall, a collection of British classics featuring a striking geometric print that will get you noticed by those who appreciate the best of British craftsmanship with a nod to the future. davidhampton.com



“Chief bag carrier Richard Sharman has created an ostentatious collection of luggage in the most stunning colours, from Portofino to Tuscan Sunset” MY NAME IS TED This Dublin-based brand creates stunning wearable works of art inspired by the city’s doorways. Its handbags, totes and crossbody bags are stocked in the world’s most discerning stores – what could be more fabulous than walking into one of Iconic’s most splendid hotels with a bag featuring an iconic doorway? mynameisted.ie


Founded by a working mum of three, KeriKit creates bags that combine style, beauty and practicality for women juggling multiple lives. Its leather bags have multiple compartments for organising all your essentials, and even include features such as insulated baby bottle or drinks can holders, pen holders and security pockets for valuables. kerikit.com




Owner and chief bag carrier Richard Sharman has created an ostentatious collection of luggage in the most stunning colours, from Portofino to Tuscan Sunset. Check out the ultimate carry-on trolley case, Mad Dash, overnight bags, Late Night Lie Ins, and Freedom of the City, the perfect micro bag for a city break, holding all your essentials but leaving you unencumbered. Gladstn recently created a vibrant virtual reality showroom with BrandLab Fashion that allows you to interact with the collection and even create bespoke designs. There’s also a curated selection of Icon bags that can be customised just for you. gladstnlondon.com

Travelling in luxury starts with ones packing, whether that be from a stylist or your own fair hands. Large luggage for a week or two away or an overnight bag, your luggage selection says far more than you may think – I once got upgraded from Business to First Class because the check-in assistant loved my powder blue ‘Fendi’ bag, which in hindsight was not the best piece to have thrown on a luggage trolley. However, the upgrade made the ensuing scuffs well worth it, and afterall, pristine luggage is a sign that it has not been used enough. Luggage needs to live and carry the battle scars of getting from A-B, however fabulous it may be. When it comes to the ultimate ‘iconic’ packing service, if one gets invited to stay at a Royal residence, your luggage will be unpacked for you and repacked on departure, wrapped in tissue paper to avoid creasing in transit. I have never been fortunate enough to experience this rarefied service, however I do find it a treat to arrive and have ones clothes sent to press and have them perfectly lined up in your wardrobe for selection. For my own personal travel style, I am a huge fan of a cashmere tracksuit; the comfort of a cashmere sweater and joggers for long flights is like wearing a cuddle. What a luxury it is to be able to travel, to have the freedom to escape, to celebrate a special occasion or visit somewhere new should never be taken for granted. Wanderlust for life, travel and luxury is everything!



Commission By Royal

Jewellery house Pragnell discusses its previous royal commissions with Claire Roberts, as it looks forward to revealing another as the Platinum Jubilee approaches





rowns, tiaras, brooches, pearls – Her Majesty’s jewellery box is filled with extraordinary pieces, many of which are reserved for only the most important occasions. Which jewels from her peerless collection will she choose to wear in June, when the nation joins her to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee – the first British monarch to celebrate 70 years of service? One of her 98 heirloom brooches, certainly – a jewellery staple for The Queen – and a diamond tiara from her collection for the Platinum Party at Buckingham Palace. There is a single jewel that is a certainty and that is her diamond engagement ring, which was created by the prestigious Bond Street jeweller Philip Antrobus and has quietly been of service to The Queen for more than 75 years. A constant companion throughout Her Majesty’s entire time on the throne, her engagement ring remains in the spotlight to this day through the acquisition of Antrobus by the jeweller Pragnell. Today one of the UK’s most prestigious jewellery houses, Pragnell is known worldwide for creating rare and exceptional jewels, handcrafted in Britain. With three showrooms in Stratford-upon-Avon, London’s Mayfair and Leicester, the company was founded by George Pragnell in 1954 and remains family run and led, with Charlie Pragnell, grandson of George, at the helm. It was Charlie who, in 2017, chose to re-examine its regal connections, which are inherited through the acquisition of Philip

Antrobus and earned through his grandfather George Pragnell’s early brush with royalty. By the time George opened his jewellery shop at Five Wood Street in Stratford-upon-Avon – built by a friend of William Shakespeare and the company’s HQ to this day – he had already met the future Queen Elizabeth II. As a young apprentice working for Queen Mary’s private jeweller, George would, on occasion, be asked to entertain the two young Princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret, while their grandmother perused the jewels on display. Little did he know that two generations later, his family would own the company responsible for creating the engagement ring of the young princess he had been instructed to entertain and also the Antrobus bracelet – a wedding gift from the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. These two jewels, both worn by Princess Elizabeth on her wedding day in 1947, were honoured by Pragnell in 2017, when the Queen and Prince Philip celebrated their Royal Platinum Anniversary. “Now is the time to tell the story of the beautiful jewellery that, for 70 years, has symbolised the monarchy, power, longevity and love,” declared Charlie Pragnell. And what a story it was. Without Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice of Battenburg, neither jewel would exist today. Her gift of a magnificent antique diamond tiara, dismantled and with the diamonds removed, enabled Philip to commission Antrobus to create an engagement ring fit for a future Queen, set

“Today one of the UK’s most prestigious jewellery houses, Pragnell is known worldwide for creating rare and exceptional jewels, handcrafted in Britain” iconicluxuryhotels.com



“The bracelet is a piece that the Queen still wears regularly and has also been loaned to Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, for special events”

A gouache painting of the royal engagement ring was used as inspiration for a new contemporary interpretation

diamonds alone, but the effect was mesmerising. With all the antique charm of the original, the modern brilliant cut diamonds in the revisited bracelet gave it a magnificent, radiant presence. The contemporary interpretation of the bracelet recently sold, but plans are underway at Pragnell to create a new jewel for the Platinum Jubilee in 2022. While details are being kept under wraps for now, the jeweller has confirmed that it will be crafted in diamonds and platinum, just like the Queen’s engagement ring. There are many pictures of Her Majesty wearing the ring, but one, in particular, stands out – the young Princess, clearly in love, gazing adoringly up at her fiancée. What makes a bespoke commission so special at Pragnell is the story behind its creation. When clients are looking for inspiration for their own custom-made piece, Pragnell need only point them in the direction of this most regal of love stories.

Jewells from a tiara, gifted by Princess Alice of Battenburg, were used to create The Queen's engagement ring

At Pragnell, expert craftspeople use sophisticated modern processes blended with traditional goldsmith techniques

Discover more exquisite jewellery and bespoke services at pragnell.co.uk




with a three-carat round brilliant diamond centre stone – a very respectable size but not too ostentatious, in line with post-war austerity. A keen horsewoman from an early age, Princess Elizabeth’s active lifestyle informed the design, which had to be fit for purpose. Rather than the traditional four or six claws, the final design featured an eight-claw setting in platinum – the most resilient of the precious metals – to secure the centre diamond in place. Just four months after their engagement, Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh wed at Westminster Abbey. During that time, the craftsmen at Antrobus had been working around the clock on the Duke’s second royal commission: an Art Decoinspired diamond bracelet set with the remaining diamonds from the tiara. The bracelet is another key piece for Pragnell and a real statement creation featuring stepped geometric motifs centred around three diamonds. “We have the original gouache painting of the bracelet in our archives,” says Charlie Pragnell. “It’s a piece that the Queen still wears regularly and has also been loaned to Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, for special events, including a state visit to China and the BAFTAS.” Honouring the 70th anniversary of their engagement, Pragnell designed a contemporary interpretation of the Queen’s bespoke ring, based on a gouache painting of the original from its archives. The platinum ‘Antrobus setting’ engagement ring features a tapered eight-claw setting with a cluster of four different-sized diamonds either side of the central diamond. The house also unveiled a reimagined Antrobus bracelet – a masterpiece featuring more than 70 components, set with 45 carats of diamonds. It took more than three months of diligent handcrafting to set all 320 round

made for the SUN

by the SUN made for the SUN

by the SUN

The beautiful taste of the Côte d’Azur. Organically sourced botanicals; plastic free bottle; multiple awards won. Enjoy Gin d’Azur with friends and family.

The beautiful taste of the Côte d’Azur. Organically sourced botanicals; plastic free bottle; multiple awards won. Enjoy Gin d’Azur with friends and family.


The beautiful taste of the Côte d’Azur. Organically sourced botanicals; plastic free bottle; multiple awards won. Enjoy Gin d’Azur with friends and family. Gin d’Azur, was created by master distiller Paul Caris and takes the tried and tested flavours of the Mediterranean, blends and presents them in a way which captures their essence while delivering a harmonic flavour profile. Since its debut in 2019 Gin d’Azur has won multiple taste and design awards, including at the prestigious San Francisco Spirits Competition. Their distinctive and elegant bottle captures the spirit of the Mediterranean. The pronounced shoulders and low profile are complemented by the label which captures the sun rising over the sea. Gin d’Azur is at the heart of social moments. Conviviality distilled; sunshine bottled. Visit gindazur.com and follow @gindazur on IG.


All that glitters is gold 64

Poppy Day discovers the luxury serviced apartments brought to you by Columbus Monte-Carlo Situated just north-east of Nice, at the base of the Maritime Alps along the stunning French Riviera, sits Monte Carlo – one of the four districts, or quartiers, of the sovereign city-state of Monaco, a country renowned as one of the most glamorous tourist destinations on earth.

Prince Rainier III in memory of his late wife – a stay at the Columbus Monte-Carlo provides its guests with an exquisite outlook from virtually every aspect, as well as an opportunity to experience the authentic Riviera lifestyle. In addition to the hotel’s glittering cocktail bar, Mediterranean ocean-front restaurant, heated outdoor swimming pool and state-of-theart gym facilities, the Columbus Monte-Carlo also has within its arsenal one luxury two-bedroom, two-bathroom Riviera-style apartment on its top floor, as

This beautiful resort, possibly best known for the world-famous Monte Carlo Casino, is also home to the Columbus Monte-Carlo, an independent, luxury boutique hotel with spectacular views of the Mediterranean. With 181 beautiful hotel rooms and suites – the majority of which have private terraces overlooking the ocean, and easy access to Monaco old town or the Princess Grace Rose Garden, a beautiful, tranquil sanctuary commissioned by


well as 12 one-of-a-kind serviced apartments, all available for long-term rental. These unique and exclusive properties, referred to as The Columbus Residences, comprise four studios, eight duplexes and a gorgeous penthouse suite, and are located just moments from the Port de Fontvieille – a picturesque 275-boat marina looked upon by shops and restaurants. Moreover, the serviced residences are only a short drive from the centre of Monte Carlo, making them ideal for those looking to live and/or work in the principality. This rental opportunity becomes


even more appealing thanks to the apartments’ proximity to Monaco’s heliport, as well as the fact that tenants have access to all the hotel’s services and facilities, including secure indoor valet parking. Not only have the history and cultural significance of casinos been pivotal in drawing visitors to Monaco and Monte Carlo in the past, but they continue to be a driving force in doing so today. After all, it was Monaco’s shaping of the casino industry that put the country on the map back in 1863. The Monte-Carlo Casino is the most famous, with the grand, ornate gambling house and now entertainment complex having featured in two James Bond films over the years – Never Say Never Again (1983) and GoldenEye (1995). Interestingly, citizens of Monaco itself are legally prohibited from entering the country’s casinos and gambling – Monaco is an independent state and does not have to abide by French law. It will come as no surprise that the Columbus Monte-Carlo has welcomed several famous Formula One drivers and their teams over the years, with the Monaco Grand Prix motor-racing event held annually on the Circuit de Monaco each spring – it is widely regarded as being one of the most important automobile races in the world. Champions of the sport who have stayed at the hotel include Kimi Raïkonnen, Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher.

The hotel’s long-term rental apartments comprise four studios, eight duplexes and a penthouse

Enjoy al fresco dining at Columbus Monte Carlo

Furthermore, and quite fittingly, the Columbus Monte-Carlo was born out of former F1 racing driver David Coulthard’s decision to acquire the hotel back in April 2001 and transform it into the chic, contemporary and luxurious establishment it is today, providing its high-end clientele with an alternative to the very traditional accommodation available locally. The interiors of the hotel and its residences are tastefully decorated throughout, using a palette of blue and ochre. Whether you’re in need of a comfortable place to lay your head after an excitement-filled day at the F1 track, or an evening out at the casino, or you are searching for an authentic taste of the Monaco lifestyle for the

The decor throughout each individual residence is elegant and sophisticated, with a muted palette

For full details, visit columbushotels.com


weekend, or are interested in a long-term rental opportunity that combines spacious and comfortable living areas, excellent on-site facilities and all the glitz and glamour that being a resident of Monte-Carlo brings, the Columbus Monte-Carlo is the undisputed champion and deservedly so. Experience the simplistic beauty of the hotel and its serviced residences, plus the tangible prestige fuelled by not only the hotel’s glamorous and varied past, but also the very real possibility of rubbing shoulders with F1 royalty during your stay. The Columbus Monte-Carlo is owned by the London & Regional group, which includes the likes of Monaco’s Fairmont Hotel and London’s Hilton Park Lane.

Residents have access to all the hotel’s state-of-the-art facilities, including the heated outdoor pool





Enjoy The Festival at Cheltenham in luxurious style with the ‘Room with a View’ experience that combines accommodation, travel and hospitality The Cheltenham Festival is an event like no other and a highlight in the British social and sporting calendar. The Festival 2022 comprises four extraordinary days of horse racing, from Tuesday 15 to Friday 18 March, with a total of 28 races including the Gold Cup. So special is this event that it is best enjoyed with a touch of stylish luxury, including a stay at Chewton Glen, Cliveden House or The Lygon Arms, helicopter travel to Cheltenham, and hospitality throughout the day. After the restrictions of 2021, the crowds have been eagerly waiting to return to the heart of the action, carried on the wave of the Cheltenham Roar, experiencing first-hand the best food, the best wine and the best racing in the world. While 2021’s event had to be viewed remotely, it was not short of action, drama and moments that made history. Henry de Bromhead’s extraordinary Put The Kettle On became the first mare to win the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase under Aidan Coleman; Rachael Blackmore stormed home on Allaho, giving Willie Mullins his record fourth win in the Ryanair Chase; and, of course, there was Jack Kennedy bringing Minella Indo home in the WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup itself.

So it is with excited anticipation that we await The Festival 2022. Day one on 15 March is traditionally known as Champion Day and the racing is headlined by the Unibet Champion Hurdle, which has been won over the years by the likes of Istabraq, Hurricane Fly and Braveur D’Air. On wonderful Wednesday, also known as Ladies Day, expect some exciting action in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase as the




best in the business battle it out over two miles. This is followed by St Patrick’s Thursday when all things Irish are celebrated with the Ryanair Chase and the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at the heart of the action. Finally on Friday it’s the Cheltenham Gold Cup, highlight of the day and the feature race of The Festival. As the pinnacle of Jump racing, it plays a major part in the sporting calendar every year and its winners, such as Best Mate and Kauto Star, go down in history to become household names. Festival week in Cheltenham is a busy and bustling place, which is why taking advantage of the ‘Room with a View’ package offers the best possible way to experience the races. Choose to stay at one of three Iconic hotels: Chewton Glen, The Lygon Arms or Cliveden House. After checking in to the hotel, jump on board the waiting helicopter that will whisk you away to the races. A trip on The Jockey Club’s twinengine Agusta AW109 is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the spring countryside rolling along below – from Chewton Glen or Cliveden House the journey is around 30 minutes, while from The Lygon Arms it is just ten minutes. Upon landing at the racecourse, a Bentley will take you to the grandstand. The horse racing is, of course, the highlight of the day, but such prestigious races should be enjoyed in style at one of the racecourse’s excellent restaurants. The restaurant, with panoramic views across the course, is the aptly named Panoramic, which is situated on the fifth level of




CHEWTON GLEN A five-star luxury hotel and spa with 130 acres of gardens on the edge of the New Forest and just a short stroll from the beach. Stay in one of the Treehouse Suites for absolute peace and tranquillity, suspended 35ft above the ground. Enjoy relaxing in a hot tub or sipping Champagne to celebrate the day’s winnings in front of a roaring log burner. Or order an evening snack from The Kitchen, which is overseen by TV chef James Martin. chewtonglen.com/whats-on/ room-with-a-view-package



“THE JOURNEY BACK TO THE HOTEL, AGAIN VIA BENTLEY AND HELICOPTER, IS AS EFFORTLESS AS THE ARRIVAL. BUT THE DAY NEED NOT END THERE” the grandstand overlooking the Winning Post. The Cleeve Suite overlooks the final two fences, as does The Horse & Groom pub, or there is the fine-dining experience offered by Chez Roux Restaurant. For a colourful pan-Asian meal choose Theatre@ The Festival on the third floor of the premium course-facing suites, or head to the Final Fence restaurant for the drama of watching horses jump the final fence before racing up the hill to the Winning Post. After a day of excitement, the journey back to the hotel, again via Bentley and helicopter, is as effortless as the arrival. But the day need not end there. Make the most of your chosen hotel for the perfect end to an eventful day.

A historic 600-year-old coaching inn in Broadway, is just a short helicopter ride from the day’s action. A stay here would ensure plenty of time to book in for a Twilight Spa Evening and enjoy the sauna and steam rooms, pool, gym and treatments. Or perhaps an evening meal would be the perfect end to the day and head chef Ales Maurer has a menu to suit all tastes, from a hearty beef wellington to a light cheese soufflé. lygonarmshotel.co.uk/ whats-on/room-witha-view-package

CLIVEDEN HOUSE Set in 376 acres of formal gardens, Cliveden is an idyllic place to unwind in the evening. Relax in the spa, take a walk in the grounds enjoying views over the Thames, or head to The Astor Grill for a bite to eat. The grill is set in the old stable block, complete with equestrian-themed décor, and would make a fitting end to a day at The Festival. clivedenhouse.co.uk/whatson/room-with-a-view To create your perfect day, contact Toby Lewis toby. lewis@thejockeyclub.co.uk


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T R U E F I T TA N D H I L L . C O . U K



The world of fashion is embracing the need to work in a sustainable way, which has led to the emergence of some female-lead initiatives that are influencing the circular economy, as Michelle Pughe-Parry de Klerk discovers



For a long time, consumers have turned a blind eye to the excesses and unscrupulous practices of the fashion industry. However, as sustainability has gone from buzzword to critical movement, we are demanding more sustainable options to reconcile our love of fashion with the crisis our planet is facing. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the equivalent of a rubbish truck full of clothes is burnt or buried in landfill – every second. A sustainability revolution is underway with women at the forefront, driving the circular fashion movement and providing us with guiltless, authentic and fun ways to enjoy fashion again – by recycling, reinvigorating and rewearing what we already have.

THE AUTHORITY Inspired by a conversation she had with Sir David Attenborough, Diana Verde Nieto founded Positive Luxury in 2011, along

Left Circle of Style is the only personal styling and shopping service for second-hand fashion. Above Natural Nuance’s accessories are designed to encourage a circular fashion economy


with serial entrepreneur Karen Hanton MBE, to address luxury’s impact on climate change. “I identified luxury as a significant contributor to the climate problem but also as an industry that has the influence and power to drive positive change,” says Diana. It is fascinating to see the ways manufacturers and brands are approaching circularity, of which the three main types are: Retain, Product Life Extension and Designing for Circularity. Retain is where the brand rents or leases its product to the customer rather than selling it; Product Life Extension focuses on designing products to last longer because a longer product lifespan means fewer purchases over time. With Designing for Circularity, companies design their products



and manufacturing processes to make the materials recoverable for use in new products. Adidas’s six-year partnership with Parley for the Oceans is an example. Parley uses plastic waste to make thread used in Adidas’s shoes and apparel. This reduces the amount of plastic in the world’s oceans. Positive Luxury powers the Butterfly Mark, the luxury industry’s leading sustainability certification given to brands that are doing more than just talking – they’re investing and they’re acting. Diana believes the changes in the future of fashion will come from both the consumer and businesses. “We are in the early stages of a sustainability revolution that promises to be bigger than the industrial revolution and faster than the digital revolution,” she says.

ULTIMATE AFTERCARE Born out of Vanessa Jacobs’ own frustration with traditional and untrustworthy aftercare services,

The Restory has transformed a tired mass-market utility into a branded fashion experience that pairs luxury experience with e-commerce simplicity. The result is a service that helps consumers fall in love with their favourites all over again. Along with her fellow female co-founders, Emily Rea and Thais Cipolletta, Vanessa believes that one day, circular fashion – meaning resale, repair and rental – will simply be fashion. “It will be as integral to the experience as shopping. And it can’t happen without aftercare,” says Vanessa, adding that with consumer demand growing exponentially and European regulators and trillions of dollars worth of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG)-seeking capital markets joining the chorus, established brands must embrace circularity and change how they do business. After launching in 2017, The Restory is now the global leader in the aftercare space and the


Above Diana Verde Nieto, co-founder and CEO of Positive Luxury. Top Cashmere Circle revives already-owned cashmere sweaters to prolong their life, or repurposes those that are beyond repair into meaningful accessories


official partner for Farfetch, Manolo Blahnik, Nicholas Kirkwood, Harrods, Selfridges, Browns and Harvey Nichols.



We are in the early stages of a sustainability revolution in fashion that promises to be bigger than the industrial revolution and faster than the digital revolution

Awarded a CBE for her services to fashion retail, Jane Shepherdson has been described as the most influential person on the British high street. She reinvented Topshop and later Whistles, and is now the chair of peer-to-peer rental and resale platform My Wardrobe HQ. The business, launched in 2019, was based on the Airbnb model. “We felt that if people were happy to sleep in someone else’s bed, why not share their wardrobe?” says Jane, adding that by renting luxury fashion we can enjoy the transformational power of great clothes, while doing less damage to the planet. As a director of the London Fashion Fund, which invests in socially and environmentally responsible fashion businesses, Jane says the industry still has far to go in terms of sustainability: “Rental is just one plank in the bridge towards a truly sustainable industry, but there are some incredible initiatives to solve the manufacturing problems.”

MASTER OF REINVENTION Belinda Dickson earned an OBE for services to the textile industry,


and believes garment care has huge potential. Understanding that the most sustainable garment is the one we already own, Cashmere Circle prolongs garment life with repair and care. “By repairing your cashmere jumper rather than buying new, you save the equivalent individual emissions of a return flight from London to Dubai,” says Belinda. For garments beyond repair, Cashmere Circle’s recycling project lets customers create a unique accessory from their jumper, resulting in a new item to cherish for years to come.

CURATED PRELOVED Muna Nageh started Circle of Style because she believes that pre-owned luxury fashion is the only truly sustainable – and super-stylish – solution to the excesses of the fashion industry. “We don’t create anything. We just take all the effort out of shopping by using the best stylists to curate boxes for our clients based on their style, size and spend,” says Muna, whose service is the only personal styling and shopping service for second-hand fashion. Despite only launching this

Above left Cashmere Circle ‘s 100 per cent recycled cashmere jumpers are handcrafted in Scotland. Below left and right The Restory offers a luxury shoe and handbag restoration service


Above Jane Shepherdson, chair of the peer-to-peer rental and resale platform My Wardrobe HQ. Left Circle of Style stylists select pre-owned designer fashion to suit a client’s size, style and means

year, Circle of Style has already attracted the likes of Lily Allen, Aisling Bea and Sienna Miller. Muna also notes that second hand isn’t just for the younger generation: “Boomers are the second biggest consumer of pre-owned and resale transcends not just age, but income. The idea that someone else can pay full price first is one we push at Circle, making great design and fabric accessible to more people. We have the best-heeled clients in London and across the UK, but they all love the fact that they can have a Celine blazer or a Chloé dress for a fraction of its original

price, and it’s in mint condition. We want to empower women of all ages to be well-dressed, while spending their money wisely.”

MADE TO BE CIRCULAR In 2017, Ase Elvebakk and Lisa Niedermayr founded accessories brand Natural Nuance with a mission to show that luxury and premium accessories can be both beautiful and sustainably made. “Since we started our journey, the fashion industry has woken up to the impact on our planet. This is a great development and we are proud to be one of the companies that had this focus from the start,”

says Ase, adding that as part of the Global Fashion Agenda 2020 Commitment for Circularity, circularity is the key guiding principle in their business. “We believe consumers are more aware of the true cost of creating a product. Especially the younger generations who have started to seek absolute transparency. Brands have to take more responsibility for the entire lifecycle of their products and ensure that the consumer has enough information to choose wisely,” says Ase, adding that technology can play a major role in this process.

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The road less travelled Whether you are visiting the British Isles for the first time, are a seasoned traveller or taking a holiday close to home, a bespoke tour promises much to enjoy and discover 75

With a passion for travel that began with trips to London leading to journeys further afield, Andrew Stevens has turned his wanderlust and an interest in history into an inspiring business. “I was in love with London – the museums, fashion boutiques, record stores and, as I got older, the pubs and clubs,” he explains. After several years working as a DJ, Andrew saved enough money to travel the world. While he experienced many wonders on his travels, it also opened his eyes to the attractions of his own country: “I realised that Britain had incredible places to see and things to do. I was always fascinated by the landscape, particularly the thousands of shades of green and wild windswept hills, and

I especially like little villages with no tourists. I used to wonder why nobody knew about such places.” Andrew realised he could use his local knowledge and love of travelling to create a business. “I trained as a guide in London for six months. Then I thought I could use my driving skills and imagined taking people into our lovely countryside and enjoying pub lunches.” It was at this stage Luxury Vacations UK was born: “My clients loved seeing off-thetourist-track places. I enjoyed introducing visitors to local people and having a bit of banter.” Since 1998, Andrew has been touring England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland with people who share a thirst for knowledge and a desire to learn about the culture and history. In 2001, Andrew met Elizabeth, who was working at a law firm. She shared his love of exploring: “As our relationship grew with marriage and children, so did our business, especially when I joined Andrew to work full time. The fun we had exploring


the country researching new itineraries and discovering unique hotels for our clients. I soon realised I had a passion for the British Isles.” While Andrew and Elizabeth love to take visitors to out-of-theway locations, they are also aware that Britain has many must-see attractions such as Edinburgh Castle, Bath Abbey, Stonehenge and the Eden Project. And that is the beauty of Luxury Vacations, the tours are designed to suit each individual or group. As Elizabeth explains: “It is an absolute pleasure to be trusted with our client’s vacation plans. I especially enjoy researching special requests or putting together multigenerational celebratory trips.”

Specialist guides Andrew and Elizabeth employ a team of carefully selected experienced and professional guides to work with them, including Chris who has been with them for more than seven years and has a vast knowledge of



Andrew and his team enjoy showing their clients Britain’s magnificent natural and built environment, including (clockwise from top left) the historic Westminster Abbey, magnificent Stonehenge, pretty cottages in Shaftesbury and Old Harry Rocks on the Isle of Purbeck

everything from castles to football. Graham is an expert on London: “I love sharing with our visitors my knowledge of the alleys and courts, history and architecture.” Sue is a driverguide: “I pay attention to even the little things and keeping my tours flexible and fun.” And Ian, who finds that every tour is a new adventure: “Our clients enjoy creating lifelong memories while gaining a great appreciation of Britain’s magnificent natural and built environment.”

Iconic road trip Luxury Vacations UK has a suggested private, 11-day driver-

guide itinerary that incorporates some of Iconic’s collection of hotels. Starting with three nights at either The Mayfair Townhouse or 11 Cadogan Gardens, suggested places to visit include Windsor Castle, the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Churchill’s War Rooms, the London Eye and Buckingham Palace. Next, it’s on to the New Forest and two nights at Chewton Glen visiting England’s sparkling wine region in Sussex and the harbour at Chichester en route. From Chewton Glen, there are opportunities explore the Jurassic Coast, visit Corfe Castle, paddle board to Old Harry Rocks, sail or


simply relax and make the most of the hotel’s spa. The tour then proceeds to The Lygon Arms in the Cotswolds taking in Salisbury, Stonehenge and Bath on the way. After a restorative night in the historic hotel, there are a couple of days to explore the surrounding area. Wales, with the beautiful Wye Valley and Tintern Abbey, are just a short drive, as is Gloucester, Monmouth, Oxford and Blenheim Palace. The journey culminates with two nights at Cliveden House and an opportunity to enjoy the river, house, gardens, spa and fabulous restaurants. The true joy of a bespoke tour with a private driver guide is that


Visitors can enjoy the pomp and ceremony of the Changing of the Guard at Horse Guards Parade during a walking tour of Royal London

it allows complete flexibility to do as much or as little as desired. As Andrew explains: “What is so special about this itinerary is the volume of places we visit, the range of different landscapes and a vast number of add-ons and VIP options available. ”

London and day trips Andrew and his guides are also experts when it comes to the iconic highlights of Britain. The suggested private day trips from London include a Bridgerton location tour, a vineyard tour and wine tasting, Cambridge University and Duxford Aircraft Museum, and Dover and Leeds Castles in

The temple at Stourhead Gardens is one of the many heritage attractions you can see on one of the tours

Kent. While in London, there are private tours that take a few hours, such as a walking tour of Royal London, to a week-long holiday with a private guide.

Further afield Andrew and his team love to take visitors further afield and arranging activities. Popular choices are whisky and golf with friends in Ireland; an adventure trip to Scotland that can include white water rafting, off-road driving and wild swimming, while in Wales there are zip wires, coasteering and hiking in Snowdonia National Park. They can even offer bespoke honeymoon tours, for which the

Silbury Hill near Avebury in Wiltshire is the largest artificial prehistoric mound in Europe and a UNESCO heritage site

romantic castles and landscapes of Scotland are a popular choice.

Stylish accommodation After a day of sightseeing, it is important to have a good night’s rest. Luxury Vacations UK works with the finest hotels and guesthouses in the country that offer a variety of accommodation, including castles, manor houses, luxury guesthouses and historic homes. “I have loved watching client’s faces light up when, after touring the Cotswolds all day, we arrive at Cliveden and make our way down the iconic gravel drive. My travel companions know they have arrived somewhere special.” says Andrew.

Cliveden boasts the magnificent Clock Tower, in its grounds, topped by the gold statue of The Spirit of Liberty

For enquiries about your own personalised sightseeing UK tour, visit luxuryvacationsuk.com



The Fine Line

So much to do, so much time.

There’s a fine line between a night to remember and a night you’ll never forget. There’s a fine line between cruising and Cunard. Cross it with us at Cunard.com

BON VOYAGE Step into a carefree world of relaxation and luxury to unwind in unparalleled style on a Cunard voyage


Visiting iconic and exotic destinations is always an adventure, but it is so much better when the journey itself is an experience unlike any other. On board one of the Cunard Queens – Queen Elizabeth,

Queen Victoria or Queen Mary 2 – expect nothing less than excellence. Enhanced by impeccable White Star Service, a Cunard passage is memorable and includes signature experiences and special Event Voyages.

AFTERNOON TEA Taking a voyage aboard a Cunard Queen is quintessentially British, as is afternoon tea, which can be enjoyed daily. Surrender to the delights of freshly baked scones with cream, delicate sandwiches, indulgent pastries and, of course, tea, all impeccably served by white-gloved waiters.

CLASSICAL CONNECTION Set forth on a musical journey across the Atlantic on Queen Mary 2 from 25 October to 1 November 2022 with the UK’s National Symphony Orchestra. Maestro Anthony Inglis will conduct the orchestra in two performances in the Royal Court Theatre, where all-American music and the best of British will be celebrated. In addition, there will be a talk with Inglis, followed by a Q&A session, and an opportunity to rehearse with the choir and join the group performance. iconicluxuryhotels.com


THE GRILLS EXPERIENCE The Princess Grill and Queens Grill offer the epitome of style with suites that are among the most elegant at sea. As a Grill Suite guest, you will have ultimate flexibility when it comes to dining, including your own exclusive restaurant. Expect the finest culinary creations delivered with impeccable service and attention to detail.


LITERARY HEROES Enjoy the Literature Festival at Sea from 3-10 December on Queen Mary 2. Curated by the programming team of The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, it offers book lovers the chance to join some of the top authors, historians, poets, critics and journalists. Among the 26 literary guests, expect to meet Ian Rankin, Bernardine Evaristo, Richard Osman and UK’s Poet Laureate Simon Armitage. Expect a bonanza of bookish delights, inspiring workshops and encounters on what promises to be an extraordinary voyage.

A NIGHT AT THE THEATRE Join the London Theatre at Sea Transatlantic Crossing on Queen Mary 2 from 15-22 May 2022 and experience Olivier Award-winning talent. The specially curated voyage, in partnership with the Olivier Awards, will feature performances, talks and workshops with award-winning stars and creatives. During one special evening, stars will take to the stage in a dazzling one-off production that will take you on a journey through the past 45 years of the Olivier Awards.

PUTTING ON THE GLITZ Travelling in style would not be complete without a celebration or two, and Cunard’s Gala Evenings aboard all three Queens are legendary. These extravagant occasions offer the chance to fashion your finest evening wear, with glamorous themes such as Black and White and Roaring 20s.




Cliveden Literary Festival Cliveden sits on a beautiful stretch of the Thames and each autumn, writers, politicians and public figures gather for its annual literary festival. Sarah Turner finds ideas, history and gossip flowing as easily as the river below

Cliveden has always been a place where ideas have space to develop and grow. Overseeing all the sessions in the Great Hall is John Singer’s Sargent’s portrait of Nancy Astor. Born in Virginia in 1879, she was the first woman to take a seat as an MP in the British parliament and, as Cliveden’s chatelaine, brought together figures as diverse as Winston Churchill, Henry James, Edith Wharton and FD Roosevelt at her house parties. Debate is part of Cliveden’s DNA. Choosing speakers at a literary festival is also not unlike creating

a house party guest list; there has to be balance – light and shade, humour as well as literary heft. At the 2021 weekend, Candace Owens took aim at Biden’s America, Conrad Black traded tales of prison and present-day politicians, while General David Petraeus detailed the highs and lows of his 37-year career in the American military. Fearless and frank, at times the festival felt like a multi-layered state-of-the-nation discussion. Like all the best literary salons, though, there were also joyous


amounts of gossip. Lady Antonia Fraser mentioned that in the 1960s she’d been lent a cottage at Cliveden and that, as a result, she could say that she’d swum with Stephen Ward and Christine Keeler during the Profumo scandal, while Sasha Swire and Michael Gove brought presentday pep to a discussion about political memoirs. In parterres, rose gardens and across vistas, Cliveden is studded with 19th-century statues and follies, each one different yet contributing to a harmonious



Opposite from left: Lionel Shriver, Sebastian Faulks, Chibundu Onuzo and Kate Mosse. This page, top row from left: Lior Raz and Batia Ofer. Simon Sebag Montefiore and David Baddiel. Bottom row from left: Tina Brown and Leila Slimani. Michael Gove, Lionel Shriver and Dambisa Moyo

whole. And as I wandered around the grounds on the first evening, with twilight beginning to fall, it struck me that the Cliveden Literary Festival achieves the same thing: uniting disparate points of view and experiences into something joyous. The link to everything in this glorious, mind-expanding weekend is the printed page. John Sandoe – Chelsea’s most charming and cerebral bookseller – took up residence for the weekend. Wander in and you’d find headlining authors both

signing books and browsing like the rest of us. The headliners may be world famous, but festival numbers at Cliveden are kept low and, as a result, authors mingled in the audience and sat in on other talks before taking their place on the stage. And Cliveden had other joys that can be traced back to its past life as a salon and its current role as a luxury hotel. There were the temptations of The Astor Grill, but also – outside Charles Barry’s portico entrance to Cliveden – a Champagne van and delightfully


good street food. Unlike most literary festivals, the chairs were distinctly comfortable. And while the festival ricocheted with intelligence, the cleverest of all were those who had booked to stay at Cliveden for the weekend. Amor Towles – who went from being an investment banker to becoming the bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow – brought copies of The Lincoln Highway, his new novel, for everyone in the audience. I was enchanted by Peter Frankopan’s love for the Silk Roads and Kate


Above, from left: Dominic Sandbrook, Sasha Swire, Andrew Roberts, Emma Soames and Michael Gove

Peter Frankopan

global head of arts and culture at Chanel. “I think,” said Shafak, a bestselling author who writes in two languages, “that these spaces are so precious – cultural festivals where we can slow down and have nuanced conversations.” The third element in the relationship is the audience. Andrew Roberts fenced beautifully with Barbara Amiel about her no-holes-barred memoir, Friends and Enemies, which ends with a list of which category her acquaintances fall into. “Has anyone gone from your enemies list to becoming a friend?” asked one audience

Natalie Livingstone and Hannah Rothschild

member. “No,” said Amiel, “and they never will,” while the audience – and Roberts – roared with laughter. When William Waldorf Astor II – Nancy’s son – died, his hope in leaving the estate to the National Trust was that Cliveden would continue to be where important people meet and where US and British relations can flourish. All Cliveden’s owners, from the Duke of Buckingham in the 17th century to Lady Astor – would, I feel, agree that the Literary Festival achieves this beautifully and thoughtfully.

Elif Shafak

For full details of the Cliveden Literary Festival 2022, visit clivedenliteraryfestival.org




Bingham’s role as the former chair of the UK vaccine task force, but also by the little girl who quietly read a book while her mother and grandmother listened to the discussion that Kate Mosse chaired about fiction writing in the 21st century. Every speaker needs someone to spar with or tease out new information, whether it’s Emerald Fennell talking about being the first British woman to win an Academy Award for her screenplay and playing Camilla Parker-Bowles in The Crown or Turkish-British author Elif Shafak’s talk with Yana Peel,

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Women of Rothschild Author and historian Natalie Livingstone discusses her latest book, The Women of Rothschild, unveiling the untold stories of the finance dynasty How did the project begin? I began researching the project six years ago. Reclaiming the stories of unresearched women as well as the study of Jewish history have always been passions. I felt this project was a fusion of both these lifelong interests. The occasional references to Rothschild women scattered through histories of the family were enough to convince me that there were fascinating stories waiting to be discovered. But works focusing exclusively on the women were scarce, amounting to a handful of essays and a few single-subject biographies. Then I stumbled on an essay by Miriam Rothschild (1908-2005), on the subject of her female ancestors. That article would transform my research. The life of the article’s author was itself evidence that the Rothschild women had been unjustly overlooked. Miriam, I discovered, was a 20th century polymath: a brilliant zoologist who had also worked as a translator at Bletchley Park, played a pioneering role in the environmental movement, supported research into schizophrenia, popularised wildflower gardening, sat as the first female trustee of the Natural History Museum, and became known as The Queen of Fleas for her world-leading expertise on the wingless insects. Towards the

end of her life Miriam became a familiar figure on TV chat shows and nature programmes – a witty and eccentric octogenarian immediately recognisable by her white gumboots (she refused to wear leather) and flowing Liberty silks. Journalists flocked to visit her at her Northamptonshire home, where she held court surrounded by a menagerie of pets, acres of rewilding land, and clouds of butterflies. ‘It is impossible to prepare for a meeting with Miriam Rothschild,’ wrote one of those who made the pilgrimage. ‘Imagine Beatrix Potter on amphetamines and you come close.’ Towards the end of her long and varied life, Miriam started to


investigate the history of her own ancestors. Her essay, Rothschild Women, began as a contribution to the catalogue of a 1994 exhibition at the Frankfurt Jewish Museum. Though it was short and personal, based as much on family lore and recollection as on archival research, the essay confirmed what I’d been determined to believe: that the Rothschild women were not just adjuncts to the male dynasty, dispossessed and underappreciated, but had forged their own community and history. Through Miriam’s essay, I began to learn about a whole line of remarkable Rothschild women, each of them unique in their talents, character and pursuits, yet each shaped by the circumstances and culture of the same exceptional family. The more I investigated, the more I was touched by the forgotten lives of these women.

Can you let us know about some of the family members you have focused on? The book begins with the mother of the business, Gutle, who married Mayer Amschel Rothschild in 1770. Histories of the family have often focused on the rise of Gutle’s fortunes after her marriage to Mayer Amschel, but initially most of the ascent was his. Gutle was from a wealthier and more reputable



“It is impossible to prepare for a meeting with Miriam Rothschild; imagine Beatrix Potter on amphetamines and you come close”


family, and provided her husband with essential business capital through her dowry. As the couple grew their business and family side by side, Gutle managed the Rothschild household and played an integral role in the early years of the bank. After the death of her husband and departure of her descendants to live in splendour in the capitals of Europe, she steadfastly refused to leave her marital home, in the narrow lane that had until recently been a Jewish ghetto. That decision would make her a figure of fascination across the Continent, with tourists peering to glimpse her in her home, and Hans Christian Anderson penning a story about her. She was mythologised in her own family too, remembered and revered by the men as the ideal Rothschild woman – pious, frugal and deeply domestic. And yet the evidence hints at a lively, robust woman who enjoyed the trappings of her sons’ wealth and whose wit was razor sharp until the day she died. One story from the 1840s had a physician responding to Gutle’s growing list of health complaints by saying ‘Que voulez-vous madame? Unfortunately, we cannot make you younger,’ and Gutle replying: ‘You mistake me doctor. I do not ask you to make me younger. It is older I wish to become.’ Older she got, living to the extraordinary age of 95. Beyond Gutle, there are too many fascinating descendants to give justice to here.

What contribution to society did these women make? The range and scale of the

Rothschild women’s achievements is astounding. They choreographed electoral campaigns, witnessed revolutions, and traded on stock exchanges. They advised prime ministers, played a pivotal role in the civil rights campaign that led to the election of Britain’s first Jewish MP, and wrote landmark works of feminist art criticism. At every turn, they defied easy categorisation. If one scandalised the world of women’s tennis by introducing the overarm serve, another was such a traditionalist that she gave up swimming when she married. If one had engaged with the media by advising the editor of the Times, another did so by joining the radical collective Spare Rib, where she reviewed art shows that were being investigated by Scotland Yard’s vice squad. If one had sought the friendship of Queen Victoria, another preferred the dinner company of Albert Einstein, and a third preferred to let her wheels do the talking, as she drag-raced Miles Davis through Manhattan.

Why are these women not more widely known? The Rothschilds’ swift and dramatic rise from the bleak, oppressive conditions of Frankfurt’s Jewish ghetto to the glittering capitals of Europe has become the stuff of legend and the subject of numerous historical works, not to mention countless sinister conspiracy theories. But what appears at first to be one of history’s most heavily chronicled, widely known and deeply mythologised dynasties is really nothing of the sort. Almost everything about the Rothschilds


– the books and articles, the calumnies and myths, the films and plays – concern only the Rothschild men. Half of the Rothschilds – the women – remain virtually unknown. The root of this exclusion dates back to 1812, and to the last will and testament of Mayer Amschel Rothschild, the founding father of the bank: ‘I will and ordain that my daughters and sons-in-law and their heirs have no share in the trading business existing under the firm of Mayer Amschel Rothschild and Sons… and [that it] belong to my sons exclusively. None of my daughters, sons-in-law and their heirs is therefore entitled to demand sight of business transactions… I would never be able to forgive any of my children if, contrary to these my paternal wishes, it should be allowed to happen that my sons were upset in the peaceful possession and prosecution of their business interests.’ The Rothschild bank – its wealth, its information and its governance – was entrusted exclusively to Mayer Amschel’s sons. His female descendants were explicitly excluded, relegated to the footnotes of history.

The Women of Rothschild: The Untold Story of the World’s Most Famous Dynasty By Natalie Livingstone John Murray Press

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THE ICONIC LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE 2021 Getting the best from staff, encouraging them to stay and recruiting future stars are all down to how you manage, as Lisa Jenkins discovers I can tell you, having visited most of the hotels in the UK Iconic Luxury Hotels collection, that the success and reputation of the brand is down to its calibre of people and the commitment the senior management team put into ensuring their teams are engaged. This has become increasingly important in recent months as the hospitality industry struggles to fill vacancies across the sector. The UK has fewer skilled workers available to fill these positions and the requirement to retain talented staff and create a pipeline of future stars is now a necessity. Iconic Luxury Hotel’s strategy to attract and retain the choicest staff was demonstrated recently when

Andrew Stembridge, executive director, of Iconic Luxury Hotels, and his senior management team gathered more than 50 of its managers together for a 24-hour conference including an evening soirée in The Kitchen at Chewton Glen. Senior managers from across the Iconic family were represented, including The Mayfair Townhouse, London, Cliveden House in Taplow, Berkshire; Chewton Glen, in the New Forest in Hampshire; The Lygon Arms, Broadway, Worcestershire and 11 Cadogan Gardens in Chelsea, London. The theme for the conference focused solely on people and how to get the best from them, especially






when operating under pressure. “Never has the need to motivate and lead our people efficiently or effectively been greater than the present,” Stembridge told his managers. “The employment landscape is changing ever more rapidly, as are the expectations and priorities of our workforce.” A line-up of motivational speakers included Rob and Paul Forkan (the Gandy brothers), talking about their journey ‘from survival to success’, and Manley Hopkinson, winning skipper of the BT Global Challenge, the world’s toughest yacht race, who spoke on ‘compassionate leadership’. Craig Prentice, founder of recruitment company ‘mum’, delivered a heartfelt talk on ‘mum, mental health and me’ and entrepreneur Stefan Wissenbach on the subject ‘time to engage’. Iconic Luxury Hotels’ HR director Anita Bower and talent development director John Hollywood wrapped up the day alongside conference facilitator and trainer Mary Jane Flanagan. Rob and Paul Forkan talked about lessons learned outside the classroom, travelling as children and launching and growing the Gandy travel-inspired fashion brand. The brothers lost both their parents during the Sri Lankan Tsunami on Boxing Day 2004 and their business contributes to building campuses for underprivileged children around the world. The brothers ‘Don’t just exist’ ethos is at the forefront of everything they do. Paul said: “You have to maintain perspective and keep looking forward. Our experiences have taught us that, but you must



keep evolving too. Ask for help when you need to, and if you want the respect of your teams, be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in.” Rob added: “Don’t be afraid to let people use their creativity – you don’t have to have huge budgets to encourage people to get involved.” Hopkinson said when he was faced with a report of a hurricane that would reach 26 knots, gusting at 30 knots during the BT Global Challenge, he had to motivate his team by “setting a positive future – and defining a team ambition”. His advice for the managers was to always be aware of how you are imparting information: “It’s not what you say that matters – it’s how you are heard that resonates.” He reiterated Paul and Rob’s mantra of getting stuck in. “How can you lead if you can’t relate?” Craig Prentice and Stefan Wissenbach both spoke about personal life experiences that had impacted their careers. Prentice’s story of his mental health struggles led to the launch of mum recruitment, nowpause.org and Walk for Calm that united many hospitality workers during the pandemic. Wissenbach spoke of his 25-year-old son, Oliver, who in 2019, whilst on a family holiday suffered from sudden adult death syndrome. Oliver wrote under the pseudonym of Sam Leaper and his family have turned his musings into a book called The Little Book of Wisdom. The family has also set up The Magic Future Foundation, which raises funds to build schools overseas.

Stefan Wissenbach works with Iconic Hotels on their engagement programme, Engagement Multiplier. His presentation was based on the seven ‘Cs’ of leadership: Commitment, Courage, Capability, Confidence, Connected, Consistency and Caring. These form the basis for creating a sense of engagement and leadership within teams. “It’s important as a leader to have a defined purpose,” said Wissenbach. “An engaged team equals an energetic team.” Iconic Luxury Hotels uses Engagement Multiplier as a confidential online engagement survey for the team, where staff rate engagement on their head of department, general manager, team members and guests. The surveys are competed three times a year alongside the use of a confidential suggestion box. “In the spirit of ‘if you measure something you can improve it’, we’ve been using Engagement Multiplier (EM) as a tool to help us track engagement in our hotels and also our Iconic central reservations office for


nearly five years,” explained Anita Bower. “Understanding how our people feel at work has never been more important and working closely alongside Stefan, we were inspired to create a Team Charter, which illustrates clearly to current and future employees how we want them to feel, regardless of where they work in the business, and how they feel about us as an employer. “Launching this new commitment at the 2021 Leadership Conference was powerful, as it dovetailed perfectly with one of the key objectives of it, which is to give every member of our team a good boss,” added Bower. “Stefan’s view is that in the backdrop of Covid and Brexit we need to be putting as much effort into retaining and attracting staff as we do guests, and to ensure this philosophy is embedded throughout, we also updated our Iconic Purpose by adding ‘to make every member of the team want to stay’ to our existing Purpose ‘to make every guest want to return’.”


CLUB WEMBLEY CONNECTIONS From the best seat in the house, Club Wembley enables guests to witness firsthand the extraordinary events and talents across sport, music, and entertainment




Reaching beyond the memories created on the world-famous pitch, Club Wembley members also have access to an incredible number of exclusive, money-can’t-buy events throughout the year through its unique Connections programme. Charlene Nyantekyi, General Manager of Club Wembley, says: “Club Wembley is the chance for our members to get even closer to their heroes, whether that’s a cup final match or global tour. There is nothing like watching the talented performances from inside Wembley stadium among 90,000 fans. “Although every Club Wembley Connections event is different, they are all unforgettable. These experiences brought to our members are not exclusive to just match days – the calendar is built around events including Q&As with sporting stars, access to England training sessions, Women in Leadership seminars, VIP packages at other iconic sporting events and so much more.”


While the Club Wembley Connections programme has provided members with a plethora of incredible experiences, the pandemic presented the opportunity to expand its virtual offering that now remains a core element of the events on offer. Charlene Nyantekyi says: “We are always looking for new ways to bring experiences to our members – the pandemic gave us the opportunity to test more in the digital space while allowing us to still bring some incredible Q&As and other family friendly events to everyone at home, which really encapsulated the sense of community we embody at Wembley. “The last year saw intimate Q&As with the likes of Clive Tyldesley, Alan Brazil, Ray Parlour, Ally McCoist and Terry Butcher, while members could also join a cook-a-long with Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge, bespoke wine-tasting events and even a magic show with the talented Magical Bones.”






Club Wembley enables members to watch open training sessions with the England senior teams and immerse themselves in the Changing Room Experience; an incredibly unique fine-dining event in the dressing room at Wembley. While seated in a space not normally accessed by fans, members are joined by former England players and hosts to enhance an already sensational sensory experience. Budding sports stars also have a chance to play on the same pitch as their idols. During this Club Wembley Connections experience, members are able to feel the scale of the stadium first hand and are put through their paces by former England internationals which in the past has included Tony Adams, John Barnes, Faye White and Kelly Smith. Exclusive Q&As also pepper the Connections programme, with members listening to icons across the sporting world – previous guest speakers have been with Sky Sports Boxing pundit Johnny Nelson and world champion boxer Anthony Joshua. Another opportunity for members to listen to their heroes within an intimate setting is the Legends Dinner that last saw Gareth Southgate talk about the England team’s journey to the Euros.


Members can benefit from other world-class venues, thanks to a collection of exclusive perks provided by Club Wembley partners including exceptional hospitality packages at events such as Wimbledon, Ascot and international rugby fixtures. There are opportunities to book activities such as spa and golf days at some of the best facilities in the country. Not just for sports fans, previous experiences have included access to trips abroad with Champagne house Laurent-Perrier, VIP shopping days with Bicester Village and the Club Wembley Christmas Party, held at exclusive venues across London.

WIN A YEAR’S CLUB WEMBLEY MEMBERSHIP There’s nothing quite like being there. The stillness of 90,000 held breaths, the electric feel of hope in the air in the final minutes, the deafening roar of victory, the sight of heroes rising and the knowledge you are about to witness legends being made. Win a year’s Club Wembley membership for two people and take the best seats in the house to watch history in the making. Sit back, relax and experience the extraordinary moments Wembley Stadium has to offer. Feel the true spirit of Wembley with your Inner Circle membership. You’ll have your guaranteed seat right in the heart of the action for Wembley’s major football matches and also gain access to a wealth of bars and restaurants where you can soak up the atmosphere before and after the game. Alongside your complimentary programme of matches, being a Club Wembley member unlocks a whole host of exclusive benefits. For your chance to win, go to clubwembley.com/iconic or scan the QR code







Articles from Iconic Magazine 2022